Castles of Lithuania

Defensive fortresses and majestic palaces originate from ancient times. Shrouded in mysterious stories and legends, Lithuanian castles can tell a lot about the past. Once again, driving along a familiar road leading to a grandiose building. Do not miss the chance to once again touch the antiquity. Our ancestors skillfully built castles, taking into account the peculiarities of the landscape and the purpose of the palaces.

Today we will tell you about the most iconic castles built on the territory of Lithuania, which have survived and are open to the public.

Trakai castle

Location: Trakai (Karaimų gatvė, 51-53)

trakai castle weekend guide

Perhaps the most famous castle in Lithuania, which was built as a defensive fortress and as a palace for princes. From the locals you can hear another name - Island Castle. The oldest Lithuanian city of Trakai has kept a medieval palace since 1409. Trakai castle, built on an island in the middle of a picturesque lake, was captured in his painting by Napoleon Orda in 1877. Then the city was called Troki, and the castle was called Troki. In the 19th century, the residence of the Lithuanian princes was destroyed under the weight of years and internecine wars.

But since then, the palace has changed, a global reconstruction has taken place, and it has acquired a new look. To some, the castle in Trakai will seem polished, while others will be able to discard stereotypes and be imbued with its history.

beautiful photo trakai castle lithuania

Trakai Castle is considered the most photographed attraction in Lithuania. Take an attractive photo of the famous fortress in Trakai.

Kaunas castle

Location: Kaunas (Pilies g. 17)

what to see in kaunas

One of the oldest castles in Lithuania, built in Kaunas on the high bank of the Neman, dates back to the 14th century and speaks of a defensive function with its design. Today, Kaunas Castle, only a third of which has survived, is the main attraction of the country. Part of the massive walls and the Round Tower have been preserved, in which the exhibition hall of the city museum is now organized. It is surprising that the castle was not destroyed by people, like many architectural monuments - the North Tower and part of the walls collapsed due to river waters, gradually washing away the foundation of the castle.

Events and historical reenactments of medieval battles are often held near the fortress. All in all, a nice place to stay surrounded by a park.

Mednice Castle

Location: Medininkai village (Šv. Kazimiero g. 2)

copper castle
Photo: welovelithuania.com

In 1385, a castle was built of red brick, which has no analogues in scale in Lithuania. There were legends that the castle in Medininkai и Lida Castle built by the giants. Of course, this is only a legend. The castle was built by ordinary people, driven by the desire to protect their lands from enemies.

The construction in the form of a quadrangle was a castle-castel. Castles of this type include Kovno and Krevo Castle, but now there are ruins on the site of the latter.

The Mednica castle suffered more than once from the raids of the crusaders and was even half burned down, but later restored. The walls of the fortress are well preserved, and the donjon tower, the size of which is equivalent to a 5-storey building, has survived. Now it houses permanent expositions of the Trakai Museum.

Vilna castles

Location: Vilnius (Arsenalo g. 5)

vilno castles

On Castle Hill Vilnius in the first half of the 14th century, three Gothic castles rose up - Dolny, Gorny and Krivoy. This place was the residence of the Lithuanian princes. The restored part of the fortification and the tower of Gediminas, which was part of the Mountain Castle, is all that remains of the grandiose structures of that time. This architectural monument with the national flag on top is a kind of symbol of the city.

gediminas tower

There were never any settlements in the Vilna Castle. Basically, in the walls of the fortress they made weapons and hid from enemies. For a long time, the castle became a place of imprisonment for criminals from the nobility.

You can climb the high Castle Hill by funicular or on foot along a stone-paved path. In the same place, in the Tower, a branch of the National Museum was opened.

Birzhai castle

Location: Biržai (Radvilos g. 3)

Birzhai Castle

The fact that the Radziwills were the richest family is confirmed by the number of palaces and castles they built. One of them stands in the Lithuanian town of Biržai. The castle began to be built by order of Krzysztof Mikołaj Radziwiłł in 1586. Biržai Castle stood on a high rampart, surrounded by a moat filled with water - all in the style of a famous family.

exchange castle
Photo source: visitbirzai.lt

The castle that we see today is restored from ruins. It has been burned and destroyed many times. And during the Northern War, the castle in Birzhai was blown up. All that is left of it is the basement and part of the walls. But even this was enough to skillfully restore the historical monument of Lithuania in 1978-88.

Raudonvaris Castle

Location: Raudone (Pilies g. 1)

raudon castle

If you hear the legend of the White Lady of Bayerburg, know that we are talking about the castle in Raudon. The first palace on the site of a neo-Gothic castle was built at the beginning of the 14th century. After 2 centuries, the Raudon Palace belonged to Sigismund Sigismund II Augustus, who brought the castle to desolation. The subsequent owner erected a new palace on this site with a high tower, which is similar in outline to a modern building.

raudonvaris castle

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Raudon Palace passed into the possession of the Zubovs by order of Empress Catherine II. Thanks to Planot Zubov and his family, we can see the castle, not its ruins.

Norviliskes Castle

Location: v. Norvilishkes

norvilishkes castle

The closest Lithuanian castle to Belarus is Norvilishkes. The medieval building is located just 100 meters from the border. Built in the Renaissance style, the castle was first mentioned in manuscripts in 1586. At various times it was used as a monastery, military barracks and a boarding school.

Norviliškės was abandoned for a long time, until in 2009 the restoration of a valuable piece of architecture began. Today, the castle is rented for wedding ceremonies, and city festivals are often held in the surrounding area.

If you liked the article castles of Lithuania, then also see the material - Castles of Belarus.

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