The Château de Blandy-les-Tours was mentioned first time in 1216. It belonged to Adam II de Chailly, Viscount of Melun and consisted of a simple manor. The chapel was originally only stone building. In the 14th century, the castle was strongly modified with new fortifications: a moat was dug and a new gate-tower with a drawbridge was included in the enclosing wall. The kings Charles V (1364 - 1380) and Charles VI (1380 - 1422) financed the transformation into a castle for the successive owners of the castle, the counts de Tancarville Jean II and his grandson Guillaume IV. A high keep, defended by two drawbridges, was built. The curtain wall was modified by the addition of new towers. All these modifications took place during the Hundred Years' War.
However, the castle of Blandy-les-Tours was rebuilt in the 16th century by François II of Orleans. The castle consequently became a residence. The princess of Cleves married there in 1572 in the presence of the future Henry IV. But, the castle often changed owner and worsened gradually with various dwellings inside the enclosure.
After the 17th century restorations, the marshal de Villars, owner of the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte, bought the land and the castle of Blandy. He decided to dismantle it and transformed it into a farm. The roofs were taken from the towers, the parapets were destroyed and the large gatehouse was dismantled.
In 1764, the castle was resold to the duke of Choiseul-Praslin, minister of Louis XV. In 1888, Pierre-Charles Tuot, the mayor of Blandy-les-Tours, bought it and gave it to the municipality, no building remains in the ruined enclosure. It became a Monument historique in 1889. In the 1970s, volunteer associations began the first works to restore the castle.
The keep of the castle is built as part of a hexagonal enclosure, around the castle chapel. It stands 35 m high inside a polygonal enclosure of 14th century round towers. In the courtyard are the remains of the Merovingian crypt. The castle of Blandy is a typical example of a 13th-century feudal fortress, later transformed into a great lordly residence in the style of the late 14th century. The enclosure holds 6 towers.References:
The Kalozha church of Saints Boris and Gleb is the oldest extant structure in Hrodna. It is the only surviving monument of ancient Black Ruthenian architecture, distinguished from other Orthodox churches by prolific use of polychrome faceted stones of blue, green or red tint which could be arranged to form crosses or other figures on the wall.
The church is a cross-domed building supported by six circular pillars. The outside is articulated with projecting pilasters, which have rounded corners, as does the building itself. The ante-nave contains the choir loft, accessed by a narrow gradatory in the western wall. Two other stairs were discovered in the walls of the side apses; their purpose is not clear. The floor is lined with ceramic tiles forming decorative patterns. The interior was lined with innumerable built-in pitchers, which usually serve in Eastern Orthodox churches as resonators but in this case were scored to produce decorative effects. For this reason, the central nave has never been painted.
The church was built before 1183 and survived intact, depicted in the 1840s by Michał Kulesza, until 1853, when the south wall collapsed, due to its perilous location on the high bank of the Neman. During restoration works, some fragments of 12th-century frescoes were discovered in the apses. Remains of four other churches in the same style, decorated with pitchers and coloured stones instead of frescoes, were discovered in Hrodna and Vaŭkavysk. They all date back to the turn of the 13th century, as do remains of the first stone palace in the Old Hrodna Castle.
In 2004, the church was included in the Tentative List of UNESCO"s World Heritage Sites.