The most beautiful castles of Ukraine: top 5 ancient fortresses
It seems that fall is the time when you can't go anywhere. The sun is not so hot, beaches and reservoirs are closed to visitors, and unexpected rain can ruin outdoor recreation. Well, that's true. But there are plenty of other options. Among them are sightseeing tours. In particular, ancient bastions.
The off-season is a great time to get to know the history of your homeland. Therefore, we have prepared a list of locations that every Ukrainian should definitely visit.
The largest fortification in our country and even Europe opens the list. Its area is more than 9 hectares. Its outer walls stretch for 2.5 kilometers.
The building is located in the Odesa region, in the city of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi. The castle is built on a hill above the estuary. It used to stand on the main trade route of the Northern Black Sea coast, but a powerful army of Turks and Tatars destroyed the impregnable stronghold.
The bastion was built in the 13th century. Back then, it had 34 towers. By the way, most of them have survived to this day. The outpost lost its defensive significance in the nineteenth century. Now it is included in the list of cultural and historical monuments.
You can come here at any time of the year, but in the fall it is especially beautiful. The mighty walls of the castle envelop the waters of the Dniester estuary. Everything around is full of orange colors. And in cloudy weather, the fortress takes on a formidable appearance, which makes it even more majestic.
There are two ways to visit the building. You can either buy an entrance ticket and walk around the territory on your own or book a themed tour, of which there are plenty. Unfortunately, no events are currently taking place. Previously, demonstrative knightly tournaments were held here, but the war made its own adjustments. But after the victory, the program will definitely be resumed.
From the south of Ukraine we immediately move to the west, to Lutsk. There is an equally famous bastion here. By the way, it is depicted on the 200 hryvnia bill. Its history is no less striking and interesting. It is not known when the first fortifications appeared. The Ipatiev Chronicle mentions the fortress in 1085. Back then it had wooden defensive structures. The stone walls began to be built only a few centuries later during the reign of Lithuanian Prince Lubart. Hence the name.
Unfortunately, not all the walls of the fortress have survived to this day in good condition. Only the central citadel was lucky; the rest of the towers and turrets are just ruins. But this does not prevent the building from being in the center of attention. Tourists come here all the time. Especially in the fall, when the heat has already subsided and you can walk around and admire the historical monument.
You can also wander around the castle on your own or book an interesting tour. We advise you to take a guide. He will not only tell you about the building's past, but also show you the ancient dungeon. By the way, there are 4 museums in the building: of painting, weapons, bells, and book printing.
The impregnable bastion is located in the city of Khotyn, Chernivtsi region. Historians still argue about when the fortress was built. Probably, during the reign of Prince Volodymyr the Great, a wooden outpost was already built here. Later, it was "taken over" by Danylo Halytskyi and built stone fortifications on this place.
No enemy ever managed to storm the castle the first time. Only long and grueling sieges subdued its inhabitants.
Today, the fortress has been fully restored and welcomes visitors. There is a museum of torture, and you can also book an interesting tour of the entire territory. Going here in the fall is the best option. During this period, there are not so many noisy tourists, and the surrounding nature impresses with its orange color.
Let's move on. Our next stop is not just a fortification, but a historical museum-reserve. Previously, it also served for protection and defense and, like other bastions, passed from hand to hand. Constant wars had a bad impact on the stone fort, but in the 60s of the last century it was reconstructed. It is now considered the best maintained among other defensive structures.
Today, the fortress buildings house the Lviv Art Gallery, which displays icons and paintings of the 13th and 19th centuries. It also houses the largest collection of wooden sculptures in Ukraine.
Be sure to visit the castle in the fall and take a walk around its grounds. It is very beautiful here in any weather. Even during the autumn bad weather.
The last one on our list is a medieval citadel located on a rocky peninsula in the Smotrych River canyon. Historians believe that the first fortifications appeared here in the times of Kyivan Rus. However, it was only during the reign of the Polish gentry that stone walls began to be built on the territory of the bastion.
By the way, the fort served as a defensive point until the nineteenth century and was of military importance. It was only in 1937 that the castle was declared a museum-reserve.
Today, tourists come to the medieval fortress from all over Ukraine and beyond. Interesting excursions are held here, as well as various festivals. To get here in the fall is to win a jackpot. It's not so crowded at this time, but it's surprisingly beautiful.
Always travel. Don't put off traveling until later. The off-season is the best time to discover new locations and get acquainted with the history of our homeland.
Earlier OBOZ.UA told you about the most picturesque villages of Ukraine.