Mir. In the World of Heritage

Address: Grodno region, Mir
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Mir (meaning "world" and "peace"; but the name most likely originates from the name of the river the settlement is situated on) is a town in Hrodna Voblast on the banks of Miranka River. Mir village was founded sometime prior to 1345. It is home to a late medieval castle, which made the town the target of many attacks over the centuries. The town belonged to the Illinicz family (Korczak coat of arms) first and then to the Radziwill family. It was destroyed by the Swedish forces in 1655 and again by the Swedes during the Great Northern War in 1706. During the Napoleonic invasion of Russia in 1812, Russian Imperial cavalry, artillery and cossack regiments ambushed and routed the Duchy of Warsaw 3 uhlan divisions (Battle of Mir). The retreating Russians, withdrawing east, abandoned the town and dynamited the castle.

Mir was the site of two very famous horse fairs associated with Saint Nikolaus feast days, first held on May 9 and the second fair on December 6 each year. Both fairs lasted four weeks each and were very popular and well known throughout the country until 1939. Roma practically dominated the fairs as horse traders, and numerous Roma community thrived in the town until 1939. The fairs collapsed in 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded the Belorussian Soviet Republic and murdered the Roma people of Mir. Mir's claim to fame in Jewish Diaspora history is that it was the original home of the Mir yeshiva which operated there intermittently from 1815 until the fall of Poland in 1939, when the invading communist Soviet Red Army and security forces pressured the school to close and relocate to then still free Lithuania.

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Mir Castle Complex of XVI–XX centuries in a small town Mir is a historical and cultural value of national importance and UNESCO World Heritage. The construction of this Belarus’ Gothic style castle was started in the 1520s by Duke Ilinich. In 1568 the castle came into the hands of Mikolay Radziwil, who completed it in Renaissance style. A three-storey palace was built along the eastern and northern walls of the castle which had forty fretted rooms. Earth walls were built around the castle with bastions at the corners, surrounded by a water moat. An Italian garden was laid to the north of the walls and an artificial lake was established to the south. The Radziwills owned the castle for several centuries. In 2000 UNESCO designated Mir Castle a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site. The successful blend of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture makes Mir Castle one of the most impressive castles in Europe. Following intensive restoration works, Mir Castle was reopened to the public in December 2010. Renovation works on the Mir Castle Complex, however, are still underway. The plans are to repair the Italian Renaissance Park, the English Park and the pond, to restore the Svyatopolk-Mirsky Castle. The restoration works on this historic landmark was completed in 2013.

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Sights in Mir:

  • Mir Castle
  • Jewish war memorial and burial site
  • Mir town square and market
  • Roman Catholic Church of Saint Nicholas (16th–17th centuries)
  • Orthodox Trinity Church (16th century)
  • The chapel-tomb of Svyatopolk-Mirsky

Турец. Покровская церковь

Museums:

  • Museum "Mir Posad" (2nd lane Kirova, 2)
  • Museum "Castle Complex Mir"

Троицкая церковь в Мире

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