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  • / History of Lida Castle

    History of Lida Castle

    The Lida Castle is the only castel castle in Belarus. It was erected in 1323 at the confluence of the Lidae and Kamenka rivers by the Grand Duke of Lithuania – Gedimin.

    According to literary sources, for seven incomplete centuries the Lida Castle played a significant role in history. In 1387, the Polish king and the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Jagiello, took the oath of allegiance from his brother Skirgaila, the Polotsk prince, in 1422 the castle celebrated the marriage of King Jagiello with 17-year-old Sophia Golshanska, in July 1506, in the castle walls, signed the testament mortally sick king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.

    In the XIV century. The walls of the Lida Castle repeatedly withstood the onslaught of the Crusaders. For the first time under the castle walls, they appeared in 1392, when the bogs around the fortress bound the ice.

    During the reign of the King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Jan Kazimierz, Lida obtained the Magdeburg right. The castle belonged to the state and was guarded by the local gentry. Here were warehouses of weapons, garrison.

    In the middle of the XVII – beginning of the XVIII century. the peaceful life of the city of Lida was interrupted by the war. In the summer of 1659, the castle was surrounded on all sides by a 30,000-strong army of the tsar’s voivode Ivan Khovansky.

    A strong blow to the castle was inflicted by the Swedes, who at the beginning of the XVIII century. blew up both towers, and the strengthening lost its strategic importance. Its walls were gradually destroyed. However, in the surviving premises, city acts were kept and courts passed. Almost conclusively, the castle collapsed in the summer of 1794: rebels Tadeusz Kosciuszko fought in the ruins with the tsarist troops.

    After the fire of 1891, without any discussion, they began to break the castle walls and to let brick and stones for sale. Rumors about the analysis of the castle reached the Imperial Archaeological Commission. Petr Petrovich Pokryshkin, commission officer, was sent to Lida. After his report, the Commission forbade touching the walls of the castle.

    In the early twentieth century. some strengthening work was carried out.

    A Construction Commission was established to repair the Lida Castle. During the time from 1909 to 1911gg. The western, northern and eastern walls were brought into proper condition, as for the southern wall, then, as least required to be repaired, it was left without it.

    In the 1920s when Western Belarus became part of Poland under the Riga Treaty, in Lida Castle, restoration works were carried out by Polish restorers under the guidance of the young architect Tadeusz Bursche. The western and southern walls were connected by a stone fence, partially restored the damaged southeast corner and laid the side entrances. On the site of the damaged north-western corner, a wooden gate appeared. In the summer, a stray circus or a menagerie stayed here, and in the winter in the middle of the yard a Christmas tree was set and the ice rink was poured.

    January 22, 1940 Lida Castle was awarded the status of a monument of architecture. In July 1941, on the territory of the castle was a camp of prisoners of war of the 56th Moscow Military Division. In 1967, Lida Castle was transferred under supervision of the local authorities to the construction trust No. 19 in 1975. In 1975, the Lida Castle as an architectural monument of the 14th century, which needed restoration number 129 / 75. In 1976, the Special Scientific and Restoration Production Workshops The Ministry of Culture of the BSSR received an order for conservation, and soon the complete restoration of the Lida Castle.

    Restoration work began in 1978, it was assumed that complete restoration will be completed in 1985. By 1980, the northern, eastern and partly southern walls were completed and the northeast tower was nearing completion. Unfortunately, the restoration work was not completed and stopped due to a lack of funding in the mid-1990s.

    In 2001, at the republican level, it was decided to develop a project for conducting emergency shutdown operations in the castle.

    The project was prepared in 2003, but funds for its implementation were not found.

    In 2004, the Ministry of Culture recommended that the Hrodna Regional Executive Committee dismantle the emergency areas of the western wall and the unfinished south-western tower. Consider the further use of the north-eastern tower.

    On April 23, 2005 the republican subbotnik was held.

    The beginning of a new stage of the restoration of the Lida Castle dates back to 2006, when the Minskproject Management Company started design work. Architectural measurements of the castle were made. The purpose of the restoration was to restore the castle to the castle, which it could have in the 14th century.

    In January 2010 it became known that in September in Lida there will be “Dozhinki-2010”. The pace of work accelerated preparations for the future “Dozhinki”. During the spring and summer of 2010, the walls and south-western tower were completed, a wooden gallery with new cantilevered beams and a beam covered with tiles, connected the towers, the courtyard was covered with sand and gravel.

    The final date of the end of the restoration is 2019.