The Palace of Schönborns (Chinadievo )
Chinadievo settlement, health resort "Karpaty"
The hunting Palace of Schönborns, raised over Latoritsa River’s picturesque valley near the ancient Mukachevo, is rightly considered to be one of the most beautiful temples, for which Western Ukraine is famous. Built in the late 19th century by the best European architects, it has survived until now almost unchanged and enjoys the status of the unique historical and architectural monument. This charming palace is reminiscent of the fairy castle and is reckoned among region’s most interesting and most visited sights.
The representatives of the Austrian Count Family Schönborns were the largest landowners in Zakarpattia for two centuries. They have got the settlement Chinadievo and adjoined lands, where the castle stands today, as a present from the King Karl the Six for participation in defeat of the Hungarian national liberation movement, 1703 – 1711. Later, the Counts Schönborns who were famous for their passion for hunting built a small hunting house here and high-ranked guests from all over the Habsburg Empire often visited it.
However, soon the small summer residence wasn’t able to accommodate everyone willing to hunt on the rich with game Zakarpattia lands any more. Thus, the Count Erwin Friedrich Schönborn decided to build a large stone palace on its place. For this purpose he invited the best German and French architects who designed an elegant palace embodying the best traits of the French Renaissance in its architecture. In 1890, construction was finished and the palace harmonically blended in the astonishing Zakarpattia landscape.
The brick palace, covered with figured roof tiles and topped with elegant turrets, was notable not only for the beauty of its forms, but also for an interesting concept. The same as many other European castles of that time it had the, so called, astronomic structure. The Palace of Schönborns numbered 365 windows, according to the number of days in a year, 52 rooms and the same number of chimneys, corresponding to the number of weeks in a year, and 12 entrance doors, which equals the number of months. And its four differently shaped towers with tin weather vanes that rose above the castle symbolized seasons. The main facade was adorned with Schönborns’ family coat of arms, depicting lion with crown, and tower clock that, by the way, still functions. The windows were adorned with stained glass, depicting biblical plots, many of them survived until now.
Palace’s interior wasn’t inferior to its intricate outer decoration and at the same time created the atmosphere of warmth and comfort, which was favorable for recreation after hunting. Luxurious wooden stairs leading to the second floor, original fireplace and unique handmade luster, made of deer antlers, are among interior’s most notable details.
As any other castle, the Palace of Schönborns has its own legends. The most famous of them states that one of the palace’s owners was very jealous and always suspected his wife of infidelity. In order to test her fidelity, the Count listened to the fortune-teller’s advice and asked his wife to descent the steep rock, located opposite to the castle. The Countess carried out this weird task, but she never forgave her husband’s suspicions and left him. It is said that after her death a ghost of a lady dressed in black was repeatedly seen in the castle.
Simultaneously with palace’s construction, the luxurious English garden was laid near it and planted with rare tree kinds. The artificial lake, shaped as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was placed in its center. Park’s another attraction is the rich with glycerin mineral spring that, according to legend, restores beauty and youth of everyone who washes in it. And quite recently, mini-zoo was created on park’s territory.
Since 1946, palatial premises are occupied by the health resort “Karpaty.” Nevertheless, guided tours are regularly carried out here. The fireplace room and the library, which preserved their original interiors, are open for visiting.
Getting here. It is possible to get to the Palace of Schönborns by bus, which goes to the resort house “Karpaty” from Mukachevo. There is also a suburban electric train going to the railway station “Sanatory Karpaty.”