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Places of Halych

Castle of Halych

Halych was the capital of the Halych princedom and one of the largest cities of Europe in the 13th century. The center of the old Halych was situated in the territory of the present-day village of Krylos, and the city itself, with adjoining villages, monasteries and castles stretched from the Dnister to the Limnytsa river, which is for almost 10 kilometers, with the population of about 15,000. Nowadays, a historical and cultural park is created in the territory of Halych outskirts and the adjoining villages. This park provides protection to a number of monuments of the state and world importance.

The old Halych consisted of a citadel, a fortified suburb, unfortified suburbs, nearby castles and monasteries. The Citadel lays on an acclivous mountain top in the village of Krylos. Here you can see the foundation of Dormitory Cathedral, which was the main church of the Halych princedom. It was built in the 13th century and finely decorated by glyptics; it is supposed to be taken apart in the 15th century. On its foundations, St. Basil’s chapel was built in 1500 and its stone blocks were used to build Dormitory Church. Together with the stones, it inherited inscriptions and architectural elements of the 12th and 13th centuries. Chambers of Metropolitan (built in the 19th century) are situated near Dormitory Church and in their premises; there is a Museum of the Old Halych History.

Right behind the chambers of metropolitan there stands the fortification system of the citadel — six lines of earth banks up to 25 meters in height. Between them stands the legendary Halychyna Grave mentioned in a manuscript of the 13th century. In this grave-mound, archaeologists found a burial of the 10th century — human bones in a burnt boat, arms and a gilded buckle. They believe that the richness of the burial may justify that in this grave, the founder of Halych was buried.

Nearby, in the area of the fortified suburb there is a Museum of folk architecture and lifestyle in the open air. There you can see buildings of the 19th-20th centuries brought from various ethnographic regions of this oblast, such as Hutsulschina, Opillya, Boykivschyna and Pokuttya. The present-day Halych is situated where there used to be the prince’s quay in the river of Dnister. Here, a part of the medieval Old Russian Starostynsky Castle is preserved. The castle was built to protect the quay. It was always important to have a good vision to ensure effective defense, and even now you can see a wonderful view of the river and the city from Zamkova (Castle) mountain!

The only church of the Halych princedom preserved in all its integrity is St. Panteleimon’s Church. It is situated in the village of Shevchenkovo, which was once a territory of the old Halych. This is not only a distinguished historical monument but also a fine Specimen of Old Russian architecture a high, stern white stone construction with huge dome.

The end of Halych and Volyn Princedom
The princedom existed until 1340 when the boyars poisoned Yuri the Second, the last prince of Halych. According to a personal union between Yuri the Second and the Polish king Kasimir the Third the ruler who died without having an apparent heir had to cede his state to the neighbor. Therefore seeing almost no resistance Kasimir the Third managed the capture Halych lands quite lawfully. However, the Halych aristocracy was punished severely for assassinating their own prince, as upon cession of Halych lands to Poland almost all of them were equal in their rights with common villagers.

Interesting: Trip to Halych. Travel plan