A bit of history
Ancient Olesko castle without doubt is one of the most beautiful jewelry in the treasury of Ukrainian and even European history. High walls of this unique building hundreds of years keep secrets of kings, and thousands of tourists come here every day in search of interesting knowledge and experience.
Polish King Jan III Sobieski and Michal Korbut Vyshnevetsky, Prince Liubart, father of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, the famous Ivan Danylevych – life of all these historical figures are somehow connected with Olesko castle.
The building is considered to be one of the oldest forts in Ukraine of Kyivan Rus times. Unsurprisingly, the first historical mention of the castle dates back to 1327. Thus, many historians believe that the castle was built by one of the sons of Galicia-Volynian Prince Yuriy Lvovych – Leo or Andrew.
In all of the following centuries there were fierce struggles. First – between Lithuania and Poland. In 1340 the building passed to the Lithuanian Grand Lithuanian Duke Lubart, and after a quarter century it was conquered by King Casimir the Great.
Castle also was attacked by numerous Tatar invasions, after which local inhabitants repeatedly had to rebuild it.
In 1605 the castle passed to John Danilovich due to several unions between wealthy families. This period gave the castle two important points of historic events: the father of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky served to Danylovych. And in 1629 the marriage between the daughter of Danylovych. and polish nobleman Yakub Sobeshyna gave birth to the future king of Poland – Jan III Sobieski.
For a long period the building remained abandoned. No wonder, in the Soviet era, the walls of the majestic castle turned into agricultural school for women, and the during the war it became a military warehouse. However, due to the well-known Ukrainian art critic Boris Voznytsky in 1970 it was turned into a real museum-archive. It contains numerous restored objects and due to the efforts of the Lviv Art Gallery the exposition was replenished with new exclusive masterpieces.
Museum in the castle
Today Olesko Castle is a place famous for its exhibitions. Ukrainian icons, wooden sculptures, marble bust of Queen Barbara Radziwill, the portrait Basil Nicholas Potocki, battle painting “Battle of Vienna”, a unique collection of sculptor Ivan Pinsel, Western European tapestries in the spirit of Baroque and Mannerist, 17-18 century original furniture and many other valuable historical pieces.
Excursions and tours
Travel agencies offer a range of tours to Olesko Castle, including other castles of Galicia – Pidhoretskyi, Zolochivskyi. The cost of such a tour depends on the chosen tour operator. For example, we recommend a great organizer “In Andreoli passage” (their website http://lviv-tourist.info/), who will arrange for you a wonderful excursion in Lviv and tour to the castles of Lviv region, including Olesko.
You can also book a personal or group excursion inside the castle. Excursions around the castle are hold every day except Monday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You can also buy a ticket and see the exhibition independently. Ticket prices:
- for children – 5 UAH (the price of the excursion – 30 UAH).
- for students of secondary school and higher educational institutions of Ukraine – 10 UAH (the price of the excursion - 30 UAH).
- for adults – 20 UAH (the price of the excursion - 50 UAH).
- for two adults accompanying a group of children entry is free.
It is one of the most popular tourist sites in western Ukraine and is a part of a famous tourist route “Golden Horseshoe of Lviv region”. Inside the castle you can find a unique restaurant in medieval style.
How to get there?
Olesky castle is located on 50-meter hill in the small town of Olesko in Lviv region (75 km from the city).
In bus station 2 (Northern Bus Staion, Lviv, B. Khmelnytskyi str. 225) take a bus Lviv-Brody that passes through Olesko. Ask the driver to let you out at the right stop in Olesko from where you need to walk to the castle on foot for about 15 minutes.
If you travel by car you should take the highway M06 to Rivne. At the direction from Lviv the castle is located on the 75th kilometer of the highway.
You can also take a train Lviv-Zdolbuniv, although it is not the best option. From Ozhydiv or Kuty you’ll need to get additional bus to Olesko what is not always convenient.
Hours of work
You can visit the castle, exposition of the Lviv Art Gallery every day except Monday from 10:00 to 16.00.