Lutsk Castle is one of the oldest and most beautiful in Ukraine. Its story is long and glorious. Defensive fortifications first appeared on this site at the beginning of the 11th century, and it’s been officially recorded since 1340. It is remarkable, however, that while still a wooden fortress, Lutsk Castle successfully survived a six-month siege by the army of Polish King Boleslaus the Bold, then repelled attacks by Yury Dolgoruky’s troops and other ancient Russian princes, as well as the Tatar Khan. Lubart’s stone castle consisted at first of two structures, the Upper (still existing) and Okolnyi (only partially restored). Construction began in the mid-14th century and was completed at the beginning of the 15th century. According to legend, Prince Lubart started to build it in honor of his wife, hence the triangular layout with three towers in the corners: Faith, Hope, and Love. His wife died before the end of construction, and the castle was completed under the rule of Princes Vytautas and Švitrigaila.
Lutsk Castle today.
Today, Lubart’s Castle is a favorite tourist destination. There are a variety of excursions. Here you can see a wonderful collection of bells, amassed in one of the towers; visit a library of old books; climb the gate tower on a spiral staircase and see a beautiful view of the city; admire wooden catapults; shoot from a medieval bow; or take a few lessons in hand-to-hand combat. Those who prefer peaceful pursuits can learn soap-making and candle-making. It’s true the numerous underground passages at Lubart’s are open to the public only once a year, during the festival “Night in Lutsk”.
By the way, pay attention to the 200 hryvnya bill – the Entrance Tower at Lubart’s Castle is depicted it, to the right of a flying stork.
This article was published in the book Interesting Ukraine.
You could download this book in PDF file for free here.
© Sky Horse Publishing House (Kyiv) / Nahs Haus, 2019
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