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Castle (Гольшанский замок)
Castle is yet another residence
constructed by the rich family of Sapieha in the 17th century. Today much
of Halshany Castle lies in ruins. But numerous legends and
claims of ghost sightings bring tourists here. Some even try to
look for supposed buried treasure in the citadel or on its
Halshany Castle is a ruined mansion that once was
owned by the Sapieha noble family. It is located in the Oshmyany
district of the Grodno region of Belarus. It has a square layout
with three tier hexagonal towers that is intended to mimic
medieval castles of Europe. Entry Gate to Halshany Castle was
located in the North- East part of the building. It stood in
front of the chapel, forming a single unit with the central
Sapieha family acquired these lands in the 16th
century as a dowry of the last princess of the Halshany family.
Halshany Castle was erected in the first half of the 17th
century on the outskirts of Halshany as an official residence of
the council member of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Paul Stefan
Sapiega. After he died, he left no official heirs. Additionally
he amassed such a debt that his residence and surrounding lands
were divided among the creditors. The structure of Halshany
Castle remained in place despite receiving some damage during
the Great Northern War.
In the middle of the 19th century parts of the
Halshany Castle were demolished and bricks were used to build a
nearby tavern. Chapel of the mansion was converted into a
warehouse. Nevertheless parts of Halshany Castle were inhabited
at the outbreak of the World War I (1914-18). After the end of
World War II Halshany Castle was abandoned and parts of the
structures were demolished.
Despite its red brick Halshany Castle is often
referred as the Black Castle. Some say Halshany Castle got its
name after a book of a famous Belorussian writer Uladzimir Karatkievich, The Black
Castle Olshansky (1979). While locals claim that this name stuck with
the residents after murders that occurred here in the past.
Local legend claim that Sapieha family that built the castle
also was responsible for murders of local peasant girls.
Apparently they were kidnapped from their homes, brought to
Halshany Castle, raped and later buried in the grounds or
between walls of the citadel. Although no remains of people were
found many tourists claim that they say an apparition of a young
woman that walks among ruins of the abandoned fortress.