Olesky Castle

The oldest surviving castles in Lviv region is Oleskiy. This castle is located on a 50-meter hill in the southeastern part of the Buzhskaya lowland. The XNUMXth century is considered to be the time of its foundation, when the Tatar hordes destroyed the Russian settlement of Plisnesko.

Part of the surviving inhabitants was able to move to Olesko, where they began construction of a new fortress.

Today it is known that in 1340-1366 Olesko belonged to the last Galicia-Volyn prince - Dmitry-Lyubart Gedeminovich. In 1366, the city passed into the possession of Alexander Koriatovich. Some historians have mentioned that in 1390, Pope Boniface IX, with his bull, presented the castle to the Galician Catholic bishop. In 1431-1432, the uprising of the boyars of the region, led by Ivashka-Bohdan Preluzhich from Rohatyn, an adherent of Prince Svidrigailo, received wide publicity. The garrison of the castle resisted the troops of King Jagiello for six weeks. In 1605, the Olesky castle and the entire district became the property of the Russian magnate Ivan Danilovich. Then the father of Bohdan Khmelnitsky, Mikhail, served in the castle.

A romantic legend has survived, telling that the gentry Adam Zhulkevsky wanted to marry the daughter of I. Danilovich. During the game of cards, the girl's father categorically refused the applicant, and he committed suicide in despair. In 1636, the Danilovich family was interrupted, and his huge estates by kinship went to Jakub Sobesky - the father of the future King Jan III. Another castle legend is connected with the personality of the latter. The boy was born in the castle in 1629. During childbirth, the fortress was surrounded by the Tatars, and a strong thunderstorm began. When the midwife put the newly born baby on the marble table, a terrible thunder struck, the table cracked, and the servant went deaf. Immediately there was a prophecy that the newborn would be an unusual person. Indeed, Jan III became one of the greatest Polish warrior kings. Ten years later, another future king of Poland, Mikhail Koribut Vishnevetsky, was born in the castle. During the time of Jan III Sobieski, the castle received the status of a royal residence. The king's wife, Maria Casimir de Arcuyon, known in Polish history as Marysenka, was especially concerned about its decoration. After the death of the monarch, his son Yakub ruled here.

In 1725, another Sobieski, Konstantin, sold Olesko to the Rzewuski family. This dynasty had a peculiar vision of the prospects for the development of both the castle and their own life in general. S. Zhevusky was especially famous for his eccentricities: he cared more about the search for mythical treasures and the "philosopher's stone" than about the affairs of his own estates. As a result, already in 1820 the castle was in disrepair. In 1882, as a monument of national importance, it was taken over by the "Society for the Guardianship of the Castle".

The fortress was also haunted by natural disasters. In 1838, due to a strong earthquake, the walls cracked so much that in some places a person could pass through the cracks. In 1951, the castle burned down from a lightning strike. Its restoration and reopening took place only in 1975. Since that time it has been a branch of the Lviv Art Gallery and one of the most interesting museums in Ukraine.

Next to the castle is the building of the Capuchin monastery (1739). The founders of the church of Jozef and Antonina were the Rzewuski family. The Capuchins are a kind of monastic order founded at the end of the XNUMXth century. For many, they are known thanks to the monk Marco d'Aviano. On the eve of the battle with the Turks at Vienna, he was sent to reconcile Protestants and Catholics. They say that he was the first to prepare coffee using a special recipe. The color of the drink resembled the color of a Capuchin monk's cassock, which is why the coffee was named "cappuccino".

These monks always walked barefoot and could wear beards, which is not typical for Catholics. The Capuchins were renowned pharmacists. The so-called "skeleton cult" became popular in Olesko. The body of a deceased monk was placed in one of five pavilions on the territory of the monastery and was buried only when it was decomposed to the bone. One of the monks on St. Anthony drowned in a well, which spoiled everyone's holiday. Since then, his ghost has been hanging around the castle.

During the Austro-Hungarian rule, the monastery was disbanded. At present, the premises are used as a repository of numerous works of art, which will later be transferred to the expositions of the castles in Olesko, Podgortsy and Zolochev.

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