Nesvizh is a town from fairy-tail. Together with such important cities for Belarus as Polotsk (the cradle of the Belarussian statehood) and Novogrudok (the 1st capital of the Great Dutchy of Lithuania), Nesvizh forms the backbone of the Belarusian history. People call Nesvizh a mysterious city not unreasonably. The origin of the city is wrapped in a shroud of mystery. For quite a long time the date of the foundation of the city was mistakenly considered 1223 (that is why you can see this date on the entrance to the town), the year of the battle between Rus and tartar — mongols on the river Kalka, when «Prince Yuri Nesvizhskij» died. Historians associated his surname Nesvizhski with the place of his probable origin and mistakenly decided that it was Nesvizh. But later historians came to the conclusion that Yuri Nesvizhskij came probably from the Ukrainian town Nesvich, which name sounds similar.
The other estimated date of the Nesvizh foundation was 1446, it was mentioned in the chronicles when the Great Prince Kazimir Yagellonchik handed it over to Mikolaj Yan Nemirovich. It was difficult for citizens of Nesvizh make up mind to the fact that their town became 2 centuries younger, that is why However it is clear that for the citizen of Nesvizh it is difficult to get used to the idea that the town became two centuries younger, but nevertheless the town doesn’t lose its charm.
Nesvizh will surprise you every step you walk around it. The town reached its heyday in the mid of the 16th century while the Radziwill owned it. They designed and rebuilt the town with the most advanced system of fortification known to the day.
The town suffered from wars and fires, that is why the status of the city diminished. But the fine pieces of the architecture of the 16th century that are dotted around the city preserved. It will take you a couple of hours to enjoy it all.
Nesvizh is associated with many famous people in Belarus, and speaking about the town we could not but mention the Radziwills. That was the largest and the most influenced magnate family not only in Belarus, but in Ukraine and Lithuania too.
You can start sightseeing with Nesvizh castle, the main attraction of the city. The main residence of the Radziwill Family, which is now inscribed on the UNESCO heritage list. Giovanni Maria Bernardoni, a famous architect came to Nesvizh to build the castle. The appearance the Nesvizh castle, especially the Palace and utility rooms, has changed many times. The Palace and Park ensemble was formed gradually, it changed from the complex, which was dominated by the defensive line, to an open residence of one of the most powerful European families. The interiors of the Nesvizh castle will impress you with its beauty and luxury. In total, the castle had about three hundred living quarters and twelve large halls. Especially richly decorated were gallery and ceremonial halls. After visiting the castle, you can stroll around the park laid out nearby. Radziwill parks beautifully reflect and embody all the major European styles of landscape art.
One more piece of art which was constructed thanks to Giovanni Maria Bernardoni is the Roman-Catholic Church of the Divine Body. It is the first temple in Eastern Europe, built in the Baroque style. Moreover, there is the crypt of the Radziwill family (the third largest crypt in Europe after the Habsburg and Bourbon crypts).
Nesvizh has much more to see and discover, for example Town Hall, the oldest from the preserved town halls in Belarus, Slutsk Gate, the only surviving gate in Belarus, which was a part of the system of city fortifications, former Bernardinian and Benedictine monasteries.
Nesvizh is the most attractive tourist place of Belarus and it is worth visiting. Today 400 000 tourists visit the castle annually and the number is increasing. While being in Belarus you could not dispense with visiting the Belarusian architectural gem.