Belarusian lands lie on the crossroads of Europe. The strive of Vikings and later Scandinavians South, the attacks of Tartars from South, The Teutonic and later German invasions from West, the continuous onslaught of Muscovy and later Russian Empire from East - all these factors have shaped a system of fortifications across Belarusian lands. These pages look back into the military history of Belarus. One should know a complicated history of Belarusian statehood to understand the factors that were involved in shaping Belarusian castles and knighthood. Initially a number of smaller principalities it was later unighted by invited Lithuanian duke into a Slavic Principality with center in Navahrudak, that later grew into an enormous multi-cultural state - The Grand Duche of Lithuania - which spanned from Baltic to Black Sea. While some of this expansion was voluntary other growth was done through military invasions and battles. And so Belarusian military knowledge was acquired through constant clashes with and assimilations of these very different cultures. The colorful map below shows the modern territory of Belarus with the monuments if Belarusian architecture, including castles, that survived 12 stormy ages of Belasian history.

     Castles_map_small.jpg (111606 bytes)

    1. Kreva.
    2. Hal'shany
    3. Navahradak - here the Grand Duche of Lithuania was born in 1240.
    4. Lida
    5. Muravanka
    6. Synkavichy
    7. Kamianets Tower
    8. Biarescie(Brest)
    9. Kosava
    10. Mir Castle
    11. Niasvizh
    12. Smalyany
    13. Zaslaue
    14. Ruzhany

Other Relevant  to Belarusian Castles Links

Belarus Castles, Palaces and historical Manors database of Belarusian State Archive.

Belarusian Castles in the drawings of J. Drzadovich
Jazep Drazdovich (1888- 1954) is a remarkable figure in Belarusian culture of the first half of the 20th century. A talented painter and graphic, remarkable master of the plastic, decorative and applied arts, writer, poet, teacher, ethnographer, archeologist, and folklorist - he was able to show himself in the every of the named field.

Belarus on 4 feet - nice site with informal info written by few students from Minsk visiting different historical locations in Belarus, snapping some pictures and bringing some hyper-realistic stories from their trips. I think they have most of the stuff in English (hidden somewhere though).

Clickable Historical Map of Belarus

Travel Guide to Belarus

Back to Belarusian Castles and Knighthood page

The Belarusian Castles page is a part of the Virtual Guide to Belarus - a collaborative project of Belarusian scientists abroad. VG brings you the most extensive compillation of the information about Belarus on the Web.
Please send your comments to the authors of VG to Belarus

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