The Castle in Geraneny
Palaces, manors, castles
Geraneny is a village in Grodno Region. The first mention of Geraneny dates back to 1403. Nowadays about 2000 inhabitants live in the village.
The territory where once a castle stood is popular among tourists.
In 1493, the Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Vilna Voivode Voytsekh Gashtold obtained lands on which the village located by order of Duke Alexander. At the turn of the XV-XVI centuries, a stone castle was built there. Gashtold owned the castle up to 1542. Then it belonged to King Sigizmund I. Later, Sigizmund Avgust owned the castle. In the XVII century, the village and castle belonged to the Pats family.
During the Russian-Polish war (1654-1661), the castle was destroyed. However, it was quickly restored; it is known that Mikhail Pats gave the village with the settlement Lipshniki to the state in 1670. At the beginning of the XIX century, no one lived in the castle.
The place for the construction of the castle was thoroughly chosen. First, an artificial earth embankment was made. Stone towers were built with help of the traditional technique of “striped” masonry. Gray fine-grained granite was used during its construction. Brick was used for revetment of towers. Some castle walls are preserved, 4 m high. The depth of the foundation indicates that towers and castle walls were built at the same time.
The towers of the castle in Geraneny village were cylindrical and up to 8 m in diameter. There were two-meter thick stone walls.
A long time ago, a palace stood near the southern wall of the castle, which was built in the late XVI century. Initially, the wooden building was replaced by a two-storey stone building. Each floor of the palace had several rooms and a large hall. All 12 windows faced the central part of the fortress. A stork weathervane was placed in the center of the roof.
An earthen rampart, 700 meters long and 10 meters high, was an important element of the defense. Near the rampart, there was a ditch, filled with water after melting of snow or during a rainy season.
Despite a small part of preserved fragments, there’s something to see. The essence of the castle defense system was that to create ditches and embankments; it was innovative and unique for that time. When the castle was built, the artillery only began to play an important role in the siege of towns and villages.