The Pidhirtsi Castle in the Lviv region of Ukraine – is one of those that could survive to this day and not to be completely destroyed. It is included in the so-called «Golden horseshoe of Ukraine» together with Olesko and Zolochiv castles.
It was built in the late 30-ies of the 17th century. It has experienced many historical troubles and reached our days almost in its original form. While we were resting in Lviv, we certainly went here.
Even before the construction of the Pidhirtsi Castle, there were the fortresses mentioned in the annals of 1530. The crown hetman Stanislav Konetspolsky bought the castle in Pidhirtsi in 1633. He ordered the project of fortifications and sumptuous palace.
From 1635 to 1640 the building was built approximately in the form in which we know it today. But during the liberation war led by Bohdan Khmelnitsky, the castle was seriously damaged. People began to recover it and continued the restoration until 1680. But after 8 years it suffered again – this time from the attacks of the Tatars.
The new owner, Wacław Seweryn Rzewuski, began an extensive reconstruction of the castle in 1728. They collected inside a collection of paintings, weapons, valuable items (which brought from the castle of the Olesko Castle). Then they created the typography and the theatre.
After Rzewuski’s death, the son of Wacław redeemed the Pidhirtsi and the neighboring villages at the auction. He was not interested in the castle. He only looked for treasure and conducted alchemical experiments (well, isn’t it Prague?). The castle was in decline, the values were sold. This situation continued with the heirs.
The castle was again restored to restoration in 1833 until 1903. Until 1939 a private Museum of the princes Sangushko was operated here. And after the advent of Soviet power, the buildings and surrounding area were transferred to the Lviv historical Museum.
During the Second World War, the Palace once again was seriously damaged. And then it was plundered in 1945 by soldiers of the Zolochiv garrison.
The Museum closed in 1947. After two years there was founded a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients. Here was a great fire in 1956 that led to the destruction of most of the interior.
The castle was transferred to the Lviv Art Gallery in 1997.
The castle which surrounds by the greenery of the Park and surrounding buildings makes a huge impression. It is often compared with Versailles. Yes, it was even given out for the Louvre during the shooting of the film D’Artagnan and Three Musketeers!
I will say our experience – this is the most beautiful castle that I’ve seen in Ukraine. Unfortunately, when we arrived there, it was 10 minutes before closing the castle. The inspector did not want to let us there. So I had to go «ahead» – just walked on the other side where the Park and the castle were not protected.
The restoration work are being carried out now on the territory of the castle. And I hope that soon it will open for visit from inside.
There is another very interesting building near the castle. This is a fascinating Catholic Church of the Exaltation and St. Josephs. It was built in 1752-1766 years as a burial vault.
We could not consider everything in details. We were tied to public transport and weren’t sure whether we will have time for the last bus to Lviv. However, this place definitely needs to be visited!
How to get there
Address: Ukraine, Lviv region, Pidhirtsi village, Zamkovaya St.
Enter in the GPS the coordinates 49°56’35″N, 24°59’0″E
E 40 (M 06) to turn to Zagortsi, then to the Pidhirtsi.
Use a shuttle bus from the Lviv Bus Station No.2 (Bogdan Khmelnitsky St.) to Brod. Then you get off at the stop Zagortsi and go up on foot to the castle (it will be seen).
At the crossroads, you can go by asphalt road (easier and longer) or unofficial (to the right). By the way, you can get to the castle territory during off hours.
Officially, the access to the territory is open from 11:00 to 18:00 (in winter – until 17:00, the ticket office – until 16:00). The day off – is Monday.
The price of the entrance ticket – is 10 UAH for adults and 6 UAH for students.