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Vynohradiv

Vynohradiv is situated 108 km from Uzhgorod. The Vynohradiv rayon is the warmest one in Transcarpathia and offers fine conditions for farming.

Today Vynohradiv is a small cosy city. The main sights are concentrated in the city’s center. Sightseeing can be started from Vynohradiv Castle (Kotsiubvnskv St.). It was first mentioned in records of 903 in the “Chronicle” by an anonymous author. Some historians believe that a military squad was quartered in the city to secure safety of salt cargo transfer by the Tysa River. The old plans of the castle give ground to assume that its construction started in the 14 th century. There exists information that the castle was designed by the feudal lord Beke Borczo in 1307. Be that as may, in 1399 King Zcigmond of Luxemburg (1386-1437) handed over the fortress to Baron P. Perenyi.

On the site of the wooden fortifications the new owner built a stone fortress; one of the architects being Aristotle Fioravanti. The coat of arms- the river, fish and the main fortress tower – was carved on the main gates. Gabor Perenyi died in the battle of Magocz. For some time the castle belonged to Minorites who turned it into a cloister. At that time the relics of St. J.Kapistran (1386-1456) were kept in the castle. He had been a Bernardine and was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1724. A restless preacher of crusades against heretics and the Turks, he had gathered a 60-thousand-strong army and waged a war against the Turks in the terrains of Hungary. During the Reformation Janos Perenyi went over to the Protestants and began to oppress the monastery. In 1672 the fortress was badly damaged in military actions and has not been restored ever since.

The slopes of Chorna Hill, upon which the ruins of the fortress are to be found, are located at a height of 565 m. above the city level, and are covered with thick vineyards. The very hill, which is an extinct volcano, can be regarded as a certain tourist zest. If you have time you ought to stay on the hill for some time to admire the magnificent scenery.

At the foot of its southeast slopes there are wine-cellars of the local winery, which is 350 meters long. The enterprise is considered part of the Transcarpathian “wine path.” By primary arrangement you can taste local wines.

On climbing up the mountain and staying among the ruins of the fortress it is almost impossible to imagine that a stone chapel and a church surrounded by defensive walls once were part of the fortress. The castle’s central area was quadrangular in form. Five quadrangular towers and several projections jutted out outside. Some 60-70 meters from the castle to the northeast the remains of an old Gothic church are to be found. Once it was a single-nave structure with an altar and sacristies on two sides. To the west of the center, upon the highest part of the hill, one can see a stone chapel of the 16 th century. This small one-tier structure with a round altar is the only structure surviving to this day.

Not far from the city center, in the depth of an old park laid out in 1848, there is a small two-storied building. This is the former palace of the barons Perenyi (Kopanytska St.) built in the 14 th century. In the course of centuries it was re-designed more than once, and now baroque features dominate in its outer decor. On the facade there is a relief coat of arms of the Perenyi family. An original roof and baroque tower at the corners once added a monumental solemnity to the building. Unfortunately, only separate fragments of these decorations have survived. Today the premises of the palace house the district education department. To the right of the entrance there is a memorial plaque on the facade, which was installed in honor of Zsygmond Perenyi.

The Franciscan Church (2 Myr Sq.) is situated in the city center and was first mentioned in 1516. At that time some twenty friars took care of it. Initially it looked like a Gothic structure, but in 1556 the building was destroyed. In 1668 monks of St. Francis’ order restored the church. The fire of 1747 caused another reconstruction of the church. Sometimes it is said that there was a secret underground passage between the fortress and the monastery, however nobody has found it so far.

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