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A weekend in Lithuania
2008Trakai Island Castle
The Amazing Trakai Island Castle

Trakai Castle is the masterpiece of the town. It's located on an island over Lake Galvė.

Actually three islands were joined to construct the castle, so today we only see one island.

This castle is so beautiful that even if you’re used to see historical and medieval places you will be amazed.

Trakai Island Castle: Isn't that a fairytale view?

They claim that it’s the only European Medieval Castle built on a island over a lake.

I don’t know if this claim is right, as there are a lot of Castles in Europe and some are quite unheard of. But what I know is that the one in Trakai is one of the most gorgeous castles I’ve ever seen.

Trakai Island Castle Tower

The castle was started in the 14th Century by Prince Kęstutis but Germans burnt it in 1377.

Vytautas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, who was also Kęstutis’ son, continued the construction of the Castle, turning it into a defense fortress.

During the 15th Century the three round corner defence towers and the quadrangular entrance tower were built.

After the Battle of Grunwald in 1410 the castle became again princely residence.

Trakai Island Castle

When Grand Duke Vytautas died in 1430, a period of decay began.

Later, Grand Duke King Sigismund Augustus made it a summer residence and rebuilt it in Renaissance style.

The castle began to fall in ruins and by the end of the 18th Century a few initiatives to preserve it war taken.

Here you can see a sketch from the artist and musician Napoleon Orda dating from 1877. It displays the Trakai Island castle in ruins. You'll find other works from Orda here, but it's only in Polish.

Trakai Island Castle

During the First World War the Germans brought researchers to the castle who prepared several articles in order to preserve it.

Restoration and rebuilding works began and lasted until the Second World War.

The Metal Traveller wondering where does that door leads. Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania

Restoration works restarted in 1951 and lasted until 1987.

The castle was reconstructed according to its 15th century style.

Here I am, wondering what mysteries I could find behind that door...

Trakai Island Castle from the inside

The Trakai Island Castle houses a historical museum since 1962.

It displays historical, artistic, architectural and some religious items from Trakai and Lithuania.

It’s really well-made, and different exhibitions are found in the rooms of the Castle.

The Chapel at Trakai Island Castle

While I was in the castle I met three guys from Spain: Fernando, Manuel and Raul. Actually Fernando says he’s from Asturias and absolutely not from Spain.

Anyway, that evening back in Vilnius I went to eat and drink a couple of Kalnapilis beers with those folks and Maryna, a girl from Belarus who was staying at the same hostel.