The Mir Castle Complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the few located on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. It is situated in the town of Mir, about 100 km from Minsk. Since the beginning of the 16th century, the date of its foundation, the castle has survived several wars, changed a great number of owners and finally withstood the changes of different political regimes and states.
At the beginning of the 16th century local landlord Yury Ilyinich started the construction of a mighty stone castle, the first of its kind on the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to be built by a private owner. But in 1568 their dynasty dies out and the castle is passed to the most famous, reach and noble family of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later on of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – the Radziwills. In 1812 the Radziwills rebel against the Russian Empire but after their defeat the castle becomes abandoned for a long time.
After several changes of owners and political regimes the castle was in a rather poor condition in the middle of 20th century. In 1983 the restoration works began. Nowadays it’s a magnificent castle, surrounded by massive walls (3-5 meters thick) and 5 towers (25-28 meters high), attracting thousands of tourist from all around the world every year. In December 2000, the Mir Castle was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
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