The Palace and Park Complex in Nesvizh
Historical and cultural complexes
The Nesvizh castle in Belarus: history.
The Radziwills' Palace and Gardens are spread out on the north-eastern outskirts of Nesvizh by the Usha River bend, forming wide ponds. The first wooden castle was built here in the 16th century, it was located in the current Old Park; in 1583 Prince Nicholas Christopher Radziwill the Orphan ordered to start the construction of a large masonry castle next to the wooden one. This structure withstood many wars and battles, including two major sieges by the Muscovite army in the mid-seventeenth century. The rapid development of artillery gradually reduced the role of castles in the defensive system and in 1706, at the height of the Great Nordic War, it was taken by king Charles XII of Sweden. When the Radziwills came back to the family seat and saw their castle destroyed by the Swedes, they decided to restore it as a comfortable palace residence.
Legends of the Nesvizh castle.
About the palace and park complex in Nesvizh there are many legends. The most famous of them is about the "Black Lady" ("Chornaya panna Nyasvizha") - the ghost of a woman in black. Nesvizh Palace was famous for its library, archive and treasure trove where, according to a legend, the statues of the apostles adorned with precious stones were stored. However, the war years that followed ravaged it. The castle was ravaged during the war of 1812, and most of its treasures were taken to the capital of the Russian
Nevertheless, Nesvizh Palace remained in the hands of the Radziwills and by the ending of the nineteenth century it regained the former glory of the cultural center within the current borders of Belarus. The palace halls featured countless hunting trophies, galleries of princes' portraits, paintings and tapestries on the walls, suits of armor. Luxury furniture and watches from all over Europe were the rooms' lavish decoration. Gardens were planted as a green necklace around of the castle. Gardeners skillfully used the blue surface of ponds, creating park compositions, which have always been tourists' eye candy. During the Soviet-Polish war of 1919-1921, Nesvizh palace changed hands until the peace treaty of Riga partitioned Belarusian lands. The state border was set up 10 kilometers to the east of Nesvizh thus turning it into a frontier town of the 2nd Polish republic. Wartime ordeals practically reduced the Radziwills to bankruptcy, and they had to sell out a significant part of their family collections. In 1926-1928 their large collection of arms and armor was sold. The Second World War put an end to the history of the House of Radziwill in Nesvizh. The kin who owned Nesvizh palace for centuries left their family seat forever; after the war a government-run health resort operated in the castle. After gaining independence, the Republic of Belarus initiated the museumification of this castle. The Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve "Niasvizh" was founded In 1993; in 2001 the last vacationers left the health resort premises, restoration work started in Nesvizh palace and lasted a decade. In 2012 Nesvizh Palace was inaugurated and opened for tourists.
The current life of the Radziwills' Palace and Gardens Ensemble.
Annually about 400 thousand tourists visit Nesvizh Palace and the oldest of the remaining Belarusian city halls in Nesvizh. Today Nesvizh is one of the popular destinations for tourists in our country; the architectural and cultural complex of the Radziwills' residence in Nesvizh is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list.
In addition, just 30 kilometers from the pearl of Belarusian architecture is another unique landmark of Belarus - Mir Castle. Visiting Mir and its sights, as well as a medieval castle along with the palace and park complex of the Radziwills is included in the program of various excursions.
The Town Hall tours last 45 minutes; the Radziwills' Palace exposition tours take about an hour and a half. Experienced guides tell tourists about the parks, frescoes, the Radziwills' crypt in Corpus Christi Cathedral and other numerous sights located within the city limits.
In addition to various guided tours, the Museum-Reserve offers the following services to its visitors: theatricalized excursions, quests, animated performances, costumed and Palace interior environment photo shoots, theatricalized wedding ceremonies, interactive and educational museum classes, lectures. We also rent out rooms for conferences, seminars and meetings; cottаge, hotel, restaurant; souvenir shops, children’s café and educational center.
For the New Year holidays, having booked one of the thematic excursions, you will also get a unique opportunity to celebrate the New Year in Nesvizh Castle.
The opening time of museum complex of Nesvizh:
- During the summer period (since 1th May)–10.00 - 19.00. You can buy tickets to the Palace ensemble until 18.00.
- During the winter period - 9.00 -18.00. You can buy tickets to the Palace ensemble until 17.00.
Closed: Junuary 1st.