Ruzhansky castle (Ruzhany, Belarus): history and legends

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Ruzhansky castle (Ruzhany, Belarus): history and legends
Ruzhansky castle (Ruzhany, Belarus): history and legends

There are a lot of sights in Belarus, and not only in cities - such as Minsk, Mogilev, Vitebsk and others. Here you can see the Brest Fortress, Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Mir Castle, the Mound of Glory and Ruzhany Castle, which is located in the village of Ruzhany, which is 140 km from Brest. The city of Brest is located in the south-west of Belarus, which is the administrative center.

Ruzhany (Belarus): Description

Ruzhany was founded in 1552 and, thanks to its main attraction, they were able to become famous all over the world. Thousands of tourists come here to see the former residence.

Ruzhany castle
Ruzhany castle

The settlement itself was first mentioned in 1490, but only when this place began to belong to the Tyszkiewicz people began to be mentioned in documents, so it is not known when the settlement was founded. A little later, this place passed to the Bruchalsky family, and then it was sold to the Chancellor of the Principality of Lithuania, Sapieha, which is why the castle is also called "the former residence of Sapieha".


Ruzhansky Palace is the main decoration of the village, its construction began in the 16th century. Later, it was rebuilt a couple of times and played a significant role not only for the Lithuanian state, but also for neighboring countries. Once here they received ambassadors, cameseveral kings, the treasury of the principality was kept and proteges for the Moscow throne were being prepared.

Ruzhany Palace
Ruzhany Palace

During the war with the Swedes, the castle was badly damaged, although at one time it was built as a defensive one, but by that time it had lost its significance. However, in the 18th century, the we althy owners of Ruzhany tried to restore the palace. But already at the end of this century, it began to be used as a cloth factory.

In 1914 there was a big fire, and the Ruzhany castle was damaged. It was partially restored in the 30s of the last century, and in 1944 it was destroyed during the hostilities. Unfortunately, only ruins have survived, as well as arcades, exit gates and outbuildings that have been restored.

Initially, the castle (or palace) was defensive in nature. There, in the central part, there were the main hall and a vestibule with double-sided stairs, in the side parts there were living rooms, an office and a library.

Under the building there were spacious basements that were used to store documents, archives, products. But in the 18th century, the architect Samuel Becker began to rebuild the palace, and a church, a monastery, a cemetery chapel and an inn were installed in the lowland in front of the palace.

The style of the palace is still being debated: some mistakenly believe that it is the Empire style, others - the French style, but in fact it turned out to be a mixture of two styles and eras - baroque and classicism, there are also elements of rococo.

After the restructuring, two of the three towers that complemented the palace disappeared, and another tower became part of the new building, which became symmetrical. Toa ballroom, a vestibule and a front room were added to the premises of the first order. Since the front rooms are now located on the second floor, they seemed to divide the entire building into floors: basement, front and upper mezzanine.


The Ruzhany Palace opened a museum in 2011, and it is estimated that about 15,000 tourists visit it every year. Today there are four exposition halls and one exhibition hall.

Stove tiles, part of kitchen utensils, are interesting archaeological finds. A special exhibit is a copy of the plate built in honor of the arrival of King Vladislav IV. We also managed to save several books from the Sapieha Library.

Ruzhany Belarus
Ruzhany Belarus

Since the palace was destroyed and only a part of it can be seen, the museum presents a model of the Ruzhany Castle, which clearly demonstrates how it was in previous years.

One of the halls is a story about a descendant of Lev Sapieha, Alexander, who at one time rebuilt the building into a palace, as he was very fond of an idle life: theaters, balls, performances.

In one of the halls you can see a coat of arms on the wall, which was made of larch. For a long time it was in storage, but was subsequently restored. There were two such emblems in total, one hung on the south side, the other on the north.

Legend of the underground road

Ruzhany Castle has an ancient and interesting history. Stories and legends can start with the fact that ghosts walk on it, and end with the most unusual stories.

For example, the legend of the underground path is not just an underground passage, whenyou can go from one part of the castle to another, but about the whole road 25 kilometers long, which led to the town of Kosovo. It was possible not just to walk along it, but to ride in a carriage drawn by six horses.

However, researchers cannot confirm or deny this information, and someone still believes that they can find this way.

Interesting facts

There are many interesting stories and legends about this place, some of them are supported by facts, others are still legends:

Ruzhany castle: history and legends
Ruzhany castle: history and legends
  • It is believed that the cellars that are in the palace were filled in during the hostilities, and that they went to a depth of four floors.
  • Lev Sapieha was one of the richest people, he loved books, paintings and fishing. At that time, his library contained more than 3 thousand books, which was considered incalculable we alth.
  • When Alexander Sapega decided to restore the residence in Ruzhany, he did it for a reason, but because of his wife Magdalena, who was the favorite of August Poniatowski, it is believed that it was the king who financed the restoration.
  • The theater in Ruzhany Castle was also created for the sake of the spouses, 60 actors and 40 musicians were invited there.
  • Lev Sapieha was once a simple clerk, but rose to the position of King Stefan Batory himself, and later became one of the richest people.
  • Thanks to Leo, one of the best codes of laws in Europe was created, which was called the Statute of the ON from 1588.
  • Another of the heirs of the Sapieha family,Pavel, bequeathed after his death all the cannons from the Ruzhany castle to be converted into bells for the church of St. Casimir, who was in Vilna.

Ruzhans today

Ruzhansky Castle (Belarus) today everyone can see. Although little has been preserved in its original state, fragments of the palace ensemble give the impression of majesty and power, towering over the village.

Ruzhany Castle Belarus
Ruzhany Castle Belarus

In 2008, we started a restoration program, we were able to recreate the main gate and outbuilding. Later, in 2012, they began to restore the eastern building, and it is also planned to restore the main building of the palace.

Ruzhansky castle: opening hours and how to get there

As mentioned above, the castle is located in the village of Ruzhany, 140 km from Brest, from where it can be reached by car or bus. The fare can be about 60 thousand rubles of local currency one way.

Ruzhansky castle (Ruzhany, Belarus) in the Brest region is located at the address: Urbanovicha street, 15a.

Ruzhany Castle: opening hours
Ruzhany Castle: opening hours

Since 2011, a museum has been opened, where two wings and entrance gates have been restored, there is also one exhibition hall and exposition rooms. Entrance to the museum is paid, and for adults a ticket costs 10 thousand rubles, and for schoolchildren and students - 6 thousand, you can separately order an excursion - both group and individual.

The museum is open on all days except Monday and Tuesday, from 9.00 to 18.00.