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Happiness is not a station you arrive at,

but a manner of travelling.


Margaret Lee Runbeck.

Exploring Ukraine's Castles - Lutsk

 Lutsk Castle - a Bird's Eye ViewCastles are among the most popular sites visited by the local tourists and included into the sightseeing tours of Western Ukraine by tour guides. How many castles are there in Ukraine? It appears there are about 116 left and they are mainly concentrated in western part of the country. Unfortunately, many of them need redecoration badly and visiting them without the local guide can be a dangerous experience. Tarakaniv fortress is a perfect example.

Lutsk High Castle known as Lubart’s Castle located in the heart of Volhynia is open for tourists. One of the most prominent landmarks of the city and Volyn oblast, it is well known by all Ukrainians due to the fact it appears on two hundred hryvnia bill.

Lutsk Castle - the Entrance TowerLutsk is not as lordly as Lviv and not as pompous as Kiev. It does not pretend to be crème and velvet the way Chernivtsi does. Being a comparatively small city with the population of about 200 000 people, it is a calm and cozy place where people are never in a hurry. You will not meet many tourists and tour guides with bright umbrellas here but Lutzk is a great place to experience real Ukrainian life and deliberate mentality of Volyn residents. They are proud of their lands and they do have reasons.

 Lubart’s castle is among 10 of the best preserved fortresses of Ukraine and it is surprising that it was not widely known during the Soviet times. The castle did not exist for Soviet historians.

 Lutsk Castle FestsThe first brick walls appeared in the XIIIth century during the Prince Lubart’s rule but the place had been settled since the Xth century AD. Lithuanian Duke Vytautas the Great overtook the power in 1392 and invited the rulers of 15 European states to visit Lutsk in January 1429. Roman Emperor Sigismund, Polish king Władysław II Jagiełło, Danish King Eric IV, Grand Masters of the Teutonic and Livonian orders, the Grand Prince of Moscow Vasilii II, Pope Martin V’s legate, Byzantine Emperor Ambassador and other mighty leaders took part in the summit held in Lutsk High Castle. The coalition against the growing power of the Ottoman Empire, Catholic and Orthodox churches rights and other issues were discussed. The coronation of Vytautas was another important event everybody was waiting for. A diamond-covered crown was to be brought to Lutsk but it disappeared somewhere on the way. The legend says it was cut in pieces and scattered throughout Europe. Whatever the reason, Vytautas never became a king.

Just imagine the costs involved in organizing the summit… More than 15,000 guests came while the population of Lutsk itself was about 5,000 residents only. But for this outstanding fact, the castle walls have seen many other events, some of them being really tragic and appalling.

I really recommend you to come to touch the stones and feel the history. Combined with a relaxing tour around Lutsk, it can be a very pleasant experience.


Category: Castles | Views: 1820 | Added by: matera | Tags: Castles, Lutsk