The Castle of Halych

The prominent historian, one of the researchers of ancient Halych A. Petrushevych considered, that there on the Castle Hill in Halych an annalistic hail stood with the palace of prince of Volodymyrko and the court of the church of the Saviour. The opening of the foundations of the Assumption cathedral in Krylos in 1937 cleared up the thing researchers proved, that in the place of modern Halych there was an auction pier in princely times, and on the Castle Hill in Halych there was the fortification building of defensive value. We know presently, that it was one of the oldest and the strongest fortification of Halychyna.

The Castle in Halych was built in the middle of the XIV-th century. However it was known as the fixed citadel in 1114. Archaeologists consider that at the first this was a wooden building which later became the strong Castle of Halych princes (XII-XIV-th centuries). The Polish historian E. Geleniush in his work “Talks about Polish Crown” tells: “Halych above the Dnister has an ancient Castle, about the beginnings of which tell neither chronologists nor traditions”. It was the capital and the only one Castle above the Dnister reminded about of the city. Who and when destroyed a princely wooden Castle is unknown. We know the renewal of Castle, as a defensive outpost of Halych, began in the middle of XIV-th century. After that Halychyna and Western Volin' stepped back to Poland. One historical fact says that Kazymyr the Great built a wooden castle. Other assert that a stronghold was built by the lord Lyubart in 1350-1352. In any way, it is known that Halych Castle was being built almost the whole century and from the end of the XIV-th century to the XV-th century it was one of the biggest in Halychyna. There were more over thousand persons there. The Castle of Halych had a few tens of small cannons, and many shooting-guns.

In 1490 a peasant army stormed Halych Castle under the leadership of Mukha. In 1620, 1621 Tatars tried to get it. During the liberation of the war-time the Ukrainian people (1648–1654) a stronghold was held in a siege by the army of Semen Vysochan, and in summer in 1649 troops of Bogdan Khmel'nytsky got the fortress.

The rebuilding of the of the Castle was conducted in the XVI-th century by the lord of Andrey Pototskiy, who gave 42 thousands of zloty to restore it. In the Decision of the seym in 1658 it is marked, that Andrey Pototskiy restored it on his own mean: “from the land he built the new walls and led around them the rows and redoubts by an outlandish method”. The plan of the reconstruction was developed by the Italian engineer Fransua Korrazini. Then reconstructed Castle had a three-cornered form, engulfed the territory of 1,7 hectares had two terraces, three stone towers in the corners, nine barns, and archive of the landowners’ acts, office and the, apartment of court. In the Castle there was the temple of Saint Katherin.

The next blow was tested by Halych Castle in the Turkish-Polish war-time in 1676 The troops of Ibragim Pasha of Shaitan fought the stronghold. Soldiers who ware managed by the commandant Lakhovskiy, almost without the fight gave the Castle which turks robbed and landed part of walls of defensives and towers in air. The Castle was rebuilt afterwards, but for the alteration of the new city-fortress of Stanislav, the Halych Castle gradually lost the defensive value and emptied. Pursuant to the order of the governor in 1767 the part of the walls of defensive ware taken apart, and material was used for the building of the city pier. Ruins which remained from an ancient fortress were above Halych up to the end of the XX-th century.

Presently Halych Castle is guarded by the state. Pursuant to the General law of the development of the National preserve on 2001-2015 here works the restorations brigade “Davniy Halych”. In the project of the restoration of this national sight it is foreseen to pick up the thread walls of survivors, the tower and the temple of St. Katherin, to reproduce a defensive wall between the tower and the temple.


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