Price: admission free
The Nevitsky Castle, whose ruins lie on the top of the high mountain in the picturesque Uzh River’s valley, is called one of Zakarpattia many architectural wonders for a reason. Despite the fact that only walls and several towers remained from the medieval castle, it still makes a strong impression on history buffs and romantics who come up here in order to admire charming Carpathian panoramas.
The story of this prominent monument of defence architecture began in the late 12th – early 13th centuries. A wooden fortress was raised on Hungarian Kingdom’s border, in order to control the exit from the Uzhanskaya valley, which was a part of an important trade route. In the 14th century, Counts Drugets became Zakarpattia lands’ owners and decided to build a well fortified stone castle here.
The legend states that construction works were controlled by a representative of the Druget family, who, for her extreme cruelty and tough temper, was nicknamed as Evil Maiden by the locals. The story goes that she ordered to add milk and eggs to the lime grout, in order to strengthen castle walls. Residents from neighboring villages had to bring them, and those who didn’t obey this order were cruelly punished.
Anyway, the Drugets managed to raise a truly impregnable castle that was not inferior in its defensive abilities to the best European fortifications. The Nevitsky castle complex had an irregular oval shape. The yard with square donjon – the main defensive tower – in the center was surrounded by the inner rampart, on which the fortress wall with four towers was built. The next stage of castle’s defence system was a deep ditch with another, outer rampart behind it. Fortress’s inner yard had a four-meter-diameter well, where rain water was supposed to accumulate. Over the centuries the Nevitsky Castle was repeatedly restored and fortified; its final complex was formed only in the 16th century.
The representatives of the Druget family held internecine religious wars for many years, and as a result the castle frequently changed its owners, until it was destroyed by the Transylvanian Prince Dyerd Rakocziy, in 1644. Afterwards, the Nevitsky Castle was never reconstructed and only its ruins survived until now.
Today, the fragments of defensive walls, donjon, four corner towers and gate tower can be seen on the mount’s top. The fortress is currently under restoration, which should be finished by 2015, but the castle ruins are opened for visiting.
Getting here. The Nevitsky Castle stands near the village Nevitskoye, located 12 km away from Uzhgorod. You can get here by route taxi №115, which departs from Uzhgorod downtown – Koryatovicha Sq. It is better to get off in the village Kamyanitsya, which is located a little farther than Nevitskoye village; and then to walk across the pedestrian hanging bridge and ascend the slope of the Castle Hill.