Olesko Castle

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Olesko Castle

Post autor: Husarz » 22 wrz 2012, 19:40

Olesko Castle
One of the oldest in Ukraine Olesko castle is located on the top a high
hill, which formed the basis for the fortification system. Below, along the slope was the
rampart with stockade, further - one more line of the defensive wall with a moat filled with
water. The impassable bogs surrounded the castle in the valley of the river Libertsiya.
For the first time the castle is mentioned in 1327, when the owner was the GaliciaVolyn duke Yuriy II – the son of Masovian duke Troyden and the Ruthenian
princess Mariya. This proves one of the Yuriy II sons – Andriy or Lev - to be the founder
of the castle.
The stone oval basement were put into the scheme of the castle. During the
XIV century, locating on the boundary of the Galician and Volyn regions and subsequently
between Poland and Lithuania , the castle was permanently changing its owners. At first, it
belonged to the duke Lubart, then - to Alexander Koryatovych. In 1390 the Hungarian
governor of Galicia duke Wladyslaw Opole passed the castle to the Galician Catholic
bishops. In 1432 p. the Olesko castle was owned by Wladyslaw Jagiello but he also passed
it to Ian from Siena, whose descendants became known as Olesky. They owned the castle
until the beginning of the XVI century.
In 1511 the ownership was divided between two daughters of Peter Oleskyi -
Halyna and Jadwiga. Gradually the fortress was transformed into the royal residence.
Afterwards, the current owners added a tower, chapel, several premises, and dug the wells
with a depth of 42 m. The Olesko castle overpassed a significant reconstruction at the
beginning of the XVII century when in 1605 Lviv castellan and Ruthenian governor Ivan
Danylovych of the Gerburt family married to Sophia Zolkiewski and became the owner of
the castle. Particular attention in the reconstruction of the residence was given to
architectural and plastic decoration of the courtyard and living quarters. The castle
courtyard was arranged with the open arcades. The entrances to the living quarters were
decorated with the white stone portals of the Renaissance style. In such a refined
atmosphere was brought up daughter of Ivan Danylovych Sophia. She married to the
Krakow castellan Jakob Sobieski. Two years later she gave birth to a son - the future king
of Poland Jan III Sobieski. In 1682, when he was already the king of Poland, Jan Sobieski
became the owner of the castle Olesko, payed all the debts of the Koniecpolski family who
owned the castle from 1647.
He renovated the castle, so that the tower and roof acquired the traits of Baroque.
Hereafter, among the numerous heirs and owners of the castle, only Rzewuski family
thoroughly continued the renewal of the castle. They turned it into a luxurious residence
and set the picturesque park around.
On January 23rd, 1838 during an earthquake, the castle was damaged and began to ruin. Not less damaged it the owners
themselves at that time. Incidentally the walled-in treasure was found in one of the rooms. Since then everybody began the feverish
search of other jewels: broke the walls with frescoes, destroyed the fireplaces, took off the floor. At the end of the XIX century the
Olesko castle turned to be in ruins.
www.inlviv.infoFor the collected funds in 1882 the castle was bought and passed into the
hands of the state. There were different opinions concerning its use. It was offered to open
a boarding school for the students of the teachers' seminary. The
Regional Seym considered a better option to give the building at the disposal of the
monastery. There was also another option: in one part of the premises to equip a public
school in the one part of the premises and in the second part - the museum by Jan Sobieski.
Until 1939 the castle is used for a female agricultural school. It experienced many trials at
that time. In addition, during the Second World War, it has placed
the military depots. Nowadays, the castle was renovated and took a new life of the
museum-reserve and the department of the Lviv Art Gallery.
From the Internet-resources:
Pidhirtsi Castle
The castle in Pidhirtsi is an outstanding historical and architectural monument of
Ukraine from the XVII century. It was built according to the order of Grand Crown
Hetman Stanislaw Koniecpolski by the architect Andrea dell'Aqua in the years of 1635-
1640. Later the owners were Jan III Sobieski, Radziwill and Rzewuski families. The castle
complex includes a palace, surrounded by the bastion fortifications, ramparts and moats, a
Baroque church (1752 - 1766), entrance gates and wonderful "Italian" park of the XVIII
century with old linden trees.
The construction of the Pidhirtsi castle is associated with the names of the French
military engineer Guillaume de Beauplan and the Italian architect Andrea dell'Aqua. It
is originally conceived as a castle Renaissance and Baroque stylized fortified residence.
The service premises formed a square courtyard with a terrace adapted to defensive
functions. From the three sides, the palace was surrounded by a deep moat. On the north
side it faced the picturesque valley. The castle had a good terrace, balustrade and
sculptures. The entry gate with two columns placed on the axis of the palace under the
terrace of the southern curtain wall. The late Renaissance portal of the entrance gates,
plastic figures of the guard towers and dungeons at the corners of the terraces' balustrade
grab our attention by their magnificence.
Opened to the park side castle with the terrace and stairs in front of it was initially
two-stored with three-tier square risalits. The interiors of the castle-palace with the anfilade
planning were noted with the refinement of the plastic figures. In XVII century, during the
liberation war and the raids of the Tatar and Turkish troops, the castle was subjected to the
devastation, but still remained one of the most luxurious magnate residences in Europe. In 1646 the castle was visited by the
king Wladislaw IV, for whom the grandiose fireworks were organized. During the battles of the liberation war headed by the
Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytskyi , the castle was seriously damaged. Nevertheless in 1656 it began its recovery.
www.inlviv.infoThe grandson of the Hetman granted the castle to Jan III Sobieski, together
with the villages of Pidhirtsi and Zahirtsi, with the one condition: the owner has also look
for the Brody fortress till the adulthood of Jakub Sobieski.
The renovation of the castle lasted until 1680. In 1688 it suffered again after
