Small town Track, located just three dozen kilometers from Vilnius, but is an important point on any tourist map Lithuania. The local population barely exceeds six thousand people, but the huge number of tourists who come here every day significantly increases the economic potential of the city. Why is this place so popular? The answer is quite obvious - visit Trakai island castle.

Trakai Island Castle of the Vialik Prince of Lithuania Keistut

Trakai Castle in Lithuania

Brief history of the castle in Troki

According to legend, the idea of ​​​​founding a castle here belongs to the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas. During his hunt in the vicinity of the city of Kernave, Gediminas saw an amazingly beautiful hill and, appreciating the convenience of its location, ordered to build a castle here. And so it happened. In the second half of the 1337th century, a stone castle called the Peninsula castle appeared in Stare Troki. Later, when Prince Gediminas strengthened himself in Vilna and moved the capital of the Grand Duchy there, Stari Troki, together with the castle, came into the possession of his eldest son Keistut, who ruled the castle from 1382 to XNUMX.

Trakai Castle in Lithuania: history, photos, excursions

Here, in Stari Troki, which became the capital of the Troki Principality of Keistut, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Vitovt, was born in 1350. Even under Keistut, the construction of the Island Castle began in Troki and ended under Vytautas in 1409. The new castle became the most powerful and impregnable fortification in the principality, including due to the fact that the castle was located on an artificially created island at a great distance from the coast, which made it possible to see the approach of the enemy in advance.

Trakai castle

Excursions to Trakai

So historians say that Trakai castle has never been conquered by an enemy. Having made Troki his grand-ducal residence, Vytautas prepared his army here for the Battle of Grunwald, after the victory in which Trakai Castle began to lose its strategic military significance, but acquired the status of a meeting place for important people. Feasts and lavish receptions were regularly held here for guests from all over Europe. And it was here, in 1430, that Grand Duke Vitovt died.

Excursion options and tickets to Trakai Castle

Excursion options and tickets to Trakai Castle

More than 350 thousand people visit Trakai every year. Such interest is explained by the historical past and the majestic, perfectly preserved ancient Trakai castle. Entrance ticket prices (2024):

From May to September – 12 euros per person

From October to April – 10 euros

Excursion with a local guide in English, Russian or Polish – 30 euros, plus entrance fees.

You will also have to pay 1,5 euros for a photo in the castle.

You can book a tour, including transfer, online here here.

Excursion with a Russian speaking guide from Vilnius.

Excursion options and tickets to Trakai Castle

After the death of Vitovt, the Lithuanian prince Svidrigailo captured the castle in Troki, but did not stay here for long: Vitovt's brother, Prince Sigismund, expelled him from the castle. In the future, Trakai Castle goes to a secondary position in the political life of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, falls into economic decline due to its far location from the main trade routes and becomes a place of exile for the Lithuanian nobility objectionable to the authorities. The war with Moscow in the middle of the XNUMXth century brought terrible damage to the castle, it gradually began to collapse and already in the XNUMXth century the castle in Trakai was almost destroyed.

At the very end of the 1901th century, the first attempts were made to restore Trakai Castle. In 1935, the famous Belarusian-Polish archaeologist Vandalin Shukevich rented the castle from the city magistrate in order to save it from further destruction. But only a quarter of a century later, Shukevich finds the necessary funds and begins to actively work on restoration. Work was carried out to measure the ruins, and the main focus was of course the Island Castle. Since XNUMX, they began to restore the walls of the castle, watchtowers and a representative hall.

What is interesting about Trakai Castle?

During the Second World War, work in the castle ceased, and after its completion, the restoration process resumed. By 1950, the representative hall of the palace was covered with a roof. In the next decade, archaeological excavations were carried out in the Peninsula Castle, but the Soviet leadership opposed the restoration of architecture here. As a result, only by 1987, thanks to the main leaders of the restoration work - Lithuanian architects Bronius Kruminis and Stanislavas Mikulionis, it was possible to restore the side towers at the castle and the Trakai Castle was restored to its XNUMXth-century appearance.

Photo - castle in Troki

Today, Trakai Castle is a fine example of medieval Gothic architecture. Since the founding of Vytautas, the castle combines both representational and defensive functions, thus being an excellent fortress and princely palace. In the main halls of the palace, you can now see a variety of stained-glass windows and frescoes depicting scenes from the life of the great Lithuanian dukes, as well as numerous historical artifacts found during archaeological excavations: samples of medieval weapons, household items, tiles and coins.

By the way, on the lower floor of the castle there is an impressive collection of old coins, which is not surprising, because even under Keistut there was a mint in Troki.

Interesting sights in Lithuania

Description - castle in Troki

The best way to get to Trakai is from Vilnius - buses depart from the bus station of the Lithuanian capital every half hour (and even more often) every day. The ticket price does not exceed two euros. Upon arrival at the Trakai bus station, you need to walk along the main street of the city - Keraim - until the first bridge, and after it you will see the second. And now in front of you, spectacularly spread out on an island in the middle of a blue lake, is the ancient Trakai Castle in all its glory, below is a dot with the location of the object on the map:

Trakai is in fifth place among the Lithuanian cities most attractive to tourists. You can find a hotel or guest house at the best prices using this link or here here.

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