Grodno region is located in the northwestern part of Belarus, on the border with Poland and Lithuania. The center of the region is the city of Grodno . The first mention of it is found in chronicles in 1116. In the 15th century Grodno was the largest trading center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and from the 16th century – the residence of the Lithuanian princes. Grodno is one of the few cities in the country where the historical layout has been almost completely preserved. The main historical monuments of Grodno are the Old and New Castles. The old castle was erected on a high city hill in the 12th century. It consisted of a powerful fortress wall (the thickness of the walls reached 3 m), surrounded by a 50-meter moat, five towers and the palace of Vytautas. Today, the Grodno Historical and Archaeological Museum is located on the territory of the Old Castle.. The museum has about 160 thousand items of the main fund. The most interesting are the collections of paintings with icons of the 18th and 19th centuries, a collection of handmade carpets, a numismatic collection, and collections of weapons and old books. The New Castle was built in the middle of the 18th century and now forms a single architectural ensemble with the Old Castle. It was built as a royal palace. One of the most beautiful architectural monuments of Belarusian religious architecture is located in Grodno – the cathedral basilica of St. Francis Xavier of 1705. Inside the temple, a dozen wooden altars from 1736 and frescoes from the 18th century have been preserved. Grodno Borisoglebskaya Kolozha Church of the 12th century is the second oldest in Belarus. The church was built by the architect Peter Milanega in 1180 and rebuilt in the 16th and 17th centuries. More than once she suffered from landslides, but still survived to this day. Of the ancient religious buildings in Grodno, the former ensemble of the Bernardine monastery of the 16-17th centuries, the Holy Nativity of the Mother of God convent and one of the oldest synagogues in Europe – the 16th century choral synagogue, which was rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century, have also been preserved.
According to EZINESPORTS, Grodno is the starting point for a trip to the numerous sights of the region. The Augustow Canal flows in the vicinity of Grodno – a great place for walks on boats and motor ships. The canal was dug in the first half of the 19th century and connected all the water arteries of Central and Eastern Europe. A trip along the canal will appeal not only to nature lovers, but also to those who want to learn more about the history of the region, because along the canal there are many fortifications of the 19th century and fortifications from the Second World War. The most interesting are the forts of the Grodno fortress of the late 19th century, which stand on the hills surrounding the city.
In the southern part of the Grodno region, 18 km from the border with Poland, one of the oldest cities in Belarus is located – Volkovysk. The history of the city has been going on since 1005, when Volkovysk was first mentioned in the Turov Chronicle. The ancient times in Volkovysk are reminiscent of the archaeological complex, which covers the “Swedish Mountain” with a powerful defensive rampart, Zamchische and Muravilnik. Be sure to visit the manor house of P.I. Bagration of the late 18th century, which in 1812 housed the headquarters of the famous military leader. The estate houses the military-historical museum named after Bagration, and in front of it stands a monument to Bagration.
In the Volkovysk region, near the village of Krasnoselsky, a unique archaeological site was found, the only one in Eastern Europe – silicon mines with parking lots and workshops for processing silicon from the Stone and Bronze Ages.
140 km southeast of Grodno, not far from the borders of the Brest region, there is the city of Slonim with many historical buildings of the 17th-19th centuries. Here is located the former country estate of the counts of Puslovsky – Albertin, from the beginning of the 19th century. The manor complex has an extensive park area with ponds. Not far from Slonim, in the village of Zhirovichi, there is the Zhirovichi Monastery with a beautiful baroque architectural ensemble. The monastery was founded at the end of the 16th century. At the beginning of the 17th century, she “had” to become Uniate. The icon of the Mother of God Zhirovichskaya is kept in the monastery, which is very revered in the Orthodox world.
There are many ancient castles in the northeastern part of the Grodno region. The most famous of them is the Lida Castlelocated in the city of Lida 110 km northeast of Grodno. The castle was built in the 14th century by the order of the Lithuanian prince Gediminas and became part of the defensive line that protected these lands from the attack of the crusaders. The castle was badly damaged during the Russian-Polish war and was destroyed in 1702 by Swedish troops. Every year in August-September, the Lida Castle hosts the International Festival of Medieval Tradition and Culture “Gediminas’ Castle”, during which knightly tournaments are held.
South of Lida is the city of Novogrudok , which became the first capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. According to legend, in the middle of the 13th century, Mindovg, the founder of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, was crowned and buried here. The main attraction of the city is the ancient castle of the 12th century, which served as a residence for the great Lithuanian dukes. Throughout its history, the Novogrudok Castle withstood the sieges of the Crusaders and the Tatar-Mongols, but was completely destroyed during the Northern War. Today, the castle hill, the ruins of one of the towers and the remains of the fortress walls remind of the majestic deputy. An annual festival of medieval culture is held on Castle Hill, during which a staged storming of Castle Hill takes place.
15 km from Novogrudkab in the village of Vselyub b there is one of the oldest Catholic churches in the region – the Church of St. Casemir. The church was built in the 15th century on the estate of the Radziwill family in a mixed national Belarusian and Western European style. Next to it is a vast park, which in the 19th century was part of the estate of the O’Rourke family. From the estate to the present day, the family tomb and a small church have also been preserved. Lyubcha village is interesting 26 km from Novogrudok. It stands on the banks of the Neman River. The construction of the castle began in 1581. Under Boguslav Radziwill, and later under the representatives of the Falz-Fein family, the castle was rebuilt more than once. The Falz-Feins placed their country residence here and erected a white-stone palace in the English neo-Gothic style. During the First and Second World Wars, the Lyubchinsky Castle was almost completely destroyed; only two stone towers, the remains of ramparts and ditches have survived to this day. The layout of the old castle can be seen in the Lyubcha Folk Museum.
In the very east of the Grodno region, in the village of Mir, one of the most famous castles of the country – Mir Castle is located. The castle was built in the 15th century by order of Marshal of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Yuri Ilyinich and later rebuilt more than once. Now the castle is made of red brick. At its corners there are towers about 25 m high. The only travel tower is located in the western part of the castle. A complex system of underground passages has been laid under the castle. At the end of the 19th century, a park with a pond was laid out around it, and in 1904 a temple-tomb was built in the park.