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Vynogradiv Kankiv Castle

If you climb the path to the remains of the Kankiv Castle, you will see an incredible panorama Vynogradiv. The mighty lonely Chorna Hora remains behind, and the walls of the ancient castle are visible in front. Nowadays, it is difficult to find out where certain parts of the fortress used to be. Almost nothing remains of the castle walls, nor of the five corner towers.

Виноградівський замок Канків

Photos and videos of Vynogradiv’s Kankiv Castle

Brief overview

🗺 Location N48°08′27″ E23°03′00″
🏰 First mention year 903
🧱 Material Stones
🏛 Status Ruins
🧭 Distance from the center of Vynogradiv Near
🚙 Road for Car, on foot
🏕 Stop with a tent No
🏡 Housing nearby Vynogradiv
☕ Cafes and shops Vynogradiv

Detailed description of the Kankiv Castle in Vynogradiv

Not far from the castle core, if you move a little to the northeast, you can see the ruins of the castle’s one-nave church. The remains of a small chapel built in the 14th century are better preserved than other parts of the castle complex. Until recently, the chapel was covered with a tin roof, and the remains of ancient paintings could be seen on its walls. Nowadays, the chapel is in an extremely dilapidated state, as are the rest of the ruins of Kankiv.

The Kankiv fortress was first mentioned in the Hungarian chronicle The Acts of the Hungarians. This historical source claims that in the IX century there was a Slavic settlement on the site of the fortress, and two hundred years later the Hungarians built a fortification in its place to protect the border of the kingdom and the trade “salt route”.

Even when the castle was wooden, it was destroyed by the invasion of Batu Khan in 1240. It was the centre of the Ugocsa zhupa, which was the smallest in the Kingdom of Hungary.

During the reign of the Hungarian king Benedek Borssza in the XIV century, Kankiv was transformed from wooden to stone. During the feuds and struggle for the throne, King Charles Robert stormed Kankiv and completely destroyed it. Another monarch (Zhygmond I) rebuilt the fortress, and in 1399 gave it to the feudal lord Petro Pereni as a reward for his active and heroic participation in the battle against the Turks in 1396. In the 15th century, Baron Pereni transferred Kankiv to Franciscan monks, who turned it into a monastery. However, already in 1557, the baron’s descendant converted to Protestantism and expelled Catholic monks and priests from his lands. The monks who resisted were brutally murdered. According to legend, before these bloody events, the monks imprisoned Baron Pereni’s daughter in the dungeons of the fortress. The beautiful woman went mad and died of grief, which led to the baron’s cruel revenge.

A detachment of Austrian royal troops led by General Tekelesi opposed Pereni, who captured and destroyed the castle in 1566. The castle was never restored.

Legends of Vynogradiv Castle

According to legend, the name of the Kankiv Castle comes from the name of the legendary owner of the castle, the robber Kanko, who reigned here during the times of strife that began after the end of the Arpadovich dynasty of Hungarian kings. According to another version, the monks in the castle wore outerwear made of sheep’s wool, which they called “kanko”.

Another legend of Kankov tells that in the basement of the castle, in a coffin suspended on golden chains, the Hungarian saint Giovanni Capistrana, who was Italian by birth and belonged to the Franciscan order, is buried. He became famous for his passionate sermons against the main enemies of Europe at that time – the Ottomans. The remains of the castle well are still called the well of St John Capistrano.

It is said that an underground passage led from the castle to the city. Indeed, a 12-metre-long part of this passage was recently discovered.

The fortress’s sleep is sometimes disturbed by filmmakers. Such a famous feature film as “Camp Goes to Heaven” was filmed here.

