The M06 highway connects the west-most Ukrainian city of Chop with Kiev via Uzhgorod, Mukachevo/Mukacheve, Lvov/Lviv, Rovno/Rivne, Zhitomir. In May 2010 I did drive the highway between Lvov and Chop. The quality of the pavement and markings did exceed my expectations I had about Ukrainian roads. It was Sunday (some VT members still being in Krakow on the Euromeet!) and the traffic wasn't very heavy.
restoring is a good thing, when it’s done properly. in case of the castle's clock, restoring has deprived the place of one of its romantic/dramatic stories. in times of my adolescence, the number IV on all castle clocks was practically invisible. the guide told us that it had been fiercely wiped out by an order of one of Schönborns.
as I wrote in my previous tip, Schönborns were inveterate hunters, and liked having guests for hunting rides. according to the legend, during one of such ride, one of his guests, allegedly sick, stayed behind. hunting that night didn't go the way it supposed to because of heavy rain. Tired and wet to a bone, the count came back to the castle to get some warmth from his wife, only to see her being embraced by his "sick" guest. From this point, the legend deviates and has several scenarios. One of them says that the guest's state progressed from "being sick" into "being dead;" the unfaithful wife was carried to a high rock across the river and thrown into the abyss. the second, more civilized, says that the count, being a wise man (who most likely also had some affairs), pretend he hadn't seen a thing and just closed the door. at that point the wall clock stroke 4 o'clock. the next day, all "fours" at the castles have been wiped out :)
Building the well was time and labor consuming effort, and for a long time alas unsuccessful - after 84 meters of digging there was still no water (mind that the castle is located on a top of a 68-meter hill).
The legend says that the devil himself assisted the prince to get the water. According to the legend, the prince in despair promised a generous reward – a bag with golden coins– to anyone who would help getting the water. Someone (who turned to be the devil) offered his assistance and after couple digs, the water started coming on the 85th meter. The prince got his water, the devil wanted his money. The problem was that the prince simply didn’t have that much. Being a smart man, he did give the devil the promised reward, which turned to be a very small bag (wallet-size) with couple golden coins. When the devil started arguing, the prince’s answer was very simple: yes, the award was the bag with golden coins, but no one said that it was going to be a big bag :)
Potable water was essential during long castle sieges, thus the well in the upper castle was necessety. The well in the yard of the upper castle was built in Koryatovych times (turn of the 15th cent) and served a long life - the water was drawn for the last time in 1897. it is currently is being cleaned from the 100 plus years of dirt, garbage and other “souvenirs.” The cleaning have been taken quite a long time taking into account that they are using tools almost of Koryatovych times (spades and buckets). During my last visit they have already gone 70-meter deep. Cleaning of the well could prove and/or refute many legends like: was there indeed a secret underground passage from the well which allowed the castle inhabitants to send a herald during the siege; were there reservoirs on the level of 83 meters to keep the water, etc. hopefully by the time you visit, the well will be able to reveal many more secret and exciting stories about Palanok castle.
Palanok Castle remains#1 landmark and the ‘reason d’etre’ for visiting Mukachevo. No matter from where you approach the castle, you will be stunned by its appearance – out of blue (or rather, out of total flatness) appears a hill, on a top of which is situated one of the most beautiful, and technically sophisticated structures of its time, as well as of castles preserved in Ukraine. The castle is located on a former 68 meter high volcanic hill and consists of three parts: the high, middle, and low castle
the history of the castle is long/convoluted/ with many noble families behind, which even I, being a native have hard time to remember. But three personalities do stand out and worth mentioning - Prince Fedir Koryatovych (1396-1414), who finished building the castle, protected it with moats as well as built a so much-needed castle well; Ilona Zrinyi, wife of a Transylvanian prince Ferenc I Rakoczi, and a courageous defender of the castle against the Austrian army from 1685 to 1688; and her son, Ferenc II Rákóczi, the leader of the Hungarian uprising against the Habsburgs in 1703-11.
