Vaumarcus Castle is a medieval castle, which hosts today a shopping center. Vaumarcus is a good example of the transformation, which took place in most castles in the 13th century when they were protected to defend agains new weapons, such as throwing machines.
There was initially an entrance to the castle more than 7 m above ground level. It was undoubtedly reached from the outside by a wooden stairs, which were removed in danger. The kitchen was on the ground floor.
The family of Vaumarcus has experienced financial difficulties for a long time. Pierre Vaumarcus sold the castle and the territories to the Count Rollin of Neuchâtel. He strengthened the primitive construction by erecting a gothic gate on the ground floor, with a drawbridge in front.
The castle Vaumarcus was besieged by the Swiss army after the Battle of Grandson in 1476. The old castle was rebuilt after 1476; the new castle, which is located in the north-east, was surrounded by a terrace rebuilt in 1773.
Today, the castle has an international central administration, a family and gastronomic restaurant and a cultural center.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.