Why Nesvizh Castle is worth visiting

Nesvizh Castle

Nesvizh castle is a fortification complex located in Nesvizh town, Minsk region, on a hill surrounded by picturesque lakes. Romantics and lovers of stories about knights don’t need to go to Western Europe for a fresh impressions: a bright representative of this fairy-tale epoch lurks just nearby – in Belarus. Nesvizh Castle is a unique architectural monument that belonged to the biggest family of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania – the Radziwills.

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Video: Nesvizh Castle

Highlights

Nicholas Radziwill Sirotka had no idea what a majestic structure would grow on this site when he laid the first stone here on May 7, 1583. Initially the only plan was to build a defensive fortress, but the area was so appealing to the Radziwills that the Nesvizh castle soon became the family residence of the richest family. Because of that Nesvizh became a cultural and educational center of the Duchy of Lithuania for many years.

Nowadays Nesvizh Castle is a historical and cultural museum-reserve and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Republic of Belarus.

History

It is noteworthy that the very terrain on which the palace and park complex is located provided almost no military advantage. The 22-meter high hill and surrounding moat were created artificially to improve the castle’s strategic position. Nesvizh was built in the best traditions of the Middle Ages, known to everyone by the epic of chivalry: an impregnable fortress surrounded by a deep moat with a single bridge that rose when enemies approached. There were also several secret passages that were used during the siege. Around the hexagonal courtyard were located everything necessary for life: the palace (consisting of 12 rooms, family museum and large library), the parish church, outbuildings to meet the needs of the lord, and even a foundry, where cannon balls were made. Today the palace complex consists of 10 interconnected buildings.

Napoleon Orda sketched the castle in 1876 The castle in the 19th century

In the second half of the 17th century the Nesvizh castle survived two major sieges by Russian troops, but did not fall to their feet, although it suffered considerable damage. It caused a major reconstruction and improvement of the fortress in 1660 by an architect and a renowned connoisseur of the military craft Theophilus Spinovsky.

General view of the architectural ensemble in pre-war times

In 1706, during the Great Northern War, King Charles XII of Sweden sent his best troops to capture Nesvizh Castle. They invaded the nearby town, but the fortress itself withstood the siege. Soon the king personally led the army and returned to Nesvizh. The garrison of the castle at that time consisted of 200 exhausted and demoralized Cossacks, so the commandant decided to capitulate. This was the first time the enemy had entered the fortress walls, and the Swedes took full revenge for the humiliation they had caused earlier. They dug trenches, undermined the walls and completely destroyed the armament of the Nesvizh castle. Some of the cannons were thrown into the ditch. It is believed that they are still resting at the bottom, silently preserving the memory of those events.

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After the destruction by the Swedes the castle was thoroughly restored again, it was completely rebuilt only by 1758. The Radziwill family loved their residence and never spared money for the maintenance and development of Niasvizh. The interior of the castle in the second half of the 18th century is described as very luxurious and elite: a lot of tapestries, paintings in gilt frames, high painted vaults of halls, skillfully carved fireplaces, parquet from precious wood, and furniture in the latest fashion in Paris.

Eternal Flame and a monument to the Soviet soldier

In 1812 the Radziwill family friend and Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger brother Jerome Bonaparte established his headquarters in the Nesvizh Palace. When the army of the Russian Empire set its course for Nesvizh, he of course left the castle and all the family valuables were carefully hidden. The Russians took the fortress without a fight and soon found out about the Radziwills’ hidden treasures. After prolonged torture, the servants nevertheless gave up the hiding places. Official sources speak of 10 carts of jewels taken out of Nesvizh at that time. Some of these riches went to Moscow, some went to St. Petersburg (the imperial Hermitage collection), and some went to Kharkov (medals and coins are kept in the Kharkov National University).

In the 1860s Nesvizh returned to the ownership of the Radziwill family and was once again actively restored and rebuilt. At the time the castle complex was joined by the surrounding territories, which were laid out in large parks. By the beginning of the First World War the total area of the Nesvizh palace and castle complex was about 90 hectares.

Restoration in 2011

During World War II the Radziwills’ residence was surrendered to the Red Army without a fight. The values of the Nesvizh castle were confiscated and distributed among the museums of the USSR. After the war a sanatorium for the treatment of diseases of the nervous system and musculoskeletal system was built in the palace, which existed until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

At the end of the 20th century the Ministry of Culture of Belarus, which supervised the Nesvizh palace and castle complex, began the fundamental restoration of the structure and the surrounding area. The works were completed in July 2012 and since then the museum-reserve “Niasvizh” is open for tourists.

