Uzhgorod Castle Uzhgorod

  • Address: Uzhgorod 33, Kapitulnaya Str.

Overview

The medieval castle standing on the hill in the Uzh River valley is ancient Uzhgorod’s historical heart and its major sight. Despite its venerable age, it is perfectly preserved and is reckoned among the most famous and frequently visited castles in Ukraine. Visiting it allows not only to see the priceless historical and architectural monument, but also to feel the true medieval spirit that soars in its walls.

The stone castle appeared on the Prykarpattia hills in the 13th century. It was built on the place of the more ancient wooden church that served as Old Russian Prince Laborts’s residence and protected Kyivan Rus’s southwestern borders from Hungarian Kingdom’s pretensions. Castle’s owners repeatedly changed over the long history of its existence, but the representatives of the Druget family (Hungarian magnates of Franco-Italian origins) ruled here longer than anyone else: almost for four centuries. It was they who significantly rebuilt and strengthened the castle using the latest achievements of the fortification art of those times. Under Drugets the castle became truly impregnable and any conqueror didn’t manage to take it by storm ever since.

The three-story Renaissance palace with pillars and four massive corner towers, which allowed for self-defense, if an enemy managed to break through the outer fortifications, was built in citadel’s center. The bas-relief with four thrushes, Druget family’s coat of arms, can still be seen on the building’s facade. The fortress palace had small courtyard with a 40 meter-deep well, cut off in the rock. A prison and a torture chamber used to occupy palace’s dungeon.

In the 18th century, the Uzhgorod castle lost its defensive importance and its premises were given to the spiritual seminary. From 1947 to nowadays, the collection of the Zakarpattia Local History Museum, numbering over one hundred thousand unique exhibits, is located here.

 

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