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Kreva Castle (Крэўскі замак)

Kreva Castle is a medieval citadel situated in the Kreva village in Belarus. Today little remains from the former magnificent citadel that once served as a frontier fortress for the Lithuanian kingdom.

 

 

Location: Kreva village  Map

 

Constructed: 14th century

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History of Kreva Castle

The castle was built in the XIV century (there is reason to believe that construction began at the end of the XIII century) near the confluence of the Kravlyanka and Shlyakhtyanka rivers. The main part of the castle’s structures was located on a swampy float, half of the defensive walls were erected on an artificially expanded sand dune.

Krevsky castle was the witness and place of many historical events. Soon after construction, it was bombarded with stone cores (they were found during excavations near the western wall), a battle gallery was burned. In 1382, on the orders of Grand Duke ON, Jagiello was strangled by his uncle, Grand Duke Keistut, a candidate for the Grand Duke’s throne. In 1385, the conditions of the Krevsky Union of the 1385-union of the Grand Duchy of Poland and Poland under the rule of Grand Duke Jagiello were worked out in the castle. In 1433, the Grand Duke Svidrigailo seized the Krevsky castle, claiming the throne of the prince. In 1503-1506, the castle was repeatedly besieged and significantly damaged by the Perekop Tatars, but it was soon rebuilt. In 1519, during a deep raid on Belarus, Moscow governors captured Krevo. In the second half of the XVI century. in Krevsky castle lived a fugitive Russian prince Andrei Kurbsky. Gradually, the castle spent defensive significance.

Back in the XVIII century. Krevsky castle was in good condition. Later, its destruction began, which was completed by the First World War, when the front line passed through Krevo and positional battles were fought for more than 3 years. The castle turned out to be in the territory captured by the Germans, there were built storage facilities and observation posts. During the shelling, the Princely Tower and the walls in the southern part of the castle were especially badly damaged. Only castle ruins have survived to this day. The conservation of the remains of the castle walls was made in 1929 by Polish restorers. In 1970, the castle was investigated by an expedition led by M. A. Tkachev. In 1985, headed by A. Trusov and M. A. Tkachev. In 1988, under the guidance of and. M. Chernyavsky.

Preservation of the remains of the castle continued in 2004. Then, student volunteers canned the entrance to the Keistut Tower. Later, an emergency construction was installed on the castle wall to protect this part of the wall from the effects of rainfall. In 2005, the Krevsky Castle local charity foundation was created (www.kreuskizamak.by), whose main goal is to help preserve the Krevsky Castle. The Foundation annually holds camps and cultural events in Krevo and other settlements. The castle is a monument of architecture and history, a tourist attraction.

Current state
The castle is on the verge of destruction. Some locals and tourists allow themselves to take out ancient stones and bricks from the castle.

According to the resolution of the Council of Ministers dated June 3, 2016 No. 437, Krevsky Castle was included in the list of 27 objects, the cost of maintaining which (in terms of capital expenses) can be financed from the republican budget.

Architecture
The castle in plan is an irregular quadrangle surrounded by stone walls. The north wall is 85 m long, the east is 108.5 m, the south is 71.55 m, the west is 97.2 m. The wall thickness is 2.5-3 m, the height is about 12-13 m. The walls are forced from the gallery field stone, at a height of about 7 m from the surface of the wall along the outer perimeter, are trimmed with a belt of about 2 m of large bricks. The castle on the horns had 2 towers. The north, Princely Tower, almost square in plan (18.65 x 17 m), extends beyond the perimeter of the defensive walls. The tower had at least 4 floors and a basement-prison below, the transitions between them existed in the thickness of the walls. A small tower measuring 11 x 10.65 m was built diagonally from the Princely Tower from the inside to the walls of the walls. Walls up to a height of 3 m are made of stones, and above - of brick. The entrance gate was in the southeast wall. On the castle courtyard there was a forge, residential buildings, there was a pond.