TOP-5 places to visit in Grodno
Best places to visit in Grodno. TOP-5 places to visit in Grodno.
Grodno is situated on the banks of the Neman River near the border of Poland and Lithuania. The city fascinates with its history. In the Grodno region a considerable part of the buildings of XI-XIII centuries have been preserved. Among them are such historical monuments as Borisoglebskaya church, Old and New Grodno castles, St. Michael's church, Lutheran church and others.
We will tell you about the sights of one of the oldest cities in Belarus, you will learn where to go and what to see in order to immerse yourself in the history of Grodno.
History of Grodno
Grodno is known since the beginning of the XII century, when the town's Prince Vsevolodko was first mentioned in the Russian chronicles. It was at that time that the city became known for the first time as the center of the Goroden Principality. The Gorodno principality is considered to be the first form of statehood on the territory of Black Russia.
During its history, the city was the center of various administrative-territorial units of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and the independent Republic of Belarus.
Picture 1 Photo by grodno.gov.by
Grodno is one of the oldest cities in Belarus. Archaeological excavations show that at the end of the I - beginning of the II millennium Grodno region was mainly inhabited by Baltic yatvyagas and Slavic dregovichi, which were expanding their presence. The first Slavic settlements on the territory of the future Grodno appeared in the X century on the high bank at the mouth of the Neman River. In the XII century, a town was built on the place of these settlements, which was located at the intersection of trade routes and originally was a small fortress with a fortified trading town.
From the 12th century to the present day, Grodno has always been a frontier fortress and was often used as a frontier outpost by various formations.
Presumably, the church was built during the reign of Grodno princes Boris and Gleb Vsevolodkovich and consecrated in honor of their heavenly patrons, Boris and Gleb. According to another version - children of Boris and Gleb erected the temple in the 1180s.
Boris and Gleb church is an example of ancient stone architecture, which was erected by masters of the Grodno school of architecture. In addition, the church has no analogues among the surviving buildings around the world. This churge is one of the best places to visit in Grodno.
The unsuccessful temple determined the constant danger of the church collapse due to the settlement of soil and landslides caused by the Neman River. In 1720, one of the walls bent down, but the planting of trees stopped the slippage. However, on the night of April 1-2, 1853, the southern wall and part of the western wall collapsed. In 1889, the southern apse collapsed. Later the missing walls were replaced with wooden ones.
Picture 2 Photo by Wikiway.org
The peculiarity of the temple is the ceramic voice-vessels built into the vaults of the walls. Therefore, the church is very good acoustics. Tourists also note the inserts of large polished stones and multicolored tiles that decorate the facade and walls of the building.
The Church has been declared a historical and cultural reserve of Belarus and is one of the objects proposed by the Government of Belarus as candidates for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Grodno Old Castle
Among the Grodno attractions and best places to visit there are two castles - the Old Castle and the New Castle. They are located next door and connected by a bridge. The castle entrance bridge of the XVII century is the oldest bridge in Belarus.
For a long time the Old Castle was the residence of Lithuanian Grand Dukes and Polish Kings, and thus played an important role in the life of four modern peoples: Belarusian, Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian.
Picture 3 Photo by posmotrim.by
The architect Santi Gucci of Florence erected the old castle on the remains of an ancient Upper Castle for King Stefan Batory. From the decayed castle, buildings of the times of Grand Duke Vitovt used the lower part of the defensive walls, parts of the tower, as well as the foundation and walls of the prince's palace.
On the ground floor, the Old Castle had ten vaults, which housed a chancellery, an arsenal, a treasury and other services. The second floor was occupied by the royal chambers - front and residential.
Each of the floors had separate entrances; there was no internal connection between the floors. In the center of the main facade was the front staircase leading to the second floor of the royal chambers. The rest of the entrances were very modest.
In 1967, the Grodno Old Castle was declared a historical and archeological reserve "Zamkovaya Gora".
Grodno New Castle
The new castle in Grodno is a vivid example of Belarusian defense architecture.
In 1706, the Old Castle was destroyed during the Northern War in Grodno. Instead of wasting time and money to restore the dilapidated rooms of the Old Castle, it was decided to build a new palace called the New Castle.
In the past, the New Castle was a royal palace. The construction of the new royal palace was conceived by August II, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. The palace in Grodno was to become the royal residence and the venue of the general Seimas of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. However, the construction of the palace was carried out only under August III. Architects were able to unite the New and Old castles into one palace complex.
Picture 4 Photo by delaemvmeste.by
The main building of the Grodno castle formed a large courtyard. The building was proportionate and majestic, designed in the Rococo style.
The main entrance of the Grodno castle led to the large Guard Hall, decorated with frescoes. Nearby were the first reception of the king, the Senator's and Ambassador's halls. All of them were richly decorated. The royal apartments were located in the right wing of the palace, and in the left wing, there were rooms for courtiers, servants and guards.
St. Michael's Church
The history of St. Michael's Church is full of mysteries. The exact date of its construction did not work out. Most likely, the construction of the temple began at the end of the XIV century, and perhaps earlier. Then it was a massive building with a wall thickness of one and a half meters, surrounded by 4 combat towers.