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Mir Castle Complex

Author: Lida added 13-11-2012, 23:13
Mir Castle ComplexThe Mir Castle Complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Belarus located in the town of Mir in the Karelichy District of the Hrodna region, 29 km to the north-west from another World Heritage site, Niasvizh Castle.

The castle was built in the late 15th or early 16th century (the first reference to it dates from 1531) by the Ilyinichi family. The initial work consisted of building the walls and towers in Gothic style, but work came to an end for some unknown reason. Building had been completed by the beginning of the 17th century with the addition of palatial accommodation, with some Renaissance features (including an Italian-style garden and a system of ponds), after it had passed to the Radzivill family in 1569.This work was probably supervised by the Italian architect Gian Maria Bernardoni.

Mir Castle Complex

Following sieges in 1655 and 1706 reconstruction work involved the addition of some Baroque features. It was badly damaged during the Napoleonic period, in 1794 and again in 1812, and it remained in a state of ruinous abandon until the late 19th century, when the complex was purchased by the Duke of Svyatopolk-Mirsky, who began laying out a landscape park with a lake. A new palace (destroyed in 1914) and other structures (chapel, watchman's house, etc) were erected within the grounds. The old castle survived as a romantic ruin. Some restoration work was carried out in the 1920s and 1930s, as a result of which some Secession and Romantic elements were added. During World War II it served as a prison camp and a ghetto. Between 1944 and 1956, the castle was used as a housing facility, which partially damaged the castle's interior.

Restoration did not start in earnest again until 1982.

Mir Castle Complex
Drawing by Napoleon Orda, 1876.

Mir Castle Complex

Mir Castle Complex

Mir Castle Complex

In December, 2000, the Mir Castle was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Mir Castle Complex

Mir Castle Complex

Materials: Unesco.org

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