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Novogrudsky Castle ruins

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Type: Locks, fortresses, strengthenings Date of Foundation: 17 century Status: The international value Republic of Belarus, Grodno region, Novogrudok, Zamkovaya str.

The ruins of ancient castle are one of the main attractions of Novogrudok.

Novogrudsky Castle (Mindoug`s Castle) was built on the territory of ancient settlement on Castle Hillthat was a high, partly artificial mound surrounded by a moat. Ancient legends tell that once there were several hills in Novogrudok where the first settlements were located. At that time a mound where later appeared a settlement was bad rumoured. Because the first houses built on the mountain were burned by lightning. However as the time passed people began to live on the hill.

The first fortifications consisted of a circular defensive rampart with wooden buildings. In the middle of the XII century a square stone tower called Schitovaya or Central was built in the castle by Mindoug. It survived Galicia-Volyn, Tatar and other troops attacks. And at the end of the XIV century it was rebuilt again, but of brick.

In the late XIV - early XV centuries, preparing to defend the settlement against attacks of Teutonic knights, three towers were erected on the territory of the castle - Kostelnaya, Small Tower - Brama and Posadskaya, that were interconnected by walls. On the western slope of Castle Hill was a spring. Later a tower Kolodeznaya was built over it. There was a secret entrance to the castle and a special pass to the spring. Novogrudsky castle looking this way was withstanding the numerous invasions of the Crusaders for many years.

In the late XV - early XVI centuries the construction of Novogrudsky castle continued to strengthen because of the raids of the Tatars. Dozornaya tower was erected in the northwest part of the castle. A new wall connected it with Schitovaya tower. At the same time Meskaya Tower-Brama, appeared in the south-eastern slope of the castle. It was connected by walls with Kolodeznaya and Small Tower-Brama. As a result the castle got two polygonal defensive zones - one was at the top and another - on the hillside. In the XVI century Novogrudsky castle consisted of seven towers and was one of the most powerful fortifications in Belarus.

During the Russian-Polish Wars of 1654-1667 the castle was damaged a lot. Meskaya Tower-Brama, Kolodeznaya, Small Tower-Brama and Posadskaya towers were completely destroyed. The final blow to the castle walls was made by Swedes during the Northern War. At the beginning of the XX century there remained only three towers: Dozornaya, Schitovaya and Kostelnaya. During the XIX century the remains of the first of towers were dismantled, and in 1906 Kostelnaya tower collapsed. During the First World War the southern wall of the tower Schitovaya also collapsed. Only in 1921 some measures were taken to preserve the ruins of the castle, and in 1922-1930 years it had a partial reconstruction of the remained walls. Actually the walls of Kostelnaya tower were almost completely rebuilt.

Knightly festivals and tournaments are held in Novogrudok every year.

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Address Republic of Belarus, Grodno region, Novogrudok, Zamkovaya str. GPS Google: 53.601455′ N, 25.827714′ E