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The yard of the Nesvizh Castle

What to pay attention to when visiting Nesvizh Castle

The architecture of the castle ensemble is of great interest. There is still no exact information about the first authors of the complex, we only know that they were most likely French architects. Later Nesvizh was repeatedly rebuilt and reconstructed by masters from all over Europe. This fact explains the combination in the architecture of the complex of medieval architecture and a large number of atypical for Eastern Europe styles such as late Renaissance, baroque, classicism, gothic. Despite this eclecticism Nesvizh Castle looks very harmonious and integral.

The interiors of the castle even after restoration accurately reflects the boundless luxury and splendor of everyday life of the Radziwill family. In the entrance hall tourists are welcomed by the grand staircase, decorated with frescoes telling about the military glory of members of the famous family. Most of the halls in the Nesvizh Castle have capacious names that reflect the purpose of this or that room at the time when its founders lived here: the Hunting Hall, the Arms Hall, the Marble Hall, the Royal Hall, the Golden Hall. Each of them is a fragment of the rich history of the Radziwill family and a reflection of their taste and way of life. The collection of paintings that the noble family gathered and are now exhibited in the castle deserves special attention. It consists of more than 1000 unique exhibits by both famous international artists and local masters.

Chateau interiors

When visiting the castle you should by no means ignore the castle landscaped parks which are recognized as a cultural and historical treasure of Belarus and are the largest garden park in the country. Several stylistically different zones – the Old, English, Japanese, Marysin Park – reflect the changing fashion for landscape gardening in the 18th and 20th centuries. The territory around the Nesvizh complex abounds with small lakes, shady alleys, benches in secluded corners of the park, as well as bright examples of garden sculpture.

Nesvizh Castle Outskirts Mermaid Statue

For the Tourist

Today the Nesvizh complex is a museum-reserve with more than 30 interesting exhibition halls that you can visit from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm in summer and from 9 am to 6 pm in winter. You can visit the museum on your own; you can buy an audio guide at the box office at the entrance. But it is better to give preference to an organized tour, thanks to which you can learn a lot of interesting facts about Nesvizh and its masters, listen to the legends about ghosts, look into the mysterious corners of the fortress. The cost of tours on weekdays is 100,000 Belarusian rubles (BYR), and from Friday to Sunday – 120,000 BYR (about 425 and 510 Russian rubles, respectively). Schoolchildren and students are given a 50% discount. The museum’s opening schedule and prices are current as of March 2016, for more information, please visit http://niasvizh.by/ru.

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Concert in Nesvizh Castle

The main flow of tourists in Nesvizh falls on weekends, due to which visitors sometimes have to wait in line, and tours are reduced in time. But on weekdays there are no such inconveniences, and the price of the entrance ticket is a little less.

In addition to traditional guided walks around the castle and its surroundings, Nesvizh regularly hosts theatrical performances illustrating the most interesting episodes of its history, all kinds of festivals and art projects (for example, “Evenings of the Grand Theatre in the Radziwill Castle” and “Art Fest Urshuli Radziwill”). There are also wedding ceremonies and even fascinating quests, in which participants travel through the castle and unravel the secrets of its inhabitants.

How to get there

The castle complex is 112km from Minsk. The most convenient way to get around this distance is by car. If you don’t have your own transport you can take a bus which leaves from the central bus station of Minsk (Bobrujskaya street, 6) from 7.30 till 20.00 every day. You will have to spend about three hours and 70 000 BYR (about 280 RUB) to get there. Taking into account the fact that the bus arrives at the Nesvizh bus station and you still have to get to the castle, it’s obviously not a very convenient route for a day trip. With the railroad is about the same, so the enterprising traveler should either still have a rental car or dedicate more than 1 day to the trip and, therefore, take care of overnight accommodation beforehand.

Decide on the lodging will not be difficult at all. In recent years, the town of the same name, in the suburbs of which the Nesvizh Castle is located, has been actively developing as a tourist destination. There is a good choice of hotels, cafes and restaurants. If a visitor wants to feel like royalty, you can rent a room at the Palats hotel, which is located right in the Nesvizh Castle!

Nesvizh Radziwill family castle (Belarus, Nesvizh) – reviews

Review of the Nesvizh castle of the Radziwill family (Belarus, Nesvizh)

Good day to all the readers of my review. Thanks to the review of StasArk, I was turned on by myself to visit the Nesvizh Castle. I love castles, especially castles with the history, with legends. This castle drew me to myself, so I wanted to walk around the monument.

