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Palanok Castle: Ukrainian twin of the famous German fortress

Albina PanchenkoNews
What is interesting about Palanok Castle

The famous Burghausen fortress annually attracts tourists from all over the world. When traveling through the regions of Germany, Ukrainian tourists constantly stop by the former residence of the Wittelsbacher. There is a lot to see there: ancient fortifications, amazing views, a torture tower where witches were burned, a knight's hall decorated with weapons, tapestries, etc.

But did you know that there is an alternative of the famous Bavarian structure in Ukraine? The bastion is located in the city of Mukachevo, Zakarpattia region. We will tell you about it!

The history of the castle

Palanok Castle, as it should be, was built to protect the population. It was erected on a mountain of volcanic origin at an altitude of 188 meters above sea level. It is not known when the first stone was laid. The building itself is an example of medieval defensive architecture, the first mention of which dates back to the XI century.

The fortification was written about in Lithuanian chronicles during the reign of Ladislaus I of Hungary. Then, in 1086, the fortress was stormed by Cumans. The attackers lasted only five days, after which they realized that they would not be able to take the citadel. In 1241, a horde led by Batu Khan approached the fortress. The commander was wiser than his predecessors. He immediately turned the army around without even trying to conquer the walls.

The bastion served only as a defensive structure until the fifteenth century. But when Prince Koriatovych came to power, everything changed. The first inhabitants settled within the walls of the fortification. A number of fortifications were also built, and 164 cannons were installed on the towers.

Of course, the outpost passed from hand to hand. There is probably not a single defense building that has remained under the rule of one state. It was given as a gift, inherited, and even bought. But one thing remained unchanged: no matter who was on the throne, the fortification was constantly looked after and reconstructed. That is why it looks great even today.

Palanok Castle: Ukrainian twin of the famous German fortress

The construction of Palanok Castle

When you look at the fortress from afar, it seems that it has solid walls. In fact, it does not. The stone fort consists of a cascade and terraces. The castle itself is divided into three levels: upper, middle, and lower. The first one is the "oldest" and the last one is the "youngest". Earlier, a ring was built around the structure, which consisted of a deep moat filled with water, as well as earthen ramparts and a palisade.

The outer part of the bastion was a guardhouse. It was separated from the main entrance by a drawbridge. When the enemies came close to the walls, the bridge was raised. There was no way to go further: a wide ditch did not allow it.

The second terrace was also fortified and reliably protected in case the invaders managed to overcome the previous obstacles. Residential, utility, and administrative buildings were erected on the third site. It was here that the barracks, knight's hall, kitchen, commandant's office, etc. were located.

The monarchs' chambers were built on the most remote territory. In fact, the housing of the fortress owners is not as large as it might seem at first glance. The old castle is surrounded by a small courtyard, and a church stands nearby.

By the way, even here a "surprise" was waiting for the enemies. To get to the rulers' chambers, one had to go through a narrow corridor. There was no other way. If non-humans managed to break through the defense, they were caught at this passage. Metal gates were lowered on both sides of the open tunnel, making it impossible to get out. Torches were thrown into the trap, and hot tar and boiling water were poured. No one managed to get out alive.

Palanok Castle: Ukrainian twin of the famous German fortress

The most famous siege

Of course, many generals dreamed of defeating the stronghold. But not everyone was lucky. Few wanted to keep the siege for a long time. But there were those who were lucky enough to conquer the outpost. We are talking about the Austrians, who initially tried to storm the walls of the bastion. But they failed to do so either the first or the second time. Then it was decided to fortify and wait for the enemies to surrender.

At that time, the castle was ruled by Princess Ilona Zrínyi, who led the liberation movement against the rule of the Austrian Empire. Her willpower did not waver for a minute. Only three years later did she sign the surrender. Not because she could no longer fight, but because she ran out of food. Unfortunately, there was no other way to deliver the food. So they had to raise a white flag over one of the towers.

Palanok Castle: Ukrainian twin of the famous German fortress

Present day

Today, the fortress is a favorite location for tourists and locals alike. No matter where you are in the city, you can see it from everywhere. And it is much easier to get to it than in the Middle Ages. Now there is a good road here that anyone can use.

The outpost has preserved many mysteries and secrets. Historians have already solved some of them, while others are still being worked on. To hear them, you need to book a tour. But you can also walk around the fortress without a guide. We recommend both options. First, listen to an expert, and then walk around the area on your own to enjoy the incredible architecture and views.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA told you about the most beautiful castles in Ukraine.

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