the attacks of Tatars. In 1720 the owner of the Pidhirtsi castle became Waclaw Rzewuski.
While he was owning the residence, it was renovated, added the third floor and refitted
interiors. The lifting-bridge with the other pavilion was dismantled. The owner also built
for the guests of the residence built the so-called Hetman mansion with the sundial.
Waclaw Rzewuski amassed the collection of paintings, books, weapon, furniture.
Exactly this period of renovation and formation of the interior has brought the plastic
baroque motifs into the primeval late Renaissance architecture. In the years of 1752-1766,
according to the project of the architect K.Romanus the Baroque church of St. Joseph were
built near the castle. This church is a rotunda with a diameter of 12 m. The main front is
decorated with a porch of the 14 Corinthian columns. In addition, the 8 sculptures of
saints was installed on the attic.
Later, the castle began to ruin because of the financial inability of Rzewuski
family. The significant damage suffered the Pidhirtsi castle during the years of World War
II and the fire in 1956. Afterwards, it was again restored and adapted into a hospital that led
to the demise of site. The current renewal of the palace gives us a hope for its big
return into the center of the cultural processes in Ukraine. The palace is a unique monument
of the XVII century, which clearly reflects the final stage of the evolution of the defensive
system, constructing on the basis of its' luxurious mansions and palaces.
The picturesque park provides the site with a great view. In ancient times the park
was more impressive to a traveler than the castle itself. It surrounds the castle from all
sides. The park is distinguished by intirety of an artistic vision and deep relations of
topography, architecture, sculpture, and greenery.Therefore, it belongs to the monument of
landscaping art of national importance. Built on the level of the best examples of the socalled "Italian" parks, it is the most beautiful and unique park of this type in Ukraine.
From the Internet-resources: www.pidhirtci.org , www.thisisukraine.org , www.castles.com.ua
Lots of legends are connected with the village of Pidkamin. One of th legends tells
us about a hero, who brought a rock from the mountains to put it on the place where
the castle would be based. There is also another legend about the devil who got angry with
the monks in Pidkamin and decided to threw this big stone on to the monastery.
He tore it from the Carpathian Mountains, and threw a rock. He was not strong enough, so
that the stone fell not to the monastery, but near it.
A rocky giant, located on a hill, north-eastern outskirts of the Pidkamin village, called
by the local people "Stone". The fragments of the crockery of the Vysotska Culture from the early iron Age (XI-VII c. BC) and the
period of Galicia-Volyn principality (XI-XIII c.) were found at the foot of the Stone.
www.inlviv.infoThese prove its' use in the following cases: an idol, amulets for the local people
and land from all evil; as a rock temple-fortress. Exactly to this time relates a niche made in
a heart shape from the western side of the Stone. It could be used for pagan rituals of the
ancient inhabitants of this territory.
The numerous grooves and hollows, which were holding the whole wooden
construction, remind the building system of the Carpathian Tustan and Bubnyshche
fortresses. During the Galicia-Volyn principality a church with the defensive role was built
right on the Stone. The stone crosses at the western edge of the site are preserved till
nowadays from the cemetery of the second half of the seventeenth century. To the east from
the Stone, deeply to the Rozhanytsia mountain, there are two caves with the traces of
human activity. The explorers have proved that both caves are of natural origin and could
be used as a cave-church or chapel. However in the early XVIII century they were used to
extract stone for the construction of the monastery fortifications.
An old monastery is located on the hill opposite to the Stone. The first mention of
its origin comes from the first half of the XIII century. It is exactly that time, when the
Dominicans entered to the territory of current Pidkamin. They stopped on a picturesque
hill, where they built a wooden church. As an inscription on the ancient monastery's icon
pointed out, the Dominican court was destroyed by the Tatars. They killed the abbot Urban
and 12 monks. From the southern side of the monastery, there is a small chapel, where the
victims of the Tatar attack should be buried according to the legends. The new owner of the
town Balthazar Tsetner renovated the monastery. The new four three-meters high sculptures
were located on the high tower over the temple. In 1640, with the help of the Balthazar' son,
an additional fortification strengthened the monastery complex. It was surrounded by the
new defensive walls, ramparts and towers, which have saved not only the monastery, but
also the surrounding territory from the Tatar raids numerous times. In addition, a hospital
and a shelter for the poor were built near the defensive walls.
The proclamation of the icon of God Mother as the miraculous one contributed to the
reputation of the Pidkamin monastery. According to the request of the Polish king, the
Senate and the highest circles of the Dominican Order, Pope Benedict XIII on May 14,
1725, sent a permission to celebrate the coronation of the same icon of the God Mother. As
the testimony of monastic chronicles, about 200.000 people attended this ceremony. It
indicates that the Pidkamin monastery reached its ''golden age'' in its development at that
time and could be a competitor of the most famous sanctuaries of the Polish-Lithuanian
Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita). The monastery outlasted the great devastation during
the First World War. The roof was partially collapsed after the artillery bombardment in
1915. In 1916 a lot of paintings, portraits and icons burnt in a fire. It destroyed about 500 valuable manuscripts and books.
A unique monument in the monastery, installed in 1719, is a high tower with a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary holding a
baby. Over the years it has blackened. Since the restoration of the monastery in 1997, the sculpture showed that phenomenon that
can be hardly explained: it began to self-clean, taking its original bright yellow color.
From the Internet-resources: www.pidkamin.ridne.net , www.castles.com.ua , www.travelua.com.ua


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