Medzhybіzh Castle

Medzhybіzh town (located 25 km of Khmelnitsky) is first mentioned in Hypatian Chronicle of 1146-1148. The town was given this complicated name as it is located in a very picturesque place where Yuzhny Bug River is connected with its left feeder – Buzhok. Driving the road (the town is located 1 km of the highway Vinnitsa – Khmelnitsky) you can see the second popular fortress of Khmelnitsky region. You could not pass the brick “White SwanMedzhybіzh castle – you will recognize the unique view (the area of the castle territory is 0.75 hectares) and castle which has survived till our days.

Medzhybіzh castle

The scientists established that in the 13th century there stood a wood fortress with the earth ramparts. Probably it was destroyed in 1242 at time of the war with the Mongols and Tatars.

The Lithuanians and Poles could claim the inheritance in Medzhybіzh, as they owned Medzhybіzh in the 15th century in succession – at first it belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later it was administered by Poland. Medzhybіzh had a complicated history. After construction of the brick castle to defense from Tatars (first mentioned in 1516) it passed into ownership of the Ukrainian Cossacks, Poles and Turks a few times. Within a few centuries it was a place of rest for the military men who went to the war via Medzhybіzh. The castle was completed, reconstructed, new walls and towers were built, the castle was decorated, developed and today we see it as a triangle castle, located between two rivers. The castle length is 130 m, the width at the west is 85 m, its height is up to 17 m. The thickness of walls is up to 4 m.

Castle in Medzhybіzh

“White Swan” Medzhybіzh castle is one of a few Renaissance castles of Ukraine, which is still in a very good condition.

Medzhybіzh castle is decorated with three towers: three-stored octagonal tower is built at the Northern side, a small pentagonal tower with the embrasures (Knight Tower) is located at the Northern-Western side, and a huge corner tower with the complicated configuration (diamond-shaped part and 4 semicircular towers connected in pairs) is located at the Southern side. Officer tower stands in the Eastern corner where the buildings of the ordinary inhabitants of the castle were located. In the central part of the castle yard there is a Castle temple built in 1564. It has a high roof and a tower crowned with a spire. The temple was reconstructed from the Catholic into Orthodox one.

There is a museum in the territory of the castle. The new exposition of Medzhybіzh museum includes ethnography, history and icon painting. The history of Medzhybіzh and its castle is represented in the first two rooms – since its construction till the beginning of the 20th century. The interior of an ordinary house is represented in the third room. The fourth room is devoted to the smith craft and pottery, the fifth one to the folk weaving, the sixth one to the icon painting. You can also see the articles of the Trypillya culture, Chernyakhovskaya culture and culture of Kievan Rus.

Starting from 2004 All-Ukrainian Historical festival Ancient Medzhybіzh took place annually at the end of August. At time of the festival the castle is filled with the tourists, knights, archers, kings and princesses and with mythical personages. The guests can enjoy the music, dances, theatrical shows, medieval cuisine, master classes on ancient crafts and medieval dances. In 2011 only the persons in the authentic costumes are allowed to participate in the festival. The re-enactors from more than 50 military and historical clubs of Ukraine come there to participate in the tournaments and group combats, costume contest and competition of minstrels. Also at the beginning of summer two-day festival devoted to the opening of the season in Medzhybіzh is held. The guests of the festival could enjoy the knight tournaments, live music, trade fair, fire show, medieval eating-house and many other interesting things. The ticket costs only 30 hrivnas for adults and 15 hrivnas for children – the food is free.

There are the ruins of the late Gothic Troitsky kostel (1600-1632) not far from Medzhybіzh castle. The kostel was founded by Sinyavsky family which owned the castle within 2 centuries. Some remains of the cells of Dominican monastery are located nearby.

Today Medzhybіzh is interesting not only by its ancient castle, which attracts the tourists from the whole world. Medzhybіzh is the motherland of Hasidism. Baal Shem Tov – the religious philosopher and traveler – lived here since 1740 till 1760 (Israel ben Eliezar). The Hasids from all over the world visit Medzhybіzh on Sivan, 6 by Jewish calendar (at the end of May) to celebrate the beginning of the annual holiday – Shabuoth – and pray at the grave of Baal Shem Tov. The names of the street are provided on the buildings in the Yiddish language here!

The souvenir market is located not far from Baal Shem Tov mausoleum, there are bathhouses and a hotel here.

If you would like to get to know more details about castles and fortresses of Ukraine read the article Miracles of Ukraine: castles and fortresses of Ukraine.

Medzhybіzh State Historical-Cultural Reserve.
Working hours: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., day off: Monday, telephone: (03857) 971-30.
Ticket price to enter the territory of the Medzhybіzh State Historical-Cultural Reserve is 7 - 15 hrivnas. Excursion price is 20 - 50 hrivnas.

How to get to Medzhybіzh: The most convenient way to get to Medzhybіzh is from Khmelnitsky. The buses depart from the central bus station, which is located 200 m off the train station. You can get to Khmelnitsky by bus or by train. If you travel by the car you should take the highway Khmelnitsky – Vinnitsa (32 km off Khmelnitsky), then follow the roadway markers.

The guests of Medzhybіzh can stay at the hotel: Medzhybіzh motel – 1 km off Medzhybіzh fortress, telephone (03857) 9-72-50 – hotel, cottages, restaurant, grill-bar, shops, car service center.

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