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Every tourist who visits Transcarpathian region must sooner or later arrive in their excursions to view the castle of Khust. Once mighty fortifications which like stone monolith stood on the hill near Khust for more than 700 years, now lies in ruins.

In 1090 there began construction of the Hungarian royal castle, the purpose of which was to protect the salt route from Solotvyno and border areas. Despite the importance of such facilities, it was completed only 100 years later, during the reign of King Béla III.

During its heyday, Khust Castle was widely known among foreigners, who often described it as a fantastic fortress: "... like a fortress Iskander, because it has reached the height of heaven." The famous Turkish traveler Evliya Celebi describes it as:
"Residential buildings, windows facing east, rise one above the other. Roofs palaces covered with colored tiles, roofs of churches - iron crosses on them - with pure gold and glow so that someone who looks at them, tired eyes, and he is forced to, with respect to them, lower his look. "

The history of the castle is extremely interesting and complex, as it often passed from hand to hand since its establishment. From 1281 to 1321 the castle was owned by the Galicia-Volyn state, and after returning possession of the castle in Hungary, he has been served as a gift to foreign princes and kings for several times, and in 1709 in the castle was held a meeting of allies and supporters of Ferenc Rakoczy, Transylvanian prince. At the time, Khust extremely interested Habsburgs, who constantly conflicted over him with Seven City princes and Turks. The last armed conflict around the castle was the confrontation of the garrison with the Tartar hordes near the village of Vyshkow.

The end of the castle as defensive structures was tragic, although extremely poetic - the castle was destroyed during lightning storms in 1766. Impregnable fortress was demolished by nature, unfortunately, one of the lightnings hit in the powder storage. For several times attempts were made to rebuild the castle, but later the intention was marked as hopeless. Finally garrison moved to Mukachevo during the reign of Maria Theresa. When in 1798 the last castle tower was damaged by a storm, the local authorities gave permission to disassemble it into parts and building stones, and a year later one of the fortification walls was completely demolished for the construction of Catholic Church in Khust.

If you happen to see the castle of Khust only briefly - do not linger for conversation with the locals. If you have in store a few hours (or even days) - ask someone from the villagers about the history of the castle. With luck - and lucky are almost everybody – then, with the goblet of home-made wine, you'll hear a dozen stories that somehow apply this lovely countryside. Have a wonderful opportunity to hear stories about the devil, whose tail was pressed by the mountain, and from that city, founded on the hill called Khust (from the local "hvust" - "tail"). Histories of the governor Justo, Robin Pyