Volkau, Mikola Aljaksandravich. Reconstruction of the Old Castle of Hrodna

Published Date:

For citation: Volkau, Mikola Aljaksandravich. Reconstruction of the Old Castle of Hrodna, in Studia Slavica et Balcanica Petropolitana. 2021. № 1. Pp. 145-160. DOI https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu19.2021.109

Title of the article Reconstruction of the Old Castle of Hrodna

Volkau, Mikola Aljaksandravich — PhD in History, Researcher, European Humanities University, Vilnius, Lithuania, Orc ID 0000-0003-1840-4145; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the section  Miscellanea / Miscellanea
Year 2021 Issue Pages 145-160
Type of article RAR Index UDK; BBK UDK 725.171+72.061;
BBK 79.0
Index DOI https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu19.2021.109

The Old Castle in Hrodna is the most important architectural monument for Belarus in terms of its historical value, since it is the only architectural object in the country where state institutions have functioned for more than seven centuries. Active reconstruction of the castle, which began in 2016, showed that the «revival» of this building is supported by a significant part of the Belarusian society and elites, also due to the fact that castles are perceived as important symbols in the Belarusian national narrative. At the same time, such heritage objects are quite convenient in terms of interpretation and, depending on the situation and needs, can be used as symbols of different ideas and concepts. The reconstruction of the Old Castle is the quintessence of the «romantic» approach to the restoration of architectural monuments, when the basis of the concept is the desire to restore the object for a certain narrow period «in all its greatness». The project for the reconstruction of this castle is characterized by the desire to increase the architectural volumes in height in order to create a more expressive image. At the same time, the works performed in 2017–2020 showed that a significant part of architects, officials and the Belarusian society are not embarrassed by the striking difference between the proposed image and how the castle looked according to historical sources. However, the implementation of this approach threatens the Old Castle with a loss of authenticity, which is the greatest value of this monument in the long term.

Keywords architecture, Old Grodno Castle, reconstruction, architectural monuments, Grodno, national idea, cultural studies, national identity
Full text version of the article. Article language  Russian

Bachkou, Uladzimir; Baravy, Rascislau; Trusau, Aleh. Grodzenskі Stary zamak [Hrodna Old Castle], in Mastactva Belarusi [Art of Belarus]. 1989. No. 6. Pp. 47–48. (in Belarusian).

Bachkov, Vladimir Vasilyevich. Alebastroviy zal v Starom zamke [Alabaster Hall in the Old Castle], in Krayaznauchiya zapiski [Local history notes]. 2016. Issue 10. Pp. 23–28. (in Russian).

Bachkov, Vladimir Vasilyevich. Korolevskaya rezidentsiya na Zamkovoy gore [Royal residence on the Castle Hill], in Krayaznauchiya zapiski [Local history notes]. 2013. Issue 9. Pp. 21–35. (in Russian).

Bubnousky, Dzmitriy Syamyonavich. Fenomen Mirskaga zamka [The phenomenon of the Mir Castle], in Vysotskaya, Nadzeya Fyodarauna (ed.). Mirski zamak yak gistoryka-kul’turny fenomen XV – pachatku XX stagoddzya. Noviya dasledavanni [Mir Castle as a historical and cultural phenomenon of the 15th – early 20th centuries. New researches]. Minsk: Belprynt Publ., 2004. Pp. 6–17. (in Belarusian).

Bubnousky, Dzmitriy Syamyonavich. Svaim khodam u «kresy wschodnie» [Way to the eastern outskirts], in Arkhitektura i stroitel’stvo [Architecture and construction]. 2012. No. 3. Pp. 95–97. (in Belarusian).

Drushchyts, Syargey Alyaksandravich. Abaronchiya zbudavannі zamka u Nyasvіzhy: pa vynіkakh navukova-dasledchykh і restauratsiynykh rabot [Defensive structures of the castle in Niasvizh: based on the results of research and restoration works], in Arkhitektura i stroitel’stvo [Architecture and construction]. 2013. No. 2. Pp. 58–71. (in Belarusian).

Fischinger, Andrzej. Santi Gucci: Architekt i rzeźbiarz królewski XVI wieku [Santi Gucci: The 16th century royal architect and sculptor]. Krakow: Ministerstwo Kultury i Sztuki — Zarząd Muzeów i Ochrony Zabytków Publ., 1969. 193 p. (in Polish).

Tkachev, Mikhail Aleksandrovich. Zamki Belorussii [Castles of Belarus]. Minsk: Polymya Publ., 1987. 224 p. (in Russian).

Tkachev, Mikhail Aleksandrovich. Zamki Belorussii [Castles of Belarus]. Minsk: Belarus’ Publ., 2002. 200 p. (in Russian).

Tkachou, Mikhail Alyaksandravich. Zamki Belarusi [Castles of Belarus]. Minsk: Polymya Publ., 1977. 88 p. (in Belarusian).

Trusau, Aleg Anatolyevich; Sobal’, Valyantsіn Eniseevich; Zdanovich, Nina Ivanauna. Stary zamak u Grodnje XI–XVIII stst.: Gistoryka-arkhealagіchny narys [Old Castle in Hrodna in the 11th–18th centuries: Historical and archeological essay]. Minsk: Navuka i tekhnika Publ., 1993. 152 p. (in Belarusian).

Volkau, Mikola Aljaksandravich. Ab restauratsyі Staroga zamka u Garodnі [On the restoration of the Old Castle in Hrodna], in Pershy mіzhnarodny navukovy kangres belaruskay kultury: Zbornіk materiyalau [The First International scientific congress of Belarusian culture: Collection of materials]. Minsk, 2016. Pp. 77–79. (in Belarusian).

Volkau, Mikola Aljaksandravich. Arkhіtektura Staroga zamka u Grodna u XVI–XVIII stst.: vyglyad і pryznachenne zbudavannyau razmeshchanykh uzdouzh nemanskay stsyany [Architecture of the Old Castle in Hrodna in the 15th–18th centuries: appearance and purpose of buildings located along the Njoman wall], in Belaruski gistarychny chasopis [Belarusian historical journal]. 2015. No. 11. Pp. 5–22. (in Belarusian).

Volkau, Mikola Aljaksandravich. Nyasvіzhskі zamak u Vyalіkay Paunochnay vayne [Njasvizh Castle in the Great Northern War], in Sokal, Stsyapan Fedaravich; Yanushkevіch, Andrey Mikalaevich. Vyalіkae Knyastva Lіtouskae: Prava. Vayna. Dyplamatiya [Grand Duchy of Lithuania: Law. War. Diplomacy]. Minsk: BIL — Institute of Law Publ., 2012. Pp. 219–238. (in Belarusian).

Voronin, Nikolay Nikolaevich. Drevnee Grodno (Po materialam arkheologicheskikh raskopok 1932–1949 gg.) [Ancient Hrodna (According to the materials of archeological excavations of 1932–1949)]. Moscow: Academy of Sciences of the USSR Press, 1954. 239 p. (in Russian).

Wardzyński, Michał. Rezydencje królewskie Wazów — europejskie inspiracje architektury i rzeźby [Royal residences of the Vasa — European inspirations of architecture and sculpture], in Żukowski, Jacek; Hundert, Zbigniew (eds). Świat polskich Wazów: Eseje [World of Polish Vases: Essays]. Warszawa: Zamek Królewski w Warszawie Publ., 2019. Pp. 257–273. (in Polish).

Wojciechowski, Jarosław. Stary zamek w Grodnie, I [Old castle in Hrodna, I], in Biuletyn Historji Sztuki i Kultury [Bulletin of the history of art and culture]. 1938. No. 2. Pp. 119–142. (in Polish).

Wojciechowski, Jarosław. Stary zamek w Grodne, II [Old castle in Hrodna, II], in Biuletyn Historji Sztuki i Kultury [Bulletin of the history of art and culture]. 1938. No. 3. Pp. 229–270. (in Polish).


Tags: ethnicity, historical memory, medieval studies, MISCELLANEA / MISCELLANEA, national idea, national identity, cultural studies, Art, architecture, Belarus, reconstruction, VOLKAU M.

  • Hits: 401