Chronology of events

  • 14th – 12th centuries BC – during this time, the castle hill was first inhabited by representatives of the Stanovo culture, who left behind a huge cultural trace, it was discovered during excavations in 2007. It is interesting that this stage is not mentioned in the historical literature of that time.
  • 9th century – Hungarian tribes settled, mentions were preserved in the chronicle Gesta Hungarum that chief Arpad and his army seized the lands between the Tisza and Bogrod to Ugocha (Vynogradiv) and a defensive structure was built on the hill.
  • 11th century – in order to protect the borders of the kingdom from raids by nomads, Hungarians build outposts at key points, one of which was the Ugochan Fortification.
  • 12th-13th centuries – the first wooden and earth defense structures were formed on the castle hill.
  • End of the 13th and beginning of the 14th century – the castle is an important strategic object on the “salt road” that ran along the Tisza valley. Rock salt was mined in Solotvino and transported to Hungary, several more fortifications were built along the road. It was assumed that the first stone defensive fortifications were built during this period, which was confirmed during excavations in 2007. The remains of a defensive tower with walls 3.5 m thick were found 30 meters north of the castle.
  • 1307-1308 – the owner of the castle, King Karl Robert, thoroughly engaged in strengthening the fortress.
  • 1312 – A coalition of feudal lords defeated the king’s troops and it is likely that the castle was completely destroyed at that time.
  • 14th century – in this period a chapel was built 30 meters north of the fortification. The base for it was the lower tier of the old defense tower.
  • Beginning of the 15th century – the castle ceased to have strategic importance, for this reason Peter Pereni handed the fortress over to the Franciscan monarchs, who turned the castle into a monastery.
  • 1544 is the period of reformation. Ferenc Pereni becomes a fierce Protestant and captures the monastery, after which he again converts it into a fortress.
  • 1566 – Pereni betrayed the emperor by going over to the side of the enemy of Prince Janos. The emperor’s troops storm the castle, damaging it significantly.
  • 1698 – the period of the peasant uprising, the fortress comes into their possession.
  • 18th-19th centuries – during this period, the castle was almost completely dismantled for building materials. They were mostly used for the construction of terraces on Black Mountain for vineyards.
  • End of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century – the famous Hungarian military historian Szosha Elemer visited the castle and made a general plan of the fortress.
  • 2007 – an expedition was organized to investigate the remains of Kankiv Castle. After analyzing the materials, several conclusions were drawn. First, the mass settlement of Castle Hill is attributed to the Late Bronze Age (14th-12th centuries). Secondly, the stone buildings were erected at the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century. Thirdly, the global reconstruction of the fortress was carried out in the 15th and 16th centuries. Finally, after its destruction in the 16th and 17th centuries, the castle remained inhabited.

Only recently did the residents of Vynogradiv realize that the castle is a tourist attraction, not a source of free stones. The territory of the castle was cleared of bushes and underwent significant improvement.

How to get to Vynogradiv Castle?

Kankiv Castle is located at the base of Chorna Hora, near Kopanska and Kotsiubynskoho streets. It is not possible to get there by public transport from the railway or bus station without transfers, you can take a taxi or walk. The city is small, compact, with a huge number of attractions and interesting places.

From Lviv to Vynogradiv there are trains “Lviv – Uzhgorod” and Lviv – Solotvyno”, the journey will take 9 hours.

Coordinates: 48 ° 8’27”N, 23 ° 3’0”E.

 Walking route

🔰 Start From the car park on Kotsiubynskoho Street
🚶 Walking distance Walking on the territory of the attraction

On the map

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Tours and excursions

Палац-резиденція баронів Перені
1 day (10 hours)
From 700 ₴
дегустаційний тур по закарпаттю
4 days / 3 nights
From 3999 ₴

Accommodation nearby

Гостьовий будинок «Polychko Winehouse»
St. Kopanska, 250, Vynohradiv
+380 ....
from 830₴/day
Готель «Чорна Скеля»
Vynohradiv, Transcarpathian region.
+380 ....
from 2000₴/day
Санаторій «Теплиця»
Vynohradiv, str. Kopanska, 265-A
+380 ....
from 750 ₴/day
Санаторій «Орлине Гніздо»
35, Vynogradiv, Vynnychki tract
+380 ....
from 720 ₴/day

Leisure activities nearby