Top Historic Sights in Vitebsk, Belarus

Explore the historic highlights of Vitebsk

Sviato-Dukhov Monastery

Monastery of the Holy Spirit (Sviato-Dukhov Monastery) is a female Eastern Orthodox monastery in Vitebsk. The monastery was founded in the 1380s by Duchess Uliana of Tver, wife of Algirdas, Grand Duke of Lithuania. Algirdas ordered to construction of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in this monastery. About 1392–1393, after Algirdas" death, Uliania took the vows of schema in her monastery. From mid-17th centur ...
Founded: 1380s | Location: Vitebsk, Belarus

Troitsky Markov Monastery

Svyato-Troitsky Markov Monastery (Holy Trinity Markov Monastery) is one of two modern monasteries in Vitebsk (second one is female Svyato-Dukhov Monastery). Markov Monastery was founded in the 14th-15th century. A legend indicates that a certain Mark found a place to stay alone and built a chapel there. After he was joined by like-minded persons, who formed the monastery. The monastery existed till 1576, after it was abo ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Vitebsk, Belarus

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Ängsö Castle

Ängsö Castle was first named as "Engsev" in a royal charter by king Canute I of Sweden (r. 1167-1196), in which he stated that he had inherited the property after his father Eric IX of Sweden. Until 1272, it was owned by the Riseberga Abbey, and then taken over by Gregers Birgersson.

From 1475 until 1710, it was owned by the Sparre family. The current castle was built as a fortress by riksråd Bengt Fadersson Sparre in the 1480s. In 1522, Ängsö Castle was taken after a siege by king Gustav Vasa, since its owner, Fadersson's son Knut Bengtsson, sided with Christian II of Denmark. However, in 1538 it was given by the king to Bengtsson's daughter Hillevi Knutsdotter, who was married to Arvid Trolle.

In 1710, the castle was taken over by Carl Piper and Christina Piper. Ängsö Castle was owned by the Piper family from 1710 until 1971, and is now owned by the Westmanna foundation. The castle building itself was made into a museum in 1959 and was made a listed building in 1965. It is currently opened to visitors during the summers.

The castle is a cubical building in four stores made by stone and bricks. The lower parts is preserved from the middle ages. It was redecorated and expanded in the 1630s. The 4th storey as well as the roof is from the expansion of Carl Hårleman from 1740-41. It gained its current appearance in the 1740s.