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Castles of the Golden Horseshoe
Olesko – Pidhirtsi – Zolochiv
This is the very popular tour around medieval fortreses and castles which encirle Lviv like a horseshoe. The trip demonstrates the different types of defensive works, which were built by our ancestors since antient times. The tour starts with visiting the Castle of Olesko, which is the oldest one that has been preserved in Lviv region. Here the King of Poland Jan Sobieski III was born. The Cossak Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky spent here his childhood. A lot of precious exhibits are preserved here: paintings, sculptures, furniture. A number of scenes of different historical films have been shot here due to the beautifully decorated interior of the castle.
The next stop is Pidhirtsi, where French architects Andrea dell'Aqua and Guillaume Le Vasseur de Beauplan built the palace of marvelou beauty by the order of the Grand Crown HetmanStanislav Koniecpolsky. It was supposed to be the most beautiful in Europe and was chosen to « play the role » of Louvre in the film about three Musketeers. The festive balls and parades used to take place in this palace. Outstanding European Monarchs used to visit it. They say it is the Palace in Pidhirtsi that inspired Peter I to create the Peterhof.
Periodically it served as a residence for knights who came here after battles in order to have rest and fun. So it’s no wonder that several tragic events happened here. Since that time the Palace of Pidhirtsi won the fame of the most interesting ghosted castles. In Pidhirtsi one can also visit the Annunciation Monastery (1180) located on the territory of former Slavonic town of Plysneska, where the Kyiv Rus Princess Olha was born, according to one legend. Another legend tells about Princess Olena, who founded the Annunciation Monastery near the spring of healing water. So don’t forget to take a bottle with you, especially those people who suffer from the thyroid gland illnesses. Also the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary of Pidhirtsi is preserved in the Monastery.
Next we go to ancient town of Zolochiv. The castle in Zolochiv is the true fortification (XVII c.), built according to the Dutch system with high ramparts. Today the Royal Palace and the Chinese Palace are open for visiting. One can see a lot of interesting exhibits in the museums of the castle, among them - the copy of the crown of Danylo Halytsky. The big stones with engraved gothic letters lie next to the entrance to the castle. They say that the stones were performed by the Templar Order. Also in the Royal Palace you can see the uniforms of knights of different orders. If the Royal Halls is the soul of the castle, then the Chinese Palace is undoubtedly its heart. There are only three similar palaces: in San-Sussi near Berlin, in Lomonosovo near Saint Petersburg and in Zolochiv near Lviv. If you want to see the beauty of eastern style in Halychyna, you should book tickets in advance, as long as the admission to the Palace in performed only according to the strict schedule. If you want, you can stay at the hotel in Ukrainian style, named “Zatyshok”, or go on your way. After visiting Zolochiv we go back to Lviv. But if you have time and desire we can visit the biggest monastery in Halychyna – the Assumption Monastery in Univ.
The duration of the excursion depends on your desire (7 or more hours).
To get more detailed information in English you can contact me, your private guide:
+38 093 769 38 44, +38 067 394 58 53 or +38 050 036 20 62
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