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Must See Places in Khmelnytskyi: Medzhybizh Castle

11. September 2009 by Celeste 0 Comments

Medzhybizh Castle in Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine

Medzhybizh Castle, located in the small town of Medzhybizh, is a prominent attraction you must visit during your trip to Ukraine.  The castle was constructed between the Bug and Buzhok rivers, replacing an older wooden fortress which was destroyed in 1255.  It was rebuilt in the 16th century when the region came under the control of the Sieniawski and Potocki Polish noble families.  Work began in 1511 on the stone fortifications which can still be seen today.  A dam was built upon the Southern Bug river to create a defensive lake, as well as a rhomboid castle with four towers.  These state of the art fortifications made Medzhybizh Castle one of the strongest military installations in the region and aided its prosperity over the next three centuries.


The town of Medzhybizh has grown around the fortress erected on the rocky hill, overlooking the river, meadows and woods.  The small town is threaded with serpentine streets and sweet smelling air, lending a cozy feeling to visitors.  Medzhybizh is a quiet town, where travelers are sure to be charmed by the unforgettable sincerity of its people and the generosity of the land.


Current excavations are archeologists’ research is proving that Medzhybizh is much older than it was once considered to be – the landmark is now considered to be more than 850 years old. 


The citadel now houses an open air museum dedicated to Ukrainian and European history.  Every year, an international festival of medieval culture is arranged beyond the ancient walls of the citadel. 


The area is also rich in Jewish history and culture.  North of the town, visitors can find an old Jewish cemetery, which has become a tourist attraction for Hasidic Jews seeking out the Baal Shem Tov’s grave.  Legend has it that the cemetery remained protected during World War II by the local Ukrainian population, who remembered the Baal Shem Tov’s healing powers during his lifetime and feared his powerful magic even from beyond the grave. 


Certainly, anyone interested in medieval castles, history and culture should include a trip to Medzhybizh Castle during their visit to Ukraine.