Ukraine Incognito

Another intriguing place to go to when visiting Ukraine is a collection of castles called a "horseshoe". This trip is planned for two days, stopping by in Lviv (Lvov). The tour includes visiting three castles Olessky, Podgoretsky and Zolochevsky (first day) and sightseeing Lviv (second day). This group of castles only recently has opened its doors to mass tourism making it particularly attractive to a great number of tourists from different countries. We invite you on a one day or two day trip to the Castles from Kiev


Description of the tour

The castles are located at quite a long distance from Lvov (about 70 km). In addition, the castles and museums situated inside let the visitors in only until 5 and sell the tickets until 4. Therefore we should set off early in the day and should allocate one entire day to familiarization with the three castle. There is a restaurant at Olessky Castle where you can have a lunch or a dinner. After returning to Lvov, you will have a supper and it will be time to prepare for the next very intensive day of sightseeings in Lvov.   

Olessky CastleDSC01215

The silhouette of this castle makes the impression from a long distance, before approaching it. Like a mysterious ship it towers above a pristine landscape…Not surprisingly the travelers lunge for this sightseeing, the origin of this castle goes deep into the centuries to Kievan Rus. What's most remarkable, it is the only fortification remained in the complete ensemble from that time. Built between IX-XIII centuries, it carries distinctive features of medieval ages, manifested in its narrow, gun-slot like windowless and magnificent, somewhat ominous appearance.

DSC01252The Works of Art

Everybody who saw this castle admitted to the spellbinding impression it imparted from the outside. However, the inside appearance is captivating, too. One of the walls of the castle is embellished with silk tapestry, the “twins” of which are displayed in Louvre.

Ther remarkable things are sculptures whittled by the world-wide sculpture architect Pinzel. Pinzel’s works have been matched to the Michelangelo’s and acknowledged to be the second in the world after the master by the level of craft and professionalism. 

Podgoretsky PalacePodgor

It is a royal castle. Hetman Stanislav Konetspolsky decided to built the most luxurious monarch residence in Europe. And it was the most affluent Palace in Europe in the XVII century before appearance of Versailles palace. It was built to reflect the style, the scale and the tastes of the best royal families in the XVII century.

Designed by Italian architects, its majestic garden terraces, embellished with antique sculptures, appeared at least 20 years earlier than those famous of Versailles.

The walls in Podgoretskyi Palace were the first in the world to become the home for the art paintings by Rembrandt and Vandyke.

DSC01298During the USSR the castle was robbed of everything which was possible to steal. Now the antique-like sculptures are displayed in Summer Garden in St.Petersburg.

It is known that Versailles influenced many architectureal ensembles in Europe, however... it seems that this is the palace which had influenced Versailles in the first place. 

Louis the XIV only started Versailles in 1661 when the Palace of Hetman Konetspolsky had alreadyDSC01271 existed for 20 years. Podgoretsky Palace was built by the Italian architect who represented the leading architect school at the timem, whilst Versailles was built by French architects who were the followers of Italian trend. 

So luxurious was the internal decoration of the castle that it made a Russian tsar Peter the First envy. The Russian tsar held this  castle as a model when he ordered and watched the construction of his residence.

Some people may say we are jumping to conclusion. However, one outright fact supports this inference. Everybody who saw his residence admitted to its starking resemblance with Podgoretsky Palace.

zolochevskyi_242136972Zolochevsky Castle

Zolochevskyi castle is one of the very few fortresses from the XVII century in Europe which has been passed down the generations almost unchanged. 

The castle was owned by Poland royal family. From the first glance at the castle it captivates with its queer Chinese style, quite unique among European buildings. 

Only three similar objects in Europe remained until nowadays.

There are meseums working on the territory of the castle offerring the expositions: "The King's Treasury", "The Crown of Danylo Galytsky King", "The Knights Templars Order", "The Masons Order" and "The Maltese Order".

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