Mir Castle is one of the primary places to visit in Belarus. This sample of Gothic architecture was built in the 16th century. The construction was initiated by Duke Yury Ilinich in 1520s and was supposed to become the residence of the noble Ilinich dynasty. However, the line of Kings faded and in 1568 the palace came into possession of Mikołaj Radziwiłł who finished construction in the Renaissance style.
The palace was surrounded by earth ramparts, bastions at the corners, and a moat. In the northern part there was a beautiful Italian-style garden while in the southern part there was an artificial pond. Its masonry resembles that of German churches. According to some legends, there were underground passages leading to the Nesvizh Castle.
During the Napoleonic Wars, the palace was seriously damaged. It had undergone reconstruction at the beginning of the 19th century and was later sold to Svyatopolk-Mirsky. His son continued reconstruction led by a renowned Polish architect Teodor Bursche. The castle’s last owner prince Mihail Svyatopolk-Mirsky mysteriously drowned in the moat.
In times of the Soviet Union, the palace served as a factory, and during the Second World War there was a ghetto and a war prisoner camp.
Mir Castle These Days
In 2000 the castle entered the UNESCO World Heritage list. It is built in the Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles and can be rightly called one of the most magnificent in Belarus. However, the palace is still undergoing renovation. The authorities are going to renovate the Italian Renaissance-style garden, pond, English-style park, and restore the Svyatopolk-Mirsky palace. The palace can host international conferences and features a hotel and a restaurant.
What to Do in Mir
If you plan a trip to the Mir village and the castle while on a tour in Belarus, don’t miss the opportunity to see the following places:
- Jewish memorial to war victims;
- Mir town square;
- Holy Trinity Church, which was burnt in the 19th century and then fully reconstructed;
- Saint Nicolas’ Church, built in 16th century in Renaissance style;
- Mir Posad;
- Svyatopolk-Mirsky cemetery.
In summer, Mir hosts various medieval tournaments, concerts, performances, festivals as well as crafts and culture days.
Would like to see the castle? Visit it as a part of our 5-day tour! You will get plenty of interesting excursions and see key Minsk and nearby regions attractions. Besides, you can add your own landmarks. Book your personal tour right now!