Medininkų pilis
Medininkų pilis
Medininkų pilis

Medininkai castle

A castle of the 14th century

Medininkai Castle is one of the earliest and probably the largest manor-type castles in Lithuania, occupying the area of several hectares. It is believed to have been built in the first half of the 14th century under the reign of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, it served as a defence point against the aggression of the Teutonic Knights and Livonian Order, the possible attack from the east, the Grand Dukes of Lithuania used to stay here.  

Medininkai Castle was first mentioned in historical sources in 1387 in the road descriptions by the scouts of the Teutonic Order. In 1402, the Crusaders together with Jogaila’s brother Švitrigaila, later the Grand Duke of Lithuania, besieged the castle but it was not taken. Later, the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas visited Medininkai Castle on several occasions, during his reign the castle was probably of the greatest significance. During the fires in the 15th-16th centuries, the wooden buildings of the castle, wooden wall constructions and the gallery of the archers burned down. The castle went to the Duke Vosylis Žilinskas. The castle was neglected, it was damaged in the 17th century and in 1812 by the Napoleonic Army troops retreating from Russia, and during the World Wars. In the 19th century, the old castle drew the attention of the writers of the Romantic period, and in the interwar period, the conservation works began.

The castle now

After Lithuania regained its independence, the restoration works of the castle began. Since 2004, Medininkai Castle belongs to Trakai History Museum, in 2010-2012, it was further renovated and adapted for museum purposes. The medieval spirit is brought to life during the events taking place in the castle.
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