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| Home | Travel | Things to do | Krevo Castle ruins

Ruins of Krevo Castle

Thanks to many legends, from secret tunnels to trapped princesses, the ruins of Krevo Castle are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Belarus.

History of Krevo Castle

The Krevo Castle ruins can be found near the town of Smorgon in Grodno Oblast of Belarus.

Built in the early 14th century, Krevo Castle is one of the oldest castles in Belarus. There are grounds to believe that its construction began at the end of the 13th century. It is Belarus’ first all-stone castle. The stone walls were 2.5m thick and 13m high. The castle had two towers which guarded the rest of the castle. They were located diagonally. The small tower performed purely defensive functions. The big tower, or Princely Tower - protruded beyond the walls and reached a height of about 20 meters. Two floors housed living quarters, the third floor performed purely defensive functions, the basement was a dungeon.

Krevo Castle witnessed several important historical events:

  • Grand Duke Keistut was murdered in the castle in 1382, while his son Vitaut managed to escape;
  • famous Krevo Union (between Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) was signed here in 1385.

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 I. The castle was occupied by German troops who used it as a defensive structure. To drive out the enemy, the Russian army brought about 800 guns, including naval artillery, to the walls of the castle. The shelling badly damaged the Princely Tower and the walls of the citadel.

The ruins of the castle underwent conservation in 1929.

Krevo Castle Ruins Today

Today only ruins of the castle remain. The walls can still be seen along the perimeter, but only a few fragments of the towers are still intact. The castle’s foundation is four meters deep!

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.

The top of nearby Yuryeva Mountain offers a magnificent view of the ruins.

There is a pagan temple on Yuryeva Mountain and one out of four amulet boulders which used to lie at the entrance of Krevo to protect the town against trouble and disease, still remains.

Works to restore Krevo Castle have been underway since 2017. The project is meant to restore four castle walls, galleries, and towers and conserve them from precipitation. In 2021 the works to conserve the north-eastern wall were finished. The part adjoining the Princely Tower has been restored and the gate has been installed. This made it possible to reopen this unique historical site for tourists.
At weekends the castle hosts excursions, workshops and photo zones.

How to get to the Krevo Castle ruins and where to stay

The Krevo Castle ruins are 70km north west of Minsk and very easy to reach by Minsk – Vilnius motorway.

You can also reach it by taking Molodechno-Vilnius train going through the town of Smorgon.

It is best to stay in a hotel in Minsk and take a day-trip to Krevo.


Tourist attractions in Belarus near the Krevo Castle ruins

If you decide to visit the Krevo Castle ruins we recommend you also see:

Great Patriotic War monuments in Belarus