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Saga of the Verkhovyna

I. Nevytsky Castle. A unique journey through time

The history of the Verkhovyna is closely connected with Nevytsky Castle, located 100 meters from the complex. This romantic fortress is shrouded in legends. One of them tells about the times of Tatar attacks on settlements, during which the locals had to hide the most valuable they possessed – young girls, brides. Hence, accordingly, the name of Nevytsky (bride) castle comes from.

It is not known for sure when the settlers appeared on the top of the mountain, but the first mention of the fortifications dates back to the 12th century. At that time at the foot of the mountain there was an important trade route connecting southern and central Europe with Polish possessions on the other side of the Carpathians. In addition, from the observation tower of Nevytsky Castle, the entire valley of the Uzh River up to Uzhhorod itself is well visible. Thus, Nevytsky Castle also performed defensive functions.


At the beginning of the 13th century the castle and its surroundings are mentioned as a stronghold of the struggle of local feudal lords against the royal power of Charles Robert of Anjou. From 1328 the fortress passed into the possession of the family of Counts Drugets and remained with them until the 17th century. It was the Drugets who built a stone castle on the site of the wooden one. The citadel was rebuilt over the decades on the model of the Italian fortresses of the time, and there are legends about the cruelty of the princess who completed the construction.


In 1644, during the religious wars, the Transylvanian prince György Rakoczi II expelled the Drugeti army from the fortress and almost completely destroyed it: only the walls, tower and traces of the defensive halls remained. For more than two centuries the castle had remained in oblivion, interest in it returned only in the late 19th century, at a time of fashion for everything romantic and mysterious.


II. Wagner Park. The Castle and wars of the 12th century

The picturesque area near the castle has always attracted tourists. During the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it was a favourite vacation spot of wealthy families who came here from Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Bratislava. That is why in 1879 a park was created near the castle and a fountain with natural water pressure was built. The park is named after the eminent Hungarian scientist and forester Karl Wagner, as it was during his tenure in the forest department of the Hungarian government that repairs in the castle and landscaping began.

Wagner laid a linden alley and planted many trees, including Weymouth pine, larch, North American Douglas fir tree and others. A little above the ruins of the fortress, and in the meadow, there was a monument to Karl Wagner and a memorial sign that in 1886 there was held a conference of foresters of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


It is said that in 1892 the world-famous science-fiction writer Jules Verne had a rest in Nevytsky. He was strolling in Wagner garden and drinking healing water from a fountain. It seems that this area inspired him to write the work “The Castle in the Carpathians”.


III. Legendary tourist centre

At the end of 1958, the construction of the Transcarpathian Verkhovyna Youth Centre began on the lawn near the castle. The Verkhovyna hospitably welcomed the first visitors on June 26, 1962. This international tourist and health resort quickly became known not only in the Soviet Union but also abroad. About 45 million young men and women from all over the world have rested here for 45 years. Tourists from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Romania, France, Canada, Italy, Spain, Brazil, India and other countries warmly mention the Verkhovyna.

This place of power has always attracted creative people, so many celebrities once rested or stayed in the Verkhovyna. Artists painted landscapes, poets composed poems and songs. In 1972, the world-famous cellist, pianist, conductor, dissident, public figure Mstislav Rostropovich gave a concert at Nevytsky Castle. It was a world-class cultural event.


Reconstruction and construction of the new complex began in 2013. The Verkhovyna Resort is a modern premium Ukrainian resort that will revive the tourist and health potential of the location and raise it to a new level.