The many colourful stories surrounding Krevo Castle ruins, from secret tunnels to trapped princesses, make it one of the most popular tourist attraction in Belarus
The Krevo Castle ruins are situated near the town of Smorgon in the Grodno region of Belarus
Krevo Castle is one of the oldest Belarus castles and dates from the early 14th century. It is an important place in Belarus because it was the first all-stone castle to be built in the region. The stone walls were 2.5m thick and 13m high. The castle had two towers which guarded the rest of the fortress.
Grand Duke Keistut was murdered in the castle in 1381, and in 1385 the famous Krevo Union (between Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) was signed here.
During the 16th century the Tatars and the Russians tried to capture the castle but it remained intact.
By the early 19th century the castle was abandoned and the buildings were mostly destroyed during World War 1.
Today only the ruins of the castle remain. The perimeter walls can still be seen, but only a few fragments of the towers are still intact.
There is a magnificent view of the ruins from the top of nearby Yuryeva Mountain.
Many legends surround the Krevo Castle ruins, including tales of an underground tunnel from the castle to Vilnius, and a beautiful princess who was bricked up alive in the castle walls.
There is a pagan temple on Yuryeva Mountain and 1 of 4 amulet boulders, which used to lie at the entrance of Krevo to protect the town against trouble and disease, still remains.
Krevo Castle ruins are 70km north west of Minsk and very easy to reach by road, lying just 1km off the main Minsk – Vilnius motorway.
There is also a railway station in nearby Smorgon.
It is best to stay in a Minsk hotel and take a day-trip to Krevo, especially if you have a car.
If you are visiting the Krevo Castle ruins and want to explore the local region, it is also worth seeing: