Thursday, June 04, 2009

Lida Castle in Belarus to be restored

Authorities set to restore medieval castle in Lida
4 June 2009

Belarusian authorities plan to restore a 14th-century castle in Lida, Hrodna region. The necessary design work is expected to be completed by July, Natallya Branets, scientific director for the project, told BelaPAN. According to her, the project provides for the renovation of the surviving tower of the two-tower castle. The other tower would be rebuilt and so would be the barracks, storehouses, blacksmith shop, horse stalls, gallery and two medieval wells that were located in the courtyard, Ms. Branets said. The restored castle will house a museum of medieval traditions and art, a tourist agency, a knights club, a café and a gift store, Ms. Branets said. Theatrical performances, knights tournaments and sports events will be held in the courtyard, she said. The project may be completed by the fall of 2010 if there is sufficient funding, Ms. Branets said.

The Lida Castle was one of several citadels build by order of Grand Duke Gediminas in the 1330s to defend the Grand Duchy of Litva against the expansion of the Teutonic knights. Situated on a sandy hill, the site of the castle is naturally protected by the Rivers Kamenka and Lida. A 20-meter moat and a lake were later added to its defenses. Despite its strong fortifications, the castle was repeatedly taken by invading armies. After a fire in Lida in 1891, the castle's southwestern tower and parts of its western wall were torn down to provide stone for repairing fire-damaged houses.