Piranesi in Belarus
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The ruins of Halshany Castle.
Halshany or Holszany Castle (Belarusian: Гальшанскі замак) is the ruined residence of the Sapieha magnate family in Halshany, Hrodna Voblast, Belarus. It was erected in the early 17th century in place of an older seat of the Holszanski princely family.
Also known as the Black Castle (although it is built of red brick), the residence formerly rivaled Mir Castle as the most elegant private château of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The name Black Castle in fact originally applies to a fictional building from a book by Uladzimir Karatkievich, which was loosely based on Halshany Castle.
The castle was devastated by the invading Swedes in 1704 and, due to financial stress experienced by the Sapiehas in the wake of the Domestic War, has never been restored. After Sapiehas’ immigration to France, the castle was passed to Russian landlord Gorbanyov. In 1880, he had the castles’ towers pulled down and made money by selling the bricks.
Currently, the castle continues to crumble away. An annual tournament is held near its walls each summer.