A journey to the Schönborns hunting lodge starts on the railway station, which itself reminds a tiny castle. Following a cobble stone path (there is a visible shortcut through a park, which is safe to take) you reach once hunting lodge, currently one of the buildings of the Karpaty Recreation Complex.
the history of the castle dates to 1840, when Schönborns built here a wooden hunting lodge.
the current building, according to the plaque, was erected in 1890. according to romantic, or rather post-romantic concent of symbolism. This castel was built to symbolize the calendar: 365 windows, 4 towers, 12 chimneys, 52 rooms, 12 entrances, etc. In addition to that, the pond used to have a shape of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with the stone in place of Vienna (neither shape for the stone remain, instead they built a wooden gazebo and a little wodden house for swans. Both look absolutely out of place)
The park, once luxurious and well kept, now resembles a forest, but is still in a decent shape. The Schönborns must have been fond not only of hunting, but also of exotic trees. Therefore, while walking in the park/ forest one can spot out boxwood tree, catapla (candle tree), white spruce trees, Japanese cherry trees, and many other which happily adapted to the Carpathian climate.
the Schönborn’s hunting castle shared a destiny similar to most of the private estates Transcapathia was „reunited“ with Ukraine in 1944. It was nationalized and turned into a reabilitation facility (a sanatorium) in 1946. in the soviet times, it was one of the most desirable and prestegious places for rest and recreation, as well as for curing heart-related deseases. Some well-know people, icluding an american painter, Rockwell Kent (when, why, no one knows :), visited this place.
the lodge is open for visiting from 10:00 to 17:00, adn costs around 4 UAH. the entrance to the sanatorium is free.
In Ukrainian Mukachevo castle is called Palanok castle. It was built in 14th century on a 68 m high volcanic hill and covers an area of 14000 square meters. There are 130 rooms and lots of underground passages connecting the various parts. There is an upper, middle and lower castle. The Koriatovych family lived there for about 200 years and made it a real stronghold. The castle saw many nationalites owning it like a Serb prince or Hungarian nobles like Ferenc Rakoshy. Sources say that from 1789 or 1796 until 1897 it serves as a prison and that from 1805 till 1806 the crown of St. Stephen was hidden there from Napoleon. In 1926 it serves as barracks, later as an argicultural college and now it houses a museum. At one time it was defended by 164 cannons.
MUKACHEVO CASTLE: The stronghold was a residence of mighty Koriatovych family for almost 200 years During the reign of prince Felix Koriatovych the fortress became one of the most impregnable in the whole country. The prince and his family lived in the highest part of the castle, there were really very rich interiors there. The stronghold has a good armoury: 164 cannons of different sizes and 60 barrels of gun-powder. The castle was surrounded by deep ditch. The inner bank of the ditch was surrounded by the high wooden fence (or wall )(in Ukrainian this sort of fence is called "palanok", that's why this castle is known as Palanok castle. The area of this fortress is 14000 sq. m. the castle consists of 130 different premises with a complicated system of underground passages between them. The castle was the centre of the rebel lead by Ferenc Rakoshy. Since 1789 the castle was used as a prison
In 1926 the stronghold became a barracks, later there was an agricultural
college in it. Now it's a museum.
information provided by: Sergey Gnap
look at the url below for pictures etc.
Near the complex “Latoritsa” there is a chink with thermal water, which flows just into the bath. The temperature of water – is 35° Ñ. It is recommended to use both for swimming and drinking. Its curative properties help at treatment of skin diseases), respiratory ways, nervous and vessel systems.
Cultural and architectural monuments of the city are:
White palace of Rakotsi family (17-18th ) ;
Catholic church of St. Yosip (14th );
Orthodox female monastery;
St. Mikhail church (18-19th );
City Hall building (1906);
In a southwest part of town, in modern part of the town called “Palanok”, Mukachevo castle (14-17th century), is located which is the most valuable historical and architectural monuments. Its name originate from system of medieval wooden strengthening structures round of a fortress.
The castle is located on a mountain of a volcanic origin at height 68 ì and occupies the area of 13 930 sq. hectares. The legend says it is an artificial mountain, made by the common people, who suffer torments, while erecting it.
So the name of the town of Mukachevo probably originate from the word “muka”, meaning suffering. Nowadays the Historical museum is in the castle, where the visitors can see medieval architecture, ancient court yard and galleries.