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The Uzhhorod castle

The Uzhhorod castle
Uzhhorod, Kapitulna street 33 / Uzhhorod district / Zakarpattya / Ukraine
GPS: 48°37´16.7052" 22°18´18.5904"

Telephone Number: (0312) 44-36-68
Entry fee: 15 UAH

The Uzhgorod Castle is in the central part of the town on the Zamkova (Castle) Mountain. For thousands of years it served as a residence for the Old Russian prince Laborets who was killed by the Hungarians in 903 when they intruder into the Danube hollow. The medieval written sources preserved the old names of the Uzhgorod castle. In the chronicle of the XII century it was called “castrum” and according to other historical sources the “oppidum”.

In 1322 the King Karl Robert presented the castle as a gift together with the Uzhgorod dominium to the king Drugetti who had being possessed it for 350 years. At the end of XVII century during popular revolts the castle served as arena of battles.
In March of 1704 after six months siege it was captured by the rebels under the leadership of Ivan Bets. The insurrection was suppressed only in 1711.The proprietor of the castle Miklós Bercsényi was deprived of his rights of property and the Uzhgorod castle became of the state treasury. Then all the paintings which decorated the walls of halls, furniture, collection of expensive crockery and were, collection of the arms, all this was taken out of the castle.

When the Uzhgorod castle lost its strategic significance the Austrian treasury handed it over to the Mukachevo Uniate Church eparchy, which located there a theological seminary. At that period there was carried on some insignificant rebuilding of the castle, as a result of which there was destroyed beautiful knight’s hall.

The castle has a form of an improper square with bastions on the angles, which in circled from the three sides with a deep of 8-10m dry ditch and a fortress wall. From the southern side there is no ditch, it was changed by a steepe hollow. A foot-bridge was a leading way from the southern gate into the castle. The main building occupies a dominating position in the fortress defense system. It follows the outlines of the fortress external structures, in other words it has a form of a square, by its sides there are the installed powerful towers. The walls are 2,5m thick and that gave the possibility to the builders to make inside some secret passages for communication between the floors or stories. These secret passages were led from the main building out and beyond the bounds of the castle but now it is really difficult to find them.

The Casemates, where we can see the ruins of former fortress walls, are the witnesses of numerous reconstructions that were carried by the French and Italian engineers.The four stories of the main building were rising over the Casemates. The fourth floor was wooden and during the fire in 1728 (the reason was never established) was burnt down. It was never renewed either, although the castle lost much in its decoration because of the fire. The main building was built in the Renaissance style and numbers 40 rooms and premises and numerous galleries. In the inner yard there is a well 32m which have been deep preserved up to nowadays.

For many centuries a lot of legends and stories were born due to the mystery and mystique of the medieval castle. Here is one of them.
…Once upon a time the castle owner was a noble count. And he had a very nice daughter and even in the distant lands the people were relating about her beauty. And one of the governors decided to conquer the town of Uzhgorod. So, in order to learn how to capture the fortifications he came to visit the castle where he met the count’s daughter and the girl fell in love with him and told him about the secret passages and about the military strength of the castle. The father got to know the daughter’s betrayal and ordered to immure her alive into the fortress wall. Since those times the girl knows no rest. In the midnight she comes out crying from her immures hiding place, roaming in the castle. A white dress appears in the distance in corridors, on galleries, on bastions, till the cock crows – only then she returns to the hiding place where her father sent her…

Nowadays a regional museum with a rich material of archeological excavations is located at the castle. The museum exposition is arranged in 30 halls and numbers thousands of exhibits.

Opening hours:
9.00 a.m. - 16.00 p.m, day off: Monday

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( 2015.04.06.)


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