Halshany 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 grounds.
Location: Halshany, Hrodna Oblast Map
Constructed: 17th century
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 palace.
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.