Legends and greatness of the Mukachevo castle

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Castle cPalanok, the main historical attraction of Mukachevo, can be seen already a few kilometers from the city. The Foundation-pedestal for it is an extinct volcano with a height of 68 meters. Palanok has seen a lot of things during its existence, and now it is a photogenic masterpiece of fortification art of the middle Ages with almost a thousand years of history.

They say, Mukachevoand it got its name because of the castle: allegedly, the inhabitants of Transcarpathia” in pain ” poured a hill on which the fortress grew at the intersection of trade and military routes. The hill, of course, is not artificial, but of natural volcanic origin, but in the IX-XIII centuries, when the first wooden fortifications appeared here, the local people really experienced a lot of torment from nomads who came from the East. However, neither the Polovtsian Khan Kuteska, who in 1089 kept the wooden fortress under siege for 50 days, nor Batu Khan, whose sixty-thousand-strong Horde twice broke its teeth on Palanok in 1241, managed to conquer the Mukachevo castle. When in the XIII century, instead of the oak palisade-Palanka (which, by the way, gave the castle its name), stone walls grew, the inhabitants were charged with the duty to cut down every tree or Bush on the hill, so that the enemy could not approach the fortress by surprise.

Замки, Мукачівський замок, Паланок
Mukachevsky castle

In 1396 Mukachevo fell to the Prince of Podolsk Fedor Koryatovich. The new owner rebuilt the castle, moated it and turned it into his residence. And under the old tower, the Prince ordered a well to be hollowed out in the rock. We had to dig 85 meters to reach the water! This event over time has become overgrown with mythical details. They say that the unclean helped Koryatovich in the construction of the well for the promised bag of the Prince gold. When it came time to pay, the Prince gave the devil a small bag: they say, and we did not agree on the size! The evil devil jumped into the well and still sometimes makes noise there, is indignant… And they say that a huge secret passage leads from the well to the Latoritsa river. According to legend, once a duck with colored feathers was thrown into the well to check the existence of a secret passage. After some time, the duck swam out alive and unharmed in the Latorica river a few kilometers from the castle.

A bronze statue of the legendary owner now stands in the castle courtyard. People believe that it can grant wishes: you only need to hold the finger of the Prince polished by thousands of hands.

Already in the reign of Fyodor koryatovich Palanok was impenetrable: walls five meters thick, a large permanent garrison, 164 guns, 60 barrels of gunpowder, food supplies in case of a long siege. And in the time of the Transylvanian princesRakoczy the castle became almost the most fortified fortress in Central Europe. At that time, the castle was surrounded by as many as eight lines of defense.

Most famous Palanok in the world are two women-Sofia Bathory andIlona Zrini – mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, who ruled the castle, were at war with each other.

Ilona went down in history as brave branitelja strengthening. Incredibly, for three years, from 1685 to 1688, the frail mistress of the castle, Ilona Zrini, was a widow Ferenc I Rakoczy, fought with the huge army of the Austrian Emperor Leopold I, who took the fortress under siege. Turkish Sultan Mahmet IV, impressed by her courage, awarded the Princess a special certificate for courage. This is the only time in history when this award was awarded to a woman! Now the wise Princess is with her son Ferenc II rakotsi they look at the city again from the Central Bastion: in 2006, their sculptures were installed here.

Sofia Bathory brought the castle a mystical, terrible fame. A woman could not live without human blood and not only killed for it, but also took blood baths, sacrificing 13-year-old virgins. She believed that this way she could become immortal and forever young.

Maybe this is a big exaggeration, and no one disputes that Sofia was extremely cruel. It is said that in the dungeons of the Mukachevo castle at that time there were special rooms for torture, the walls of which were polished with human bodies.

Palanok was for some time a stronghold of the anti-Habsburg struggle of smokers (the so-called rebels against the Empire Habsburg’s, which was headed by Zrini’s son Ferenc II Rakoczy), and the capital of Transylvania (1705 K). in those days, it even had its own mint. For a long time (1782-1897), an Austrian political prison was located in Mukachevo castle. From December 1805 to March 1806 in the walls of the castle hid from Napoleonic this is the most important treasure of Hungary – the Hungarian Holy Crown. In Soviet times, the castle was a school for machine operators, a school for collective farm managers, and even a vocational school. From 1960 to the present day there is a historical Museum the museum, and in the former barracks of the garrison are located gallery, art gallery and a cozy café. Be sure to get acquainted with all three terraces – parts of the fortress: the lower, middle and upper castles.

Мукачівський замок (Паланок)
Mukachevsky castle (Palanok)

Palanok castle is located on Castle street. From the center of Mukachevo to the castle goes minibus number 3. On weekends, the castle is crowded with tourists, so it is better to come here early in the morning, when there are not so many people. From the bastions at this time offers an unforgettable panorama of the city, which is waking up.

Вид на город Мукачево
View of the city of Mukachevo from the Palanok castle

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