Mir Castle

Belarus sightseeing often starts from one of the landmarks of Belarus, which is one of the 4 objects on the territory of our country inscribed in the UNESCO list. Mir Castle complex is located 92 km away from the city of Minsk of the Grodno region. It was a privately owned estate for almost 500 years of its existence and belonged to the Iliniczowie, the Radziwill, the Wittgenstein and the Svyatopolk-Mirsky. The last family lived in this castle until 1939. And it was built in the 20-ies of the 16th century by magnate Yuri Iliniczowie, who wanted to obtain the title of count of the Holy Roman Empire. After the death Yuri Iliniczowie’s heirs, the castle was inherited by the closest relatives, the mighty princes Radziwill, namely Nicholas Christopher Radziwill Sirotka, voivode of Vilna, the owner of Nesvizh, which made the castle more suitable for living by building two residential palaces there. It happened in the early 17th century and until the early 19th century the castle belonged to the Radziwill family. This period was associated with the Golden age in the history of Mir castle. The Radziwills used the castle as a summer residence.

At the end of the 19th century Nikolay Svyatopolk-Mirsky became the owner of the castle. He cared about the castle and his family lived there until 1939. And after 2 years the war broke out. The settlement of Mir where the castle was located, has the pre-war population of 6,000 people, 4,500 of which were Jews. Half of them was placed in the castle’s courtyard where there was created a ghetto. And after the war until the late 50-ies homeless people from the village who became homeless lived in the castle. And the relation to the survived property was not the most careful.

In the 80-ies the preservation of the castle and its gradual recovery began. In 2000 the castle was inscribed in the UNESCO heritage list.

The richest Museum exposition tells the story of the castle's construction, the life of its owners, the times of destruction and reconstruction. In addition, you will get acquainted with the history of the development of defensive architecture in Belarus. Descending to the cellars of the castle, you will learn what food our ancestors ate, how it was stored and cooked. And after the tour you can feel yourself a knight of the 16th century and climb one of the towers of the castle, walk through the battle galleries, go down to the prison basement, walk along the lake in the park, where there is the family tomb of the princes Svyatopolk-Mirsky, built in 1905.

The area around the castle is shrouded in many legends. Here and cursed the lake, and an underground passage connecting the two residence of the Radziwill family, and the sacrificial lamb, guarding this castle.

Several historical buildings such as the Church of St. Nicholas, which was built in the late 16th century, and the Church of the Holy Trinity of the late 16th century have preserved in the town of Mir. It’s a very multicolored town, in addition to Catholics and Orthodox Christians, Jews and Tatars also lived there. The buildings of several synagogues and schools have survived to the present day. Zalman Shazar was born on the territory of the town in 1889, who later became the 3rd President of Israel.

The very name of the village comes from the expression "to live in peace", that is, to live together in harmony. Representatives of many nationalities and religions have long lived in Belarus. And tolerance is one of the national feature of the Belarusian character that is especially seen in this town.

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