Vyshnivets Palace

Vyshnivets Palace
Vyshnivets, Ternopil Oblast

Wiśniowiecki family palace.

Facade of the Vyshnivets Palace
Coordinates 49°53′58″N 25°44′18″E / 49.89944°N 25.73833°E / 49.89944; 25.73833Coordinates: 49°53′58″N 25°44′18″E / 49.89944°N 25.73833°E / 49.89944; 25.73833
Type Palace
Site information
Condition Under reconstruction
Site history
Built 1395 - 16th century
Built by Mykhailo Vasylyovych Zbarazkyi

The Vyshnivets Palace (Ukrainian: Вишнівецький палац) or the Wiśniowiecki Palace (Polish: Pałac Wiśniowieckich) is located in the urban-type settlement of Vyshnivets (near the city of Zbarazh) in Ternopil Oblast of western Ukraine. Historically, it was the main seat of the Wiśniowiecki princely family which takes its name from this castle.


In 1395 landlord Dmitry Koribut having been removed from power in Novgorod-Siversky attained instead great dominion of Volyn' lands, where under his leadership fortress construction began. This is how on the banks of Horin' River in the town of Vyshnivets', Old Vyshnivets' today, first castle came about.[1]

Upon Dmitry Koribut's death due to absence a successor of male gender, castle of Vyshnivets' all together with the estate passes through Olgerdovich-Nesvitsky sidelong lineage of three generations till Michael Vasylyovich Zbarazky gaining power (1517).

Following immediate raid of Turk-Tatar forces in 1491 razed the fort post in the town of Stary Vishnivets and settlement that had been secured by it. In a result the same year landlord Michael Vasylyovich, having taken a different name of Vyshnivetsky, broke the ground for another fort-post up the stream on the crest of round hill, and new fastness destined to be a bulwark and vindicator for new generations from Tatar-Turkish inroads for centuries to come.

Latest architectural view as a defense fortification the stronghold took having been completely reconstructed in 1640s, when Jerremy Vyshnivetsky supervised the work. The features of defensive bastion system was taken upon at that time, although it hadn't done much saving the castle from Cossaks' capturing during uprising of 1648 and being sacked by Tatars a year later following signing of Zborov Peace Treaty.

Despite the use of the most advanced martial fortification technique, Vyishnivets surrendered to enemy inroads: formerly in 1655 to the swords of Tatar, then more recently twenty years later in 1675 during the Polish-Turkish war to Turks turning into a ruin. In the course of the tumultuous 17th century, the town and the castle stood destroyed as the king of Rechy Pospolity, Jyan the 3rd Sobesky, relieved the city from its taxation burden for twenty years.

Michael Cervatsky (1680–1744), last descendant of Vyshnivetsky family by father's line, a wealthy Polish nobleman, broached revival of patrimonial estate. He raised not a castle, but a magnificent accomplished palace atop of extinguished cinders completing it in 1720. Nonetheless it did retain a role of combat structure. Garison was dislocated there until 1760. Somewhat later on appeared indefeasible attributes of magnate wealth of a castle church and grand park.

The death of last male member of Vyshnivetsky family caused palace and estate in the city of Vyshnivets ownership being transferred by female line to Mnisheks under their care and supervision of whom castle had revealed all of its beauty adding another facet to the palettes of European palace and park recreation art.

For three generations Mnisheks' owners (Jan Karol (1716–1759), Michael Yezhy (1748–1806), and Karol Philip (1794–1846)) rendered the estate true royal charm: painting collection of Vyshnivetsky, Potoki, Sangushko, Chortor'yski as well as Ostroskis', sculptures, retro furniture, Holland tile mantles, literature, weapon, cutlery and china. All-round upgrade in the same time had only given final accord to the appearance of Volyn' nicest palace residence.

No sooner remaining owner of Mnisheks four years later having succeeded into patrimonial rights as he had to leave to France bringing along most valuable family relics which was two thousands books, family portraits, letters, heraldry researches. In the same time Vyshnivets palace for many years became a place of bargaining trade off where lots of previously thoughtfully and mindfully collected items were sold out, all that a laymen would be happy to pay cash for.

For more than sixty years (1852–1913) castle changed nine owners, that despite their titles and social status used one of the most lavish European palaces as the mean to accrue their perpetually depleting banking accounts. Palace lost its glamour, and priceless collection was sacked.

During the time before First World War an attempt made by yet another owner, Volyn' aristrocratic and nobleman Demidov, Pavel Oleksandrovich (1869–1935), and Kyiv architect, Vladyslav Gorodetsky (1863–1930) was invited to join the cause. Unfortunately, war and revolution introduced its own adjustments: 25th Russian Army Corps utilized facilities followed by ministry of transitional government and Petlura lieutenants.

In the mid-1920s, the main building of Vyshnivets Palace accommodated a museum collection, while the remaining space was utilized as a school of craftsmanship.

Second World War became a venue and an argumentation for most recent forgoers shipping remains of the valuables to Moscow (1940–1941), and German Armed Forces used it as a police precinct and Gestapo (1941–1944) depriving architectural structure from those few showpieces still being there. Fire on the premises (1944) completed started ruination.

Post-war restoration of 1950th practically all together renewed outer appearance of the palace with only few back draws needed to be mentioned as inside facility remodeling performed, outside park area hadn't been worked on, palace yard grew with self-disseminated weeds, and plundering by local residents had taken place.

Only in 1963 Vyshnivets Palace recognized by authorities as monument of architectural art, although it still was being utilized for various business transactions and occupied as a club, a library, an apparel factory, and a school of craftsmanship.

Having Ukrainian Independence established reflecting soundly on its fortune: in 1993 there was historical and cultural researches conducted, castle officially became a branch of State Historic Architectural Sanctuary in the city of Zbarazh (1999). Later on it was included into the registry of National Sanctuary of Ternopil' Castle (2005), program of restoration and intended usage (2005–2011) started, all none-associated business entities left the premises (2007).

On the year of 2014 main scope of construction work, inside restoration, park area, and fencing completed.


Main building of Vyshnivets Palace

Architecture of Vyshnivets Palace combines features of Late Baroque and Classicism. Having reconstruction completed, spacious palace took on classic appearance: elongated in prospective two story facade with its flanks being one level taller poses symmetrical architectural composition forming one side voiding rectangle. Central part of the facade containing ceremonial avant-corps decorated entry way has a triangular shield with a palatial ornamentation on it. The rear side of facade in between avant-corps has arch galleries. Gateway to the residence is accomplished majestically resembling antic triumphant entry.

Inside the palace, the framework is symmetrical with a hallway, stairways, and saloon. A few halls in the porter combined with wide arch crossings that house numerous pieces of art mirror gallery being once most known in-between dignified Polish Common Wealth residences of the 18th century.


  1. "Вишнівецький Палац". Вікторія Шовчко. Retrieved February 23, 2014. External link in |publisher= (help)

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