Digging out history

Archaeologists make important discoveries during excavations near Mir Castle

Archaeologists make important discoveries during excavations near Mir Castle

Excavation works have been carried out on the site for the first time, with archaeologists uncovering a two-storey palace from two centuries ago, built by Nikolai Svyatopolk-Mirsky. He began intensive reconstruction works after the castle fell into ruin, adding a pond and a spacious house for his family: a true mansion.

Now, researchers have found even older foundations, dating from the late 16th or early 17th century. The building was one of the first erected on the future site of the castle although is not found on any map of the architectural estate.

“So far, we’ve studied two hundred square meters, and have made several important discoveries. Apart from fragments of more ancient buildings, we’ve found tile pieces, including those from roofs, and ceramic diningware. All date from the 16th to the 18th century,” states the head of excavations, the senior research associate at the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Irina Ganetskaya. Investigators have cleared the foundations of the house, where the estate manager lived in 19th century.


Mir Castle was a defensive fortification and residence built in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is located in the village of Mir, in the Grodno District. Several times, it was severely damaged, including in 1655, during the Russian-Polish war and in 1706, by the Swedes. Today, the Castle is a monument of architecture. In 2000, it was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. A museum is now established there.

By Dmitry Kozurov
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