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A wonderful touch of antiquity and luxury.

Beautiful castle, numerous ancient exhibits, inexpensive tour and visit the castle, beautiful and well-groomed area, availability of cafes, restaurants, toilets, a large parking lot, excellent guides, the castle has a hotel

I continue a series of reviews of the wonderful Belarusian vacations. Today we are going to talk about the Nesvizh Castle, which left the most pleasant impressions and memories. Since our trip fell on the second half of May, the castle appeared to us in all its glory.

The most grandiose and elegant castle in Belarus

As usually during a short trip you want to see as much as possible, trying to see the main sights of the visited places and not to miss the most interesting things. This is the penultimate day in our program of our tour across Belorussia.

“We were. “The treasure of the republic.

It so happened that during the excursion to Nesvizh, I was not in the castle. The allotted time was barely enough to explore the city, and some of the rooms last fall were not available. There was no annoyance.

When visiting Belorussia put this castle on your list of must-see attractions!

Beautiful well-groomed territory; chic interiors; rich museum composition; there are theatrical performances in the costumes of that era; entertaining guided tour; there is a hotel, cafe and restaurant on the territory of the castle.

Hello, dear friends and readers of the site! In May 2019, I visited the wonderful country of Belarus as part of the three-day bus tour “Treasures of Belarusian History”. You can read a review of this fascinating journey here. And mine today.

“Amidst the murky clouds, stands all bright and/mighty in/shine, burning with gold, the palace castle along the hill!”

Rich exhibit, interestingly recreated era, beautiful, gorgeous park area, inexpensive ticket

When it comes to an ancient castle, one involuntarily thinks of childhood associations – fairy tale characters, romantic events, military battles, etc. I am going to share my impressions about my visit to the castle complex in Nesvizh, trying to abstract away from it.

In a word, brilliance!

Despite the fact that after reading my previous reviews about traveling in Belarus you could be convinced that there are enough interesting places in this country, the castle in Nesvizh was one of my two main goals.

A fairy tale? No – History! And it is beautiful as in a Fairy Tale!

Nesvizh is translated into Russian as Invisible. But what a beautiful Invisible is it – you want to look and look without closing your eyes. One of the best tourist brilliants of Belarus is Nesvizh castle of Radziwill family! To whom he only.

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It’s a tough place, to be honest.

Quite a tough place, a lot of people, problems with checkrooms and shoe covers, it is drawn out, exhausting, tedious at times.

I wish you good health, Dear Friends and Readers! Today I want to share with you my impressions from visiting the Nesvizh Castle of the Radziwill family. I was there in the framework of the sightseeing tour across Belarus “Winter Tale” from the tour operator.

It’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in history, to walk around the magnificent castle, to study the objects of antiquity!

I necessarily recommend to all residents of Belarus and visitors to visit the palace and castle complex – Nesvizh Castle. It includes a castle, castle fortifications and a large magnificent landscape park with ponds. The castle is located in the north-eastern part of Nesvizh.

So what if they made central heating.

Early winter morning we continue our tour of Belarus and leave Minsk for Nesvizh. The road is excellent, the mood is great, two castles and new impressions await us ahead. We are approaching the castle. As we enter Nesvizh we want to.

Impressed

Nesvizh Castle impresses by its luxury and magnitude already on the approach. Especially if you imagine when exactly it was built. It is clear that nowadays it is almost entirely a reconstruction. There are very few truly authentic pieces left. Nevertheless.

There were not enough recreated interiors of the halls, many under expositions.

Just over a hundred kilometers to the southwest of Minsk is the town of Nesvizh. It is a very cozy and neat little town, which I set aside half of my time to get acquainted with. Firstly, I wanted to visit the Nesvizh castle of the Radziwill family, and secondly, to walk around Nesvizh itself.

The wealth and luxury of the noble family. A UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is necessary to see with your own eyes.

Many halls to see / audio guide / variety of exhibits / the appearance of the castle / included in the world heritage of UNESCO / there are constant mini shows in the costumes of the era / vigilant staff / there is a beach area near one of the ponds

Crowds of people / not showing some exhibits in action for individual tourists / small parking lot

Greetings all. I want to introduce you to another outstanding attraction in Belarus. This is the Nesvizh Castle, built by the oldest Radziwill family in 1583, namely Prince Nicholas Christopher Radziwill Sirotico (nickname). The castle during these centuries is several times.

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