Come back

1 min

20 Feb. 2024

2591

Medzhybizh Castle: interesting facts about the fortress, which is more than 800 years old

Culture
Popular
Travel
Ukraine

Share:

Medzhybizh Castle: interesting facts about the fortress, which is more than 800 years old

The most valuable defense structure in Ukraine is Medzhybizh Castle. It has the ruins of a late Gothic church, memorial columns, a 17th-century fortified rotunda chapel, and the tomb of Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism. Learn more about the history, present and interesting facts

The largest tour bank in Ukraine. Choose a trip for every taste
The largest tour bank in Ukraine. Choose a trip for every taste
BUY


The Medzhybizh Castle is a defensive fortification built in the 13th century to protect local residents from the Mongol-Tatar invasion. The name of the castle comes from the name of the settlement that was located on the site. It is here that the Bug River meets its tributary Buzhok. 


Today, Medzhybizh Castle is located 25 km from the regional center. You can get to the fortress from the city of Khmelnytskyi by public transport or taxi. The most convenient way to get from Lviv to Khmelnytskyi is by train. The Lviv-Khmelnytskyi train runs daily. The travel time is approximately 3 to 5 hours. 


In this article, we have told you 7 interesting facts about Medzhybizh Castle. After learning them, you will definitely want to see the fortress with your own eyes. 


Interesting fact №1

Medzhybizh Castle was an impregnable fortress. It was built on a high promontory formed by the Southern Bug and Buzhok rivers. The approaches to the castle were surrounded by water on three sides. The area around the castle was swampy. This made it difficult for enemy troops to assault and move. The castle had powerful towers that were used for shelling. Bastions made the defense more effective. To make the walls strong, they were built of stone and brick. The outer walls of the fortress were 4 meters thick. This made the castle resistant to cannon fire.


The legacy of history. Read about Ukrainian castles that have turned into ruins here. 


Interesting fact №2 


Despite its impregnability, Medzhybizh Castle was destroyed twice. In 1672, the Turkish army under the command of Sultan Mehmed IV besieged the fortress for 15 days. Then the Turks destroyed part of the walls and towers. During World War II, Medzhybizh Castle was occupied by German troops. The Germans used it as an ammunition depot. When they had to retreat in 1944, they blew up the castle. The explosion destroyed most of the castle walls, towers, and buildings.


Interesting fact №3


In the nineteenth century, Medzhybizh Castle was called the White Swan. The wife of Nicholas I and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna ordered the walls of the fortress to be plastered with lime mortar to make the building whiter. At this time, pseudo-Gothic towers and battlements were built to emphasize the castle's majesty and give it a romantic look. The interior was also renovated: the walls and ceiling of the halls were decorated with stucco and paintings; new furniture was purchased. Today, the name "White Swan" is used in tourist advertising and souvenirs. It not only describes the appearance of the castle, but also symbolizes its purity, grandeur, and nobility.


Interesting fact №4


Archaeological excavations are being conducted on the territory of Medzhybizh Castle to help restore the historical appearance of the castle and its surroundings, as well as to learn how the people of Medzhybizh lived at different times. The first archaeological research on the territory of the fortress took place in the XIX century. Back then, archaeologists found weapons, dishes, coins, and jewelry used by the townspeople. Since the 1960s, excavations have been carried out regularly. Some of the found artifacts are exhibited in the castle museum.




Interesting fact №5 

 

In May 1846, Taras Shevchenko visited Medzhybizh Castle. Here he met with the owner of the castle, Count Stanisław Potocki, who allowed the poet to explore the building and its surroundings. Shevchenko shared his impressions of the castle in the poem "Black Clouds Covered the Castle". He described it as "magnificent," "beautiful," and "impregnable." 


Interesting fact №6


On the territory of the Medzhybizh Castle is the grave of the founder of Hasidism, Israel Baal Shem Tov, who died in 1760. Rabbi Israel Ba'al Shem Tov is one of the most prominent Jewish spiritual leaders, so in May of each year, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, thousands of Jewish pilgrims come to the Medzhybizh Castle. Here they pray, read the Torah, and ask for help.


Interesting fact №7


There are dozens of legends about Medzhybizh Castle. According to one of them, there is a secret underground passage under the castle that leads to the neighboring city of Ostroh. Another legend tells of a white lady who appears in the castle at night. She is believed to be the ghost of the wife of one of the building's owners, who died a tragic death. Another legend tells of a black monk who wanders the castle at night. He is believed to be the spirit of a monk who was murdered in the castle. There are also stories about secret treasures hidden in the fortress. 




Visit Ukraine on social media: Telegram | YouTube | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | TikTok




Medzhybizh Castle today


On the territory of Medzhybizh Castle there are a historical museum and a Holodomor museum. The exposition of the historical museum is located in the restored Potocki Palace. It consists of 12 rooms, each of which tells about different periods of Medzhybizh's history. The museum's exhibits include a collection of ancient weapons found during archaeological excavations, portraits of the castle's owners, old books and maps. The Holodomor Museum was opened in 2008. Its exhibits tell the story of the tragedy that took the lives of millions of Ukrainians. Here you can see photographs of people who died of starvation, their personal belongings, documents, and letters. The museum also organizes memory lessons and other events to preserve the memory of the Holodomor victims. 


Medzhybizh Castle has become a venue for historical reenactments and knightly tournaments. These events provide an opportunity to recreate the atmosphere of the past. Their participants dress in costumes from different eras, demonstrate ancient weapons and armor, and hone their fencing or archery skills. The castle also hosts both classical and contemporary music performances.

We remind you! There are hundreds of small but unique towns in Ukraine that amaze with their unspoilt beauty. We tell you about the places that are a real treasure for travellers who want to discover new pages of history, local culture and plunge into the cosy atmosphere of ancient times here.



Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




We recommend purchasing it for a safe and comfortable trip to Ukraine: 


Visit Ukraine Insurance – safe travel in Ukraine (insurance covering military risks);

Visit Ukraine Legal advice – comprehensive legal support on entry to Ukraine;
Visit Ukraine Tickets – bus and train tickets to/from Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Tours – the largest online database of tours to Ukraine for every taste;

Visit Ukraine Hotels – hotels for a comfortable stay in Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Merch – patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.




© 2018-2023, Visit Ukraine. Use, copying or reprinting of materials on this site is permitted only with a link (hyperlink for online publications) to Visit Ukraine.

All rights reserved.

Recommended articles

2 min

Travel Tourism in Europe has almost reached pre-pandemic levels: how many foreign tourists traveled to the region?

Tourism in Europe has almost reached pre-pandemic levels: how many foreign tourists traveled to the region?

In the last quarter of 2023, the flow of foreign tourists to Europe was only 1.6% lower than in 2019. Find out more about visitation statistics and what experts predict for 2024

19 Feb. 2024

More details

2 min

Travel Where to go in March: top best holiday offers in Ukraine

Where to go in March: top best holiday offers in Ukraine

Spring is an ideal period for holidays and travelling. In March, nature begins to awaken and the first rays of sunshine bring renewal and energy. Find out which tours are particularly attractive for spring trips

19 Feb. 2024

More details

3 min

Transport Blockade of buses, trucks and trains by Poles and Ukraine's response: what is known about the protests at the border?

Blockade of buses, trucks and trains by Poles and Ukraine's response: what is known about the protests at the border?

Polish protesters have begun blocking not only trucks but also passenger transport. Find out what is happening at the border, what response to the blockade Ukraine is preparing, and what Ukrainian entrepreneurs think about the protests

20 Feb. 2024

More details

2 min

For foreigners in UA Is there a ban on travel to Ukraine for foreigners in 2024?

Is there a ban on travel to Ukraine for foreigners in 2024?

Foreign tourists can travel to Ukraine. However, due to the martial law, citizens of other countries need to prepare a package of documents and comply with migration laws. Learn more about the current rules of entry to Ukraine for foreigners in 2024 and prohibitions

20 Feb. 2024

More details