Nesvizh is one of the most famous ancient cities in Belarus. It is located 120 km southwest of Minsk.
For the first time Nesvizh mentioned in chronicles of the 13th century. The city became famous after it was chosen as a residence by the Lithuanian princely family of the Radziwills in the 16th century. In the period from the 16th to the 18th century, an impregnable castle was built here, which was surrounded by ditches and ramparts. For this, the Radziwills ordered the Italian architect Giovanni Bernardoni. In the 19th century, a park zone with a total area of over 200 hectares was created in the central part of the complex. To date, the Nesvizh Palace and Park Ensemble is one of the most popular and most mystical sights of the country. Until now, the inhabitants of the city keep legends about the treasures hidden in the castle and about the ghosts living on its territory. Under the castle there are numerous cellars, dungeons and crypts that give it mystery, and in the palace park there are three-century-old oaks planted under the Radziwills.
Novogrudok, Grodno region (Belarus)
According to DISEASESLEARNING, the city of Novogrudok is located in the Grodno region to the south of the city of Lida. The city is known for being the first capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. According to legend, in the middle of the 13th century, Mindovg, the founder of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, was crowned and buried here. The main attraction of the city is the ancient castle of the 12th century, which served as a residence for the great Lithuanian princes. During its history, Novogrudok Castle withstood the sieges of the Crusaders and the Tatar-Mongols, however, it was completely destroyed during the Northern War. Today, the castle hill, the ruins of one of the towers and the remains of the fortress walls remind of the majestic deputy. An annual festival of medieval culture is held on Castle Hill, during which a staged storming of Castle Hill takes place.
15 km from Novogrudok in the village of Vselyub there is one of the oldest Catholic churches in the region – the Church of St. Casemir. The church was built in the 15th century on the estate of the Radziwill family in a mixed national Belarusian and Western European style. Next to it is a vast park, which in the 19th century was part of the estate of the O’Rourke family. From the estate to the present day, the family tomb and a small church have also been preserved. Lyubcha village is interesting 26 km from Novogrudok. It stands on the banks of the Neman River. The construction of the castle began in 1581. Under Boguslav Radziwill, and later under the representatives of the Falz-Fein family, the castle was rebuilt more than once. The Falz-Feins placed their country residence here and erected a white-stone palace in the English neo-Gothic style. During the First and Second World Wars, the Lyubchinsky Castle was almost completely destroyed; only two stone towers, the remains of ramparts and ditches, have survived to this day. The layout of the old castle can be seen in the Lyubcha Folk Museum.
Pinsk, Brest region (Belarus)
Pinsk is one of the oldest cities in Belarus and one of the largest cities in the Belarusian Polesie. It is located 184 km east of Minsk on the Pina River. For the first time Pinsk is mentioned in the Ipatiev Chronicle under 1097. The city had a favorable geographical position on the way “from the Varangians to the Greeks” and was the center of the Turov-Pinsk principality. In the 19th century, Pinsk turned into a major trade and craft center of Polissya.
In Pinsk the historical building has been perfectly preserved. On the central square of the city you can see a memorial tablet, under which lie the ruins of the Pinsk castle. An interesting collegium of the Jesuit monastery of the early 17th century, which since 1996 has housed the Museum of Belarusian Polissya. In total, the museum has up to 60 thousand exhibits. Its most significant collections are ethnographic, natural history and archaeological-historical. The collection of coins, numbering 17 thousand copies, the collection of ceramic tiles of the 11th-12th centuries, the knightly armor of the 8th century, the Turov sarcophagus of the 12th century, the collection of weapons from different eras, handwritten letters of the 14th-17th centuries, as well as rare printed publications of the 17th-19th centuries, are striking. From the architectural sights of Pinsk you can also highlight the former ensemble of the Franciscan monastery of the 17th-18th centuries (now the cathedral church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary) with one of the oldest organs in the country, the Varvara church of 1786 (the former Bernardine church), the church of Charles Baromei of the 18th century and the Butrimovich Palace of 1794. In Pinsk, tourists are offered unforgettable excursions on a boat on the Pina River.