Trakai Peninsula Castle

Trakai Peninsula Castle, as well as the Island Castle, was built in the middle of the 14th century- the beginning of the 15th century. The “List of Russian Cities” drawn in 1387-1392 mentions a castle with two masonry walls and a wooden high castle near the lake in Trakai.  It is one of the largest enclosure castles in Lithuania, occupying an area of 4 hectares and having 11 defence towers of different sizes. It was separated from the city by a stone wall and a wide defensive ditch. It is believed that the lord of the castle lived on the upper floors of the south-east tower. The courtyard of the castle remained building-free for a long time, while the towers of the castle were inhabited. There was a wooden bridge between the front and the upper castle.

The Dominican Order at Trakai Peninsula Castle

In 1678, thanks to the Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Marcijonas Oginskis (Marcjan Ogiński), the establishment of twelve Dominican monks in the castle of Trakai Peninsula and the construction of a church and monastery were approved. However, due to the lack of funds and disapproval of the nobility, the Dominican monks could not stay at Trakai Peninsula Castle for a long time. Only in around 1770-1773, the monks built a wooden monastery in the territory of the castle. A little later, intermittently, until the war of 1812, a brick church was being built, although, it was never finished. A decade later, a church or a chapel and a two-storey monastery were installed within the walls of the unfinished church. In 1864, by the order of the tsarist Russian authorities the monastery was abolished, the Dominicans were evicted from Trakai and their buildings were given to various institutions. The stone buildings of the Dominican church and monastery have survived to this day.

The castle today

Trakai Peninsula Castle belongs to Trakai History Museum. It is worth visiting the castle, once known as the Great, as well as the exposition of sacred art in the former Dominican buildings.
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