Castle complex “Mir”
The construction of the Castle probably started in 1506-1510 for a marshal Yuriy Ilyinich.
In 1527 the duke Yuriy Ilyiriich died, when the construction wasn’t finished. His sons were meant to finish the building but the Ilyinich dynasty (Yuriy’s 4 sons and one grandson) died out during the next 40 years.
The grandson whose name was Yuriy as well, had the title of the Count Mirsky and left the Castle to his cousin Nikołaj Krzysztof Radziwiłł. Since that time Mir was attached to Radziwiłł territories and belonged to them till 1813.
Nikołaj Krzysztof Radziwiłł continued the construction of the Castle: he finished a 3-storey castle, mounded the corners, dug out a moat and a lake, setup an «Italian garden».
Mir Castle numerously suffered from different attacks and destructive fire. It was destroyed then rebuilt again and again after Russian-Polish War in 1655, Great Northern War, T.Kostiushko uprising. However, the major destruction was caused by the Great Patriotic War in 1812.
Its next owners, the Dukes Sviatopolk-Mirskie, tried to rebuild the Castle, as well as its last owner – Mihail Sviatopolk-Mirski, also made an attempt of reconstruction after the great fire in 1914. The south-western tower has been preserved in its best. Now the tower is a place of exhibition of National Art Museum of Belarus.
In 2010 the renovated Castle Complex welcomed tourists. At present «Міг» Castle Complex is considered to be a historical monument, cultural and educational establishment. At the same time it conducts scientific and publishing activity, offers paid services.
The architectural Complex covers about 25 hectares and includes the castle (XVI-XX cent.), embankments of XVI-XVII cent, landscape and formal parks, artificial lake, annex, Chapelle Ardente of Dukes Sviatopolk-Mirskie with a house of watchman and the gates, a wayside chapel. The demonstration area of museum show-rooms is 2806,6 m2. There are 38 static exhibitions.
In the Castle there are two conference-rooms for high-level meetings, a hotel with 15 rooms, a restaurant with national cuisine, a souvenir shop selling the handiworks of belarusian craftsmen.
Different music festivals and knights tournament, art and crafts festivals, lectures, museum fests take place on concert stages of the Castle Complex. Art festivals like «Mir Castle», «Musical evenings in Mir Castle», international medieval festival «The Legacy of Centuries» have already become traditional.
On the territory of «Міr» Castle Complex, in «Italian garden», there is a Chapelle Ardente of Dukes Sviatopolk-Mirskie, built in 1904 upon the project of famous Petersburg architect Robert Marfeld in modern style.
The front of the chapel is decorated with a multi coloured mosaic panel «The Christ Almighty».
Lake Svytiaz is a priceless gift of nature. It is located in the center of Novogrudok upland. It occupies 220 hectares and has the maximum depth of 15 meters. There you can find rare forms of preglacial fauna.
According to the legend the lake is located in the place where previously the ancient Svytiaz – town was founded. The town was attacked by enemy troops. But due to Svytiaz women who preferred death to slavery, the town fell into abyss, burring the capturers. Instead of the town a lake appeared.
Undulating landscape, picturesque shores and various flora were many times praised by Adam Mickiewicz in his writings. The poet often visited these lands and in 1820-1821 a famous ballad «Svytiaz» was written, later in 1821 the second; ballad «Svytiazianka» (Svytiaz woman) was created and almost at the same; time the third one – «Rybka» (Fish).
In 1970 the Lake Svytiaz and all surrounding area were pronounced to be an ecological reserve. Tourist can relax and restore their health on the shores of Svytiaz in the village of Valevka. Moving back to Grodno, we’ll drop in Lida and have a look at the sights.
EATING OUT: Restaurant «Kolos» Gagarin Street, 2 tel: (801596) 22284
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Gagarin Street, 4 tel: (801596) 22126
MUSEUM: Local History Museum Sovetskaya Street, 19 tel: (801596) 21175
BUS STATION: Gagarin Street, 12 tel: (801596) 22174
Cafe «Ragneda» September 17 Square, 1, tel: (801596)
Cafe «Dorogoi zamkov» Krasnoarmeiskaya Street, 9 tel: (8029)6712464
Cafe «Mirumgrad» Krasnoarmeiskaya Street la, tel. (8029) 6111662
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel September 17 Square, 3, tel. (801596):
MUSEUM: «Міr» Castle Complex Krasnoarmeiskaya Street, 2, tel. (801596) 23035
BUS STATION: September 17 Square, 9 tel. (801596) 23174
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