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The Castle of Bykhov

Mogilev Region, Bykhov

Built in 1590, the stone castle in the ancient Belarusian town of Bykhov used to be owned by the Svidrigailos, the Gashtold Count Family, the Khodkevich tycoon family and the Sapiegas. Jan Khodkevich, a hetman of the Great Duchy of Lithuania, would receive the King’s official permission to build a stone castle and fortifications to substitute the wooden ones.

Every new owner would add something to the castle. At the best of its time, in the early 1600s the castle boasted an 800-metre embankment with bastions, ravelins and a semicircular ditch. With all those reinforcement, the castle of Bykhov was reputed to be an unassailable citadel, protected by the River Dnieper in the east and three stone towers in the west. There were some 7-8 embrasures in each tower. One of the towers had an entrance gate with a complicated system of iron locks and a weathercock with the Sapiega Family emblem on top.

During the war between Russia and Poland in the middle of the 17th century the castle of Bykhov had a really rough time. During the 1659 siege by the troops led by Count Lobanov-Rostovski, Bykhov sustained serious damaged and the castle’s whole arsenal would detonate.

During the Northern War the army led by Tsar Peter I made their contribution to the destruction of the castle, who had served as a base for the Russian troops for seven years. While retreating, the Russians blew up the bastions.

Only a few fragments of the castle and the palace have survived till the present time.

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