NOVOGRUDOK for tourists: around Grodno-region

novogrudokNovogrudok, also called Novgorodok, Novogorodok, Novy Gorodok in chronicles, is one of the most ancient towns in Belarus and the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

First mentioning of Novogrudok goes back to 1044, but according to the archaeological findings the earliest settlements appeared in the end of X-th century. Located on picturesque hills in the center of Novogrudok upland, the oldest part of Novogrudok has a spectacular landscape and a colorful history that will be really interesting for great culture hunters.

In its two years in existence Novogrudok became one of the richest towns in Ponemanje (Neman territories). In 1253 when Novogrudok was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Grand Duke Mindaugas was crowned. Also every two years since 1581 the Lithuanian Tribunal – the highest appeal court of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania met here. Since 1795 Novogrudok was the part of Russian Empire, since 1921 till 1939 its lands belonged to Poland. And only in 1939 Novogrudok became the part of В S SR.

Since 2000 the town of Novogrudok celebrates the exuberant festival of medieval culture that includes knight’s tournaments and theatrical performance of horsemen at the bottom of Zamkovaya Mountain. The festival reaches its climax with the siege of Zamkovaya Mountain – colorful reenactment of medieval battle that took place in Novogrudok in the past.

Ancient town with distinctive traditions, marvelous beauty of landscapes, and numerous monuments of world heritage will definitely attract the interest of tourists.

Zamkovaya Mountain and Castle ruins

The ruins of Novogrudok Castle, located on Zamkovaya Mountain, are not only the attraction of the town, but also the main historical monument in Belarus.

Its history started in the middle of X cent. The construction of wooden fortification of castle-fortress began on Zamkovaya Mountain. The initial buildings looked like circle defensive walls. In the middle of XIII cent, a tower was erected and was called Schitovaya or Central Tower. It withstood the sieges of Galicia – Volhyman troops, the Tatars and others. In late XIV cent, it was reconstructed with brick. Three more towers joined by walls were built in late XIV- early XV cent., when the population had to protect itself from the knights of the Teutonic Order. The towers were called – Kostelnaya, Malaya Brama- Tower and Pasadskaya. On the eastern side of Zamkovaya Mountain Kolodeznaya Tower with a secret entry to the Castle was built.

In the end of XV century the next stage of reconstruction of Novogrudok Castle began. At that time the Castle had to repel the Tatar invasion. Thus, in the north-western part of the Castle one more watchtower joined with Schitovaya tower was built. At the same time, on the south-eastern side Meskaya brama-tower was built, joined by a wall with Kolodeznaya tower and Malaya Brama. As a result, by XVI century Novogrudok Castle had seven towers and was the mightiest on the territory of Belarus.

Severe damage was caused during the Russian-Polish War in 1654 – 1667. Mass destruction was inflicted by the Swedes during the Great Northern War. Towers and walls of the Castle were completely ruined. And only in 1922 – 1930 there were attempts to preserve the ruins from further decay.

The places of tourist attraction include Sts. Boris and Gleb Cathedral (XVI cent., elements of Gothic and Renaissance style), St. Nicholas Church (the former Franciscan Church built in late Baroque and Pseudo Byzantine styles), the Cathedral church (built in the early XVIIIth century in Baroque style), the Church of St. Michael (the former church of Dominicans Order built in late Baroque style with elements of classicism), the so-called Mindaugas’ Mountain (according to the legend it was the burial place of the founder of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) and also several places connected with life of the poet Adam Mickiewicz, namely the Mickiewicz museum and the Mickiewicz Mound.

Sts. Boris and Gleb Cathedral XII cent. In XVII century the Church and the monastery were the residence of Uniate Metropolitan. However, it is also famous for the being of a wonderworking Icon of Novogrudskaya Mother of God from Zamkovaya Church within the walls of the church (from early XIX till early XX cent.). In 1914 it was taken out of the town and its present location is unknown. In the crypts of the cathedral there are graves of the Hreptovichy. The memorial fault of 1641 Droves this fact.

St. Nicholas Church was built in late Baroque style in 1780. At first it was established as a Franciscan Church of Saint Antony. In 1846 it was reformed into an Orthodox Church.

The Cathedra church in Novogrudok was built in the early XVHIth century in Baroque style instead of a wooden church that was founded in 1395 by Duke Vytautas. In 1422 the church was the place where Jogaila, the King of Poland and 16-year-old princess of Halshany Sophia got married. This event put a start to the reign of royal Jagiellon family in Poland, Czech Republic and Sweden. Also in this church in 1799 Adam Mickiewicz was baptized. In a chapel of the church there is a sarcophagus with 11 relics of Nazareth sisters, who in 1943 were shot down by the Nazi, later in 2000 they were canonized by the Vatican

The Church of Michael the Archangel – the former church of Dominicans Order was built in 1724 under command of a war chief K. Hodkevich. In the Convent there was a Dominican school, where A. Mickevich once studied.

The so-called Mindaugas’ Mountain where according to the legend the founder of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Grand Duke Mindaugas was buried – is another tourist destination in Novogrudok. Here in 1993 a memorial tablet was placed at the bottom of the mountain.

  1. A. Mickiewicz Mound, that is situated in so-called Mały Zamok (Small Castle) and A. Mickiewicz monument were built in the honor of this great poet and songwriter. A. Mickiewicz museum was first opened in September, 1938.

45 km away from Novogrudok there is an old settlement called Mir, where the travelers can visit the treasure of Belarusian architecture – Mir Castle.

USEFUL INFORMATION

EATING OUT

Restaurant “Svityaz” Sovetskaya Street, 3 tel. (801597) 20938

Restaurant “Valeria” Volchetskogo Street, 6, tel. (801597) 26600

Cafe “Stary Gorod” Grodnenskaya Street, 3 (hotel “Pansky Dom”) tel. (8044) 7070070 (Vel)

Cafe “Molodezhnoe” Sovetskaya Street, 23, tel. (801597) 20568

Cocktail-bar “Chance” Volchetskogo Street, 36A, tel.(801597) 21589

Cafe “Angelina” Mickevich Street, 12 (hotel “Novogrudok”) tel. (801597) 24304

Cafe-bar “Rim” Lenin Square, 9, teL (801597) 20970

Busstation Mickevich Street, 19, tel. (801597) 21430

 

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel «Novogrudok» Mickevich Street, 12 tel. (801597) 23272,20796

Hotel “Pansky Do” Grodnenskaya Street, 3 tel (801597) 25385

Hotel JSC «Novogrudok Gas-Fitting Plant» Volchetskogo Street, 44, tel. (801597) 21265

MUSEUMS

Local History Museum Grodnenskaya Street, 2, tel. (801597) 21470

Adam Mickiewicz Museum Lenin Street, 1, tel (801597) 24340

 

Travel Agency «Novogrudok-Tour» Lenin Square, 4 tel. (801597) 22257,1617299

 

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