So, dear travelers, you saw the amazing sights of the original town of Novogrudok. Now we offer you to continue your journey and visit a small town Lubcha, just 26 km from Novogrudok. Historical reference of Lubcha you can find on Wikipedia, and we shall tell you more about the main attractions of the town, Lubcha Castle, which is also called the Kishki and Radzivill Castle.
Beginning of construction
Construction of Lubcha Castle was started in 16th century by Jan Gut, son of magnate Stanislav Gut, governor of Vitsebsk. He inherited a vast fortune after his father’s death, including the Township of Lubcha. The place for the construction of the Castle was chosen at a high picturesque Bank of the Neman River, fortified by boulders. Initially, all of the buildings of the Castle were made of wood, except for the entrance tower (Brama). Three sides of the Castle were surrounded by moats with water, and on the fourth by the waters of the Neman river. Today, instead of the drawbridge, there is a mound leading to the Castle. Still, deep ditches help you to imagine, how an inaccessible fortification could the Castle become in the case of enemy attack. The loopholes in the tower were located on all four sides, allowing its defenders to fire even when the enemy broke into the Castle.
Today, instead of the drawbridge, there is a mound leading to the Castle. Still, deep ditches help you to imagine, how an inaccessible fortification could the Castle become in the case of enemy attack. The loopholes in the tower were located on all four sides, allowing its defenders to fire even when the enemy broke into the Castle.
At the end of the 16th century, Jan Gut began to erect the second stone tower in the Castle. But at his life, only two floors were built.
At the beginning of the 17 century, the Castle came into the possession of Krzysztof Radziwill, who inherited it and continued construction. Then, after his father’s death, the castle was inherited by a talented commander, hetman, and governor of Vilnius Janusz Radziwill.
War on the Belarusian lands
The lands of modern Belarus are located in the heart of Europe. The inevitable price that had to be paid for this location since immemorial time was moving of armies through the territory of Belarus, which swept away everything in their path, destroying and burning palaces, castles, houses, entire cities. This plight didn’t pass Lubcha Castle as well. In the year 1655 Cossacks of the Hetman Ivan Zolotarenko attacked the Castle and destroyed it to the ground. The onslaught was so strong that even a powerful defensive building like Lubcha Castle couldn’t withstand it. After that, the Castle lost its importance both as a military fortification and as one of the residences of the Radziwills.
After the Cossacks attacked the Castle, it came into the possession of Boguslav Radziwill, the General of the Royal Guard, who partly rebuilt it by restoring the destroyed twin towers. In this state, the Castle safely lived to the year 1860 repeatedly changing owners. Then the Falz-Feins became the new owners of the Castle. Their ownership was scattered throughout the Russian Empire, and they decided to establish their country residence in Lubcha. The Whitestone Palace was built in the style of English gothic revival and the Pavilion for guests was built on the foundations of the ruined walls of the medieval Castle.
Desolation and revival of the Castle
After the revolution of 1917, the Castle came to desolation, the revival began fifty years ago when the museum of local lore was organized by the school occupying the building of the Palace. Buildings have survived the years of war, they were not damaged. At the first time, there was a Lubcha school in the Palace, then training and production factory.
The hosting purpose of the Guests Pavilion remained to the present day. Five families still live here, as evidenced by the satellite antennas on the old walls and occasionally appearing clothes in the yard hanging to dry (what can you do, everyday necessities don’t disappear even if you live in a castle). On the second floor of the Pavilion, there are volunteers restoring the Castle from time to time.
Volunteers of the Lubcha Castle
We would like to tell this story separately. In 2003 a not indifferent man, patriot, loving the history and traditions of his country, Ivan Antonovich Pechinskij founded the Lubcha Castle charitable fund. Priorbank, different organizations and ordinary citizens make donations for the fund. They help not only with money but also bring building materials, provide help with restoration and transportation, bring food for volunteers and other. Local residents, teachers, students of the Faculty of Architecture of the BNTU, and just not indifferent people take part in restoration works.
Lubcha Castle is the only Castle in the world being fully reconstructed by volunteers, the State does not take any part in it. If you have a desire to make your own contribution to the restoration of the unique buildings and be registered on the gratitude list of the Lubcha Castle Fund, read more about the project on the website http://lubcza.by/ (unfortunately, it is only in Russian and Belarusian for now).
Restoration Of the Lubcha Castle
The outside of the Tower, the Gate and the wall between them were gradually restored during thirteen years. Currently, restoration work continues, you can see the buildings only from the outside, they are closed, there are no museum exhibitions or reproduced interiors yet, these work yet to be done. But there is a positive moment in it, you can enter the territory of the Castle completely for free. And it’s worth it. In addition to exploring the restored towers, you can enjoy a magnificent view from a high Bank of the Neman River, the expanse and beauty of untouched nature.
We hope that we didn’t tire you by our narrative, and awakened a desire to visit Lubcha Castle, another Pearl of lovely blue-eyed Belarusian land. If you want to find out more about the region or other castles, check the following pages about Slonim and Novogrudok and the Castles of Belarus, many of which are situated not far from Lubcha. Have a great trip and unforgettable impressions!
Photos are taken from sites: