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Nevitske Nevytskyi fortress

18.07.2022 145

The history of the village is closely connected with the Nevitsky Castle, located nearby on a mountain of volcanic origin.

Nevytske (Hungarian: Nevicke) is a village in the Uzhgorod District, Zakarpattia Oblast, located on the right bank of the Uzh River at a distance of 12 km from m. Uzhhorod.

People have inhabited this area since ancient times, as evidenced by finds of stone axes (Neolithic Age 4 thousand BC), jewelry and weapons (Bronze Age 2 thousand BC), ceramics and things from later times .


The history of the village is closely related to the Nevytskyi Castle, located nearby on a mountain of volcanic origin at an altitude of 260 m above sea level. The conducted excavations give reason to assume that the castle was built in the 12th-13th centuries. on the site of an earlier wooden fortress.

According to folk tales, the first wooden fortress on this site was built by a Slavic princess long before the arrival of Hungarian tribes in the Danube lowland. The fortress served as a shelter for women and children in case of an enemy attack. Hence the name of the castle is connected with the word “daughter-in-law”, i.e. bride or girl.

The first inhabitants of Nevytskyi were probably castle peasants who performed various jobs related to the maintenance of the fortress.
In 1241, the Nevytskyi fortification was destroyed by the Mongol-Tatars, but by the middle of the 13th century. was restored. The defensive system of the fortress at that time was formed by ramparts, ditches and a wooden palisade.

Strategically, the outpost had a very good location, because it is in this place that the narrow valley of the Uzh river begins to widen, which allowed at one time to control the trade route from Hungary, which passed through the Uzhock Pass to the Principality of Galicia-Volyn and to Poland.


Nevytskyi Castle.

It is known that in 1279, the Hungarian king Laszlo IV Kun (r. 1272 – 1290) transferred the lands of the Uzhan Comitat to the Transylvanian voivode Finti from the Obo (Aba) family. In 1290, King András III (r. 1290-1301) appointed Hungarian feudal lord Omodei (brother of Finti Obo), whose residence was the Nevytskyi fortress, as the county governor of the Uzhan Committee. Omodei Obo strengthened the defensive capabilities of the fortification. In 1317, the Nevytskyi fortress was mentioned as a stronghold of the local feudal opposition against the royal power of Karoi (Karl) and Robert of Anjou (r. 1301 – 1342). Since 1328, after the final victory of Charles I Robert, the king’s faithful Janos Druget became the lord of Nevytskyi.

During the early Middle Ages, peasants from Nevytskyi supplied the fortress with food and fuel, engaged in agriculture, cattle breeding, horticulture, and viticulture. During the 14-15 centuries. residents of Nevytskyi, who had already been established at that time, lost the right to transfer from one feudal lord to another and received a number of duties. In the 15th century the anti-feudal struggle of the peasants-serfs of the Uzhan Valley intensified. Residents of Nevytskyi took part in the peasant war of 1514 in the detachment of P. Borshvai. After suppressing the uprising, the feudal lords imposed a huge contribution on the peasants.


Under the rule of the Drugets, the construction of a stone castle began on the site of the wooden fortress, which until the beginning of the 15th century. was the center of their possessions. After the management of the Druget estates was transferred to Uzhgorod , Nevsky Castle turned into an outpost to protect the approaches to Uzhgorod Castle.

In terms of type, the fortress was close to the Italian castles of that renaissance. In general, the shape of the defensive complex resembled an oval with the western part cut off, which was determined by the features of the topography of the castle hill and had buildings and a system of fortifications made of ramparts, ditches and walls with towers.


Archaeologists have excavated special drainage systems that allowed moats around the fortress to be filled with water, regardless of its location. The fact that water entered the ditches from the nearby mountain through a kind of pipeline is especially impressive.

From the south-western side, the main fortress buildings were connected by two parallel defensive walls with the entrance three-story hexagonal tower – the barbican, forming a kind of 35-meter long corridor.


In the horse 14 – at the beginning 15th century a fortress wall with four towers was built on the inner rampart, three of which had a semi-oval shape, and one was triangular.
A two-story palace with a central four-story donjon tower also stood out in the middle of the yard.
The total area of ​​the castle is about 1500 square meters. m.

Archaeological excavations under the leadership of O. Dzembas revealed that a jewelry workshop, a weapon repair workshop, a forge and a foundry were located on the territory of the castle. Nevytskyi Castle was not only a military fortress, but also a center of medieval metallurgy. Researchers even suggest that the owners of the castle minted fake coins, because they found several counterfeit coins here.



According to legend, the castle was owned by a representative of the Druget family, who was distinguished by a very cool temper. She was nicknamed Bad Maiden or Bad Girl for her extreme cruelty. The strict owner of the castle did not want to obey the laws that were in force in the country and dreamed of unlimited possessions. To strengthen the defense capability, the castle was built on a mortar mixed with milk and eggs brought by residents of the surrounding villages. Rumors and complaints about the harshness of the Bad Maiden reached King Matthias, who summoned her to court, but the Bad Maiden did not appear there and it was decided to punish her for her disobedience. The royal troops did not dare to take the well-fortified castle by storm, but King Matyash decided to capture the fortress by trickery. By order of the king, all the cows and oxen from the district were gathered, bells and rattles were tied around their necks, and the soldiers lit torches at night and raised noise under the castle walls. The Bad Maiden thought that an assault had begun, got scared and ran away from the castle. The king overtook the cruel owner of the castle on the way out of the Uzhan Valley and cut off her head.


In the second half of the 16th century, as a result of infighting in the Druget family, the castle changed hands several times, and finally in 1602 it passed to György III Druget, who for the spread of Catholicism won considerable support from the Vatican.

One of the last stages of the construction of the fortress dates back to the first half of the 17th century, but already in 1644, during the religious wars (the Drugets professed Catholicism, while the Rákots were Protestants), the Transylvanian princes and the army of György II the Rákots took Nevytsky Castle from Janos X Druget and destroyed it , after which the fortress was no longer restored.

According to legend, the castle was destroyed by thunder after the blood of an innocent young princess was spilled on its stones, who was forced to marry an old rich man, and she threw herself from the fortress walls into the abyss.


In 1691, the last male member of the Druget family died. The influential Hungarian tycoon Miklós Berčeni became the new superintendent of the Ung county and the owner of the Druget estates.

At the end of the 17th century the peasants of Nevytskyi took an active part in the anti-feudal struggle and in the liberation war of 1703-1711, which ended with the crushing defeat of the rebels. Count M. Bercheny, one of the active supporters of the liberation war, chose the fate of an exile and settled in Turkey, and his estates were confiscated and transferred to the state treasury. Nevytskyi became part of the newly created Uzhhorod Royal Dominion. Hard times have come for the poor: taxes and duties have increased and famine has begun. Many peasants were forced to leave Nevytskyi.

Since 1738, Nevytske became the center of the parish, and as a result, the peasants had to cultivate the church land and pay an additional one bushel of grain, not including levies for church needs.
In 1879, it was decided to build a park next to the Nevítsa Castle, build an observation deck and build a monument to the outstanding Hungarian scientist Karl Wagner.

In Wagner Park, a fountain and the remains of a linden alley have been preserved to this day. In the 1970s and 1980s, the “Verkhovyna” tourist base operated near the castle.


Today, the picturesque surroundings of Nevytskyi are part of the Kamianitsa state nature reserve and have been transformed into a recreation area. A serpentine stone road leads to the ruins of Nevytskyi Castle. A castle tower-donjon with embrasures carved out of stone blocks, four corner towers and an overgate tower, as well as the remains of the western bastion, ramparts and moat, have been preserved to this day. Remains of fireplaces have been preserved in some rooms of the southern building. In the castle yard there is a well with a diameter of 3.5 m, hollowed out in the rock and lined with stone.


Finally, in 2020, a large-scale reconstruction of Nevytskyi Castle did begin. The works are carried out with grant funds, namely at the expense of EU budgetary sectoral support.


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