Palanok Castle Mukachevo


Standing on the town hill, the medieval Palanok Castle with its peaked turrets is the key sight of the ancient Mukachevo. Yearly over hundred thousands travelers from all over the world come here in order to see this unique sample of fortification architecture, recognized as one of the most interesting and well preserved defensive complexes in Ukraine.

It is believed that Mukachevo castle was built in Kyivan Rus times. Back then it was a palisaded («palanca» is Italian for «palisade») wooden fortification, and from here derives its name. Palanok Castle became stone in the late 14th century, under ownership of Podillia Prince Fedir Koriatovych, who significantly rebuilt and updated the defensive complex. New walls were constructed, deep ditch was dug, additional towers were raised and dwelling houses were built. The later ones were connected with long narrow passages, one of which was called the trap, or corridor of death. If an enemy penetrated town and entered this passage, entrance and exit were blocked with metal gates, and boiled water and hot pitch were poured over the trapped enemy through the holes in ceiling.

Since 1989, castle premises are occupied by Mukachevo History Museum, where over ten interesting expositions are shown. The picture gallery featuring the best canvases by west-Ukrainian painters and ancient icons is also located here. Some Palanok's halls are allocated to the exhibition «Wooden Churches of Zakarpattia» and artistic salon, where one can buy local artists' pictures and souvenirs. There are also cozy coffee houses on the fortress's territory, where it is pleasant to drink a cup of fragrant coffee and admire castle's sceneries.

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