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One of the reasons to visit Lida is a possibility to dive into the medieval atmosphere in the very center of the town. Here you can see the ancient Lida castle that dominates contemporary buildings. Many centuries ago Grand Duke of Lithuania Gedymin ordered to erect this castle so as to defend the country against the invasion of the Teutonic Knights. Historically Lida developed around its castle. A junction of two small rivers Lideja and Kamienka became a place of the construction. This area used to be low and swampy, that’s why there was a need to create a stable artificial island of sand. The peasants were ordered to drag stones from the suburbs. It was a must for every guest of a town to bring at least one stone with them.
The miniature represents the castle in its modern state. There was a settlement consisted of wooden houses with a square in the middle of the castle. The castle had three gates and some secret underground passages. The walls were spotted in loopholes for archers. Each of two towers contained rooms and halls. A prison was in the tower’s basement, while the archive and court were located on the ground floor. The soldiers lived in barracks within the castle’s walls. The most fabulous event connected to the Lida castle was the wedding of the King Vladislav II Jahajla and a young princess Sofja Halshanskaja. Their wedding ceremony took place in Navahrudak in 1422. Going back to the capital a bride couple made a 20-days stop in the Lida castle for celebration.
Throughout the centuries the castle was attacked by the crusaders, Crimean Tatars, Swedish and Russian forces. In the beginning of the 18th century during the Northern War the castle wad destroyed by the Swedes twice. At this point the castle lost its strategic meaning. The last battle took place here in 1794, between the followers of Kasciushka’s uprising and the Russians. In the late 19th century a big fire happened in a town. As a result, the south-western tower and fragments of the western wall were used to get stone for reconstruction of damaged houses. In the beginning of the 20th century it was common to place a Christmas tree inside the castle and to create an ice-skating rink. In 1982 restoration works were launched. Nowadays a museum of medieval culture is created in a castle. Every summer the Lida Castle is a place of medieval celebrations that include an annual tournament.
Фото: Настя Quende; Дмитрий Газин
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