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Road trip around Medieval Transcarpathia

Road trip around Medieval Transcarpathia

Yuliy Lechekhlib
Co-founder of the Company

Transcarpathia or as Ukrainians say Zakarpattia is a wonderful region in western Ukraine known for its original culture, incredible nature and unique architecture. Every year tourists visit this area to enjoy the mountain air, sakura blossoms, thermal springs, and of course the legendary medieval castles.

In our opinion the most convenient way of traveling in Zakarpattia is by car. In this case you don’t depend on a tour program, you can go to any point and stay there for an unlimited time. And in order to move around the mountainous terrain with comfort, we recommend you to rent a SUV or crossover. We also advise to study our article to quickly and easily plan the car trip route. By the way, we offer the following variant: Uzhhorod – Nevytske – Serednie – Mukachevo – Chynadiievo – Karpaty – Khust. Let’s discuss an independent trip to Zakarpattia in detail!

The best place to start studying the Transcarpathia castles is Uzhhorod. You can come here by train, and in advance order a rental car and pay the deposit. Our team will deliver a car to the train station or to any other address convenient for you.

Uzhhorod Castle

The first historical mention of this well-known castle in Zakarpattia dates back to the IX century. During that time, it was repeatedly rebuilt, and only in the 16th century it got its most modern look. Today Uzhhorod Castle is not only the most ancient and valuable historical and architectural building in the city, but also a museum of local lore with unique exhibits of the whole Transcarpathian region.

Photo: karpattour.lviv.ua

The fortress is located in the central part of the city on a hill, where the roads are a little narrower than others and paved with cobblestones. In front of the entrance to the castle there is a small free parking, so it is easy to leave a car nearby.

The address of the Uzhhorod Castle is Kapitulna street, 33 (it takes 10-15 minutes from the railway station by car or 20 minutes on foot).

The entrance fee is 50 UAH, the tour costs 350 UAH. For children under 16 years old the admission is free and the price for the excursion is 250 UAH. You can enjoy a free tour around the Uzhhorod castle on Museums’ Day – May 18, and free admission is provided for kids on June 1 – Children’s Day.

Nevytske Castle

The next point of the Transcarpathian journey is Nevytsky castle in the village of Nevytske. You can get here by the highway H13, the condition of which is rated with 3 points because of the potholes and the broken roadside. The distance between the settlements is 14 km.

Photo: @uzhaerocam (Facebook)

This castle is considered to be the most mystical of all the Transcarpathian landmarks. There is the legend about the witch, at whose wish the Nevytsky fortress was built. She made the villagers drag huge stones, add eggs, mother’s milk and blood to the lime, and if anyone did not obey, she ordered to cut off a head of disobedient. The village was saved from the treacherous sorceress by a young boy who lived in a neighboring village and dreamed of becoming a king in order to free the common people. Since then, the ghost of the evil witch has been wandering around the castle.

We strongly advise you to visit Nevytsky Castle and take a couple of pictures, because soon only ruins and memories will remain from it.

Serednie Castle

On the way to Mukachevo there is a village of Serednie. We recommend you to check out the ruins of the old Templar fortress in Zakarpattya, better known as Serednie castle.

It was built in the 12th century not on a hill, like most Transcarpathian castles, but on a plain. The height of its towers reaches 12 meters, and the walls are 2.5 meters thick. But, unfortunately, numerous residents of the castle and the conquerors ruined its greatness, and only the ruins of the residence have survived to our days.

Mukachevo castle

Mukachevo is in 30-40 minute drive from Uzhhorod (40.6 km). The M-06 road, which connects these two cities, is in good condition: from time to time you can meet potholes and broken asphalt. Markings and road signs are clearly visible. Upon arrival, immediately go to the Mukachevo castle of palanoks.

Photo: pravda.com.ua

This powerful cascading structure rises on a volcanic hill and has been standing there for 12 centuries. The rich history of Palanok castle tells about different periods of its existence: from the creation by mystical forces, the rule of various kings in it, the Austrian siege, the political prison and the residence of the Hungarian troops to a vocational school and a historical museum. There is definitely something to listen to and see. At a minimum, enjoy the beautiful panorama of the city and mountains, take aesthetic photos in the Mukachevo castle.

It is convenient to get to the manor from the city center along Ilona Zrini or Count Shenborn Street, and then along Kurucov Street. The entrance to the castle is also paved with paving stones. There is parking at the entrance. Entrance ticket for adults costs 100 UAH, for children of school age – 50 UAH. The price for the tour is 200 UAH for children and 300 UAH for adults.

Chinadievsky castle

12 km east of Mukachevo is the town of Chinadievo, which became famous for its castle of the same name, also known as the castle of St. Miklos, which means St. Nicholas in translation. It is placed parallel to the M06.

Like any other castle, Saint Miklos has its own legend. This one is romantic: Ilona Zriniy and Imre Tekeli started their relationship here. They were blamed because of their 14-year age difference, but in spite of everything, the couple continued dating until the Princess Ilona was banished from Austria-Hungary. Nowadays the place is called the Castle of Love, where wedding ceremonies in the knightly style are held. Also every year on the third Sunday in May, St. Miklos Fortress holds the Silver Tatos Festival, during which there is a complete immersion in medieval culture.

Berehvar Castle

In the neighboring village of Karpaty there is the Castle of Schenborn family in Zakarpattia. It is located in the Berehvar tract, which is in a 10-minute drive from the castle St. Miklos in Chinadievo. By the way, both castles belong to their family.

Photo: Mizhenin Vitalii

This rather modern 19th century residence is fabulously beautiful and very interesting because it is built according to the astronomical principle. The castle has 356 windows as the days of the year, 52 chimneys as the weeks of the year, 12 entrances as the months of the year, and 4 towers as the seasons.

Today you can not just go on a tour or stroll through the park, but also stay for a few days, because since 1946 the building has become the sanatorium “Karpaty”. Tourists can enter the residence of Schenborn family for only 30 UAH, and there is free parking near the entrance.

Khust castle

The way to the next castle is the longest (an hour and a half), but comfortable, because the route H09 was recently rebuilt.

The Khust castle is famous for the legend about the prototype of Dracula living in it, Bram Stoker, but in fact, there is no exact data on this. But there are many stories about how the castle was the residence of many Hungarian, Austrian and Transylvanian nobles and troops until lightning struck the castle’s powder tower in 1766. There was a big fire and the fortress did not survive.

Photo: Tourinform Zakarpattya

Now you can visit the Khust castle for free, take a walk around the area, take beautiful pictures at sunset and admire the majesty of its ruins.

This is the final point of the road trip. In Khust, you can give the rented car back (but tell us beforehand) and go home by train, or continue discovering western Ukraine by rented car, and later go to Ivano-Frankivsk to meet new adventures. Enjoy your trip!

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