Since 2017 residents of 74 countries have been able to visit Belarus without a visa when flying to Minsk airport or entering through Brest and Hrodna regions. While many foreigners choose to stay in the capital, Belarusian pearls are mainly scattered across the county. Here are the top-5 castles that are worth attention of a foreigner visiting Belarus.
Built in 1323, Lida Castle today attracts thousands of visitors. In summer the castle hosts knights’ tournaments and in winter the inner yard of the castle turns into a skating rink.
Lida Castle is located in the eponymous town of Lida, somewhere between Hrodna and Minsk. A 100,000 dwellers’ town also offers to visitors several historical churches to admire. As a bonus for those who travel to Lida, the town produces one of the best Belarusian beers — Lidskaye. Chocolate lovers can visit a unique craft-chocolate manufactory Prime Chocolate.
The castle, located 150 km from Minsk on the riverside of Neman, is a former residence of the Radzivil family. Once a defense facility with unique defense towers, the castle was forgotten by the state. Fortunately, in 2003 the Castle reconstruction was pushed by Ivan Antonovich Pechinskij and a group of volunteers who continue to gather money and help with restoration.
The Castle is located in a picturesque place called Lubcha. Besides the castle, tourists can enjoy swimming in a river or fishing. Jewish heritage is another reason to visit the small town. The synagogue, former heder (Jewish primary school). One can get to Lubcha by bus from Minsk or by car.
The fortification of the 16th century, the Mir Castle, is one of the most popular and well-known castles in Belarus. It is a UNESCO world heritage site located in the Hrodna region. It reopened in 2010 after the restoration works. Apart from visiting the castle, tourists can stay in the castle hotel and enjoy the views on the lake and park with ancient trees. Mir Castle is a place where many come to arrange a wedding celebration since the castle also provides wedding ceremony services.
The Radzivil family stayed in Nesvizh Castle until 1939. The Castle located in 120km from Minsk offers a glance at the combination of architectural styles. It reopened in 2012 after the restoration, and now it attracts many visitors. Its gardens and lakes are especially popular. Apart from the Castle, one can visit the Nesvizh monastery. One can get to Lubcha by car or through travel agencies.
Halshany Castle in the Hrodna region was built in the 14th century, offers a look at ruins of the castle that one day was a residence of the Sapieha family. The construction, similar to the Mir Castle but build from the red brick, was described by the Belarusian writer Uladzimir Karatkevich as the “Black Castle”. Mysterious and abandoned, Halshany became one of the most popular destinations for visitors of Belarus. The medieval festivals are often conducted in the surroundings of Halshany Castle. Getting to the castle is somewhat tricky until one rents a car. However, it is also possible to take a bus from Minsk with a change in Ashmiany.