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Chynadieve - Szentmiklós
Schönborn castle
Schönborn castle

In spring the Transcarpathian region turns into a blossoming garden. Maybe this is what Eden was like: gentle skylines on the horizon, the fragrance of sakura, magnolia petals under foot and affable people. Fairy-tale natural surroundings require fairy-tale architecture. Something like the architecture of Chynadieve, a unique village between Svaliava and Mukacheve. Where else in Ukraine can you find a village where TWO castles still remain?

The Castle Village

What a view!

You can already see the promise of a fairy-tale at the “Karpaty” sanatorium railway station which resembles a diminutive castle. Further on is a luxurious park with 40 species of “residents”, such as boxwood, spruce, Chinese cherry, pink beech and other botanical pearls. Beyond the tree-tops is a high tower decorated with a clock and a family crest. The King of the beasts – a lion with a crown – appears everywhere in this setting fit for a king. But these days the meadows and lanes of the park are full, not with royalty but with patients who have heart-vascular system and metabolic function problems. These are the patients of this famous sanatorium, which since 1946 has been located in the luxurious Counts of Schönborn hunter’s palace. During World War II this Transcarpathian architectural wonder was sought out by Hermann Goering, but the Transcarpathian authorities in Ukraine did not sell the manor to that Nazi ideologist.

 

It all began in 1840 from a simple wooden cabin, where the Counts of Schönborn (the local land-owning authorities), came with their guests to relax after hunting. And in 1890 the stone castle, similar to the illustrations in novels by Dumas, was built here.

 

They say somewhere in Germany there is a castle whose number of towers equals the number of days in a year – 365. In Chynadieve castle you can also study a calendar: 365 windows, 52 rooms, 12 entrances. It is strange and symbolic. The pond was also at one time the epitome of allegory: its outline was similar to the shape of Austria-Hungary. Now its lazy waters reflect the numerous chimneys of the palace. Such a conglomerate of chimneys would throw off even Santa Claus!

The medival castle in the village

White clouds float about the four different shaped towers’ weathercocks, as you gaze upon the glass paintings of the first floor chapel and glance into the stone hall. A solemn petrified lion stands guard at the base of the wooden stairs. On the ceiling there is a Stag Horn chandelier, the so-called “Melusina”. And such a fireplace is there!

Luckily, not only the façade of the building, but also fragments of the former interior remains.

 

The second castle of Chynadieve, situated in the centre of the village, was not so lucky. Its history is a longer and more dramatic one.

The stern Chynadieve fortress – with two corner towers, meter thick walls and mysterious vaults – was built in the 14th century by Baron Pereni. This stronghold became the centre of the village of Chynadieve. In 1657 the fortress was destroyed by Polish troops and then rebuilt. The castle was reconstructed many times, with the most considerable changes made in 1734 and 1839. They tried to make a seigniorial manor from this inhospitable fortress, as was in fashion at that time. Then workers found a strange skeleton in the walls. What a field for legend-makers! During the fascist invasion the castle was turned into a prison.

 

Nearby the fortress is the humble house of local artist Joseph Bartos. A Few years ago the artist rented the castle and now is doing his best in order to restore it.  Thanks to him the castle has a new roof and can hope that its life is starting onto a new brighter path. Could it be anything else in our bright Transcarpathian region?

Getting There

Map

 

 

From Kyiv you can get to Mukacheve or Svaliava by various means of transport. From then you will travel 12 km by bus or by taxi to Chynadieve. The Karpaty Sanatorium is situated nearby the railway station 2 km north of the village. There is a restaurant and souvenir shops at the sanatorium. Entrance to the territory of hunter’s castle is free.

 

 

 

© Blacky

© Panorama Magazine



Railway station from fairytale
Railway station from fairytale
The older castle
The older castle
Old castle in the past
http://mars.elte.hu/varak/szentmiklos/szentmiklosrajzok.htm
This lion likes "Love is..."
This lion likes "Love is..."
Melusina
Melusina
Oh, who's there? :)
Oh, who's there? :)
Luxury looks like this
Luxury looks like this
Stuffed lizard in the cafe
Stuffed lizard
Like in heaven
Like in heaven
A lion in a crown
A lion in a crown

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