Mir Castle in Grodno region is one of the most important tourist attractions in Belarus, an outstanding 16th-century fortification and a UNESCO World Heritage site
The Mir Castle complex (Mirsky zamok) is an outstanding example of 16th-century fortification art. It’s located in the town of Mir in the Grodno region of Belarus.
The construction of this Belarus’ Gothic style castle was started in the 1520s by Duke Ilinich.
In 1568 the castle came into the hands of Mikolay Radziwil, who completed it in Renaissance style.
A three-storey palace was built along the eastern and northern walls of the castle which had forty fretted rooms. Earth walls were built around the castle with bastions at the corners, surrounded by a water moat.
An Italian garden was laid to the north of the walls and an artificial lake was established to the south. The Radziwills owned the castle for several centuries.
During the Napoleonic wars the castle was severely damaged.
In 1891, the castle is bought by Nikolai Svyatopolk-Mirsky who started bringing order to his new property. His son continued his father’s work, led by renowned architect Teodor Bursze.
A subsidiary of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus was located in the castle in 1992.
In 2000 UNESCO designated Mir Castle a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site.
The successful blend of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture makes Mir Castle one of the most impressive castles in Europe.
Following intensive restoration works, Mir Castle was reopened to the public in December 2010.
Renovation works on the Mir Castle Complex, however, are still underway. The plans are to repair the Italian Renaissance Park, the English Park and the pond, to restore the Svyatopolk-Mirsky Castle. The restoration works on this historic landmark are to be completed by 2013.
Mir Castle is situated 90km south-west of Minsk.
It is easily accessible by road, just 15 minutes off the main Minsk to Brest M1 motorway.
By bus, Mir is on the Minsk-Novogrudok route. The journey takes around two hours.
It is easy to stay in a Minsk hotel and take a day trip to Mir. Or you can stay in one of the hotels in Novogrudok, about 40km from Mir.
At present Mir Castle can host conferences, receive guests and tourists. The castle boasts a conference hall, a hotel, a restaurant.
If you are visiting Mir Castle, other sights of interest include: