The village of Kreva Grodno region
The village of Kreva is situated in Smorgon district of the Grodno region. According to historical records the village has existed since the XIII century. There are several opinions concerning the origin of its name. Some researchers believe that the tribe of Krivichy lived there once. And their settlement was called Krivi. Others suggest that pagan priest Krivi, the leader of Balts, lived here. However there is still no common opinion upon the origin of the settlement’s name.
The main attraction of the village is a ruined ancient castle. According to historians Kreva Castle was built approximately in 1330th. However, the first written mention of it relates to 1338. So far, on the territory of Belarus there are not many medieval attractions, that makes the castle in the village of Kreva an important historical, cultural and tourist landmark.
The most interesting legends and historic events of the XIV century are connected with Kreva Castle. As it is known Prince Jagiello was the governor of the lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania those days. On his command his uncle Kęstutis was strangled in the dungeon of the castle. At that time Kęstutis was the main contender for the princely throne. Vytautas, the cousin of Jagiello and his second rival, should repeat the fate of Kęstutis. But Vytautas was able to escape thanks to the ruse. Under the cover of the night he managed to disguise himself a maid, dressed as a woman, and escape from the murders pursuing him.
According to historians, the Union of Krevo – an important historical document, announcing an alliance between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland was signed here in 1385.
For many centuries of its history the castle has changed owners many times, it was a place of important historical events. However, by the end of the XVIII century, it finally lost its former importance and began to break down slowly.
During the First World War the front line went through the village. The castle had to receive the strongest blows and now it has an appearance that it has managed to keep by the end of World War I.
The castle walls were built of the natural stone and brick, so the locals use them as a good, solid and expensive building material many times. Several times the attempts of mothballing the castle were made. But there are still no financial resources for its restoration. Nowadays the castle represents ruins, which are undoubtedly attested to its former greatness and power.
Not only can the castle be of interest in the village of Kreva. The attention of tourists is also drawn by the St. Alexander Nevsky church, which was built in 1854 as well as by the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord built in 1997. Both temples are located on the picturesque hills, which gives them a special architectural significance.
Visiting the village of Kreva leaves positive impressions and comments of its guests. It has the entire necessary infrastructure a modern man. And between the castle and the church there are several shops and a café.