Mir Castle

Mir or Mirsky Castle Complex is a medieval castle located in a Karelichy District, Hrodna voblast (region) of Belarus. It is one of the largest and best preserved citadels in the country.



Location: Karelichy District, Hrodna voblast Map

Constructed: 14th century


History of Mir Castle

In Belarusian historiography, it was widely believed that Mir Castle was first mentioned in the so-called "Chronicle of Lindenblatt" in 1395 in connection with the attack of the Teutonic order troops, who, supporting svidrigailo in his feud against Vytautas, invaded Novogrudchina, reached Peace and destroyed the settlement. However, in 2014, the Belarusian historian Oleg Litskevich found that the date of the World's mention in 1395 was erroneous, since there is no mention of the settlement in the source. The city in the source, under the name of which historians meant "Mir", is the Lithuanian city of Alytus. Historians had to set a new date for the first mention of Mir Castle. This date was may 28, 1434, When the Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund Keistutovich presented the Palace of Mir and the surrounding lands to his colleague, the Vilna castellan Senka Gedygoldovich. And although the Charter mentions only one curia (court) of a certain Demid, archaeological materials of the beginning of the XV century. they are found not only on the territory of the modern town of Mir, but also on the other side of the Miranka river, exactly at the place where Mir castle now stands. Dosukoi revealed the remains of buildings indicate that they were fairly wealthy for their time. So, in the cultural layer of the castle yard, the remains of a furnace made of pot tiles were found.

Senka, dying childless, wrote off the worldly possessions to his named daughter Anna Butrimovna. But Anna never married and died young. In 1476, she transferred the property to her own aunt — Senka's wife Milokhna Kezgaylovna, and Milokhna, in turn, in 1490, wrote off her possessions to her relative Yuri Ilyinich, a young but very talented pan.

Yuri was the son of Ivashka Ilinich, a Viciebsk and Smolensk headman. For the first time Ilyinich appears in the World only in 1495, the worldly possessions were the object of disputes with Marshal dvorny Litovor Khreptovich, the next year a court is held in Grodno in favor of Khreptovich. Legal disputes continued after the military campaign in 1497 in Moldova, but this time Ilinich was not able to get the "Worldly catches". The Grodno region has achieved the rights to Mersino only 27 years after the death of powerful neighbour-the competitor. In 1522, holding the position of Lithuanian Marshal and Brest headman and using the ignorance of the heirs of the court, and perhaps even bribing witnesses, Ilyinich finally gets the rights to Mir castle and these lands through the court.

The mystery of building a castle
Now it is difficult to determine what motives the magnate was guided by when making the decision to create a fortified residence. Almost all researchers of the history of Mir castle constantly raise the question of what made not the richest and not the most influential Lieutenant of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania take up large-scale construction. It is also intriguing that Ilyinich started a grandiose construction on the slope of his life. In addition, until the XVI century, private stone castles were not built in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at all, and even very well-to-do lords usually made do with wooden fortified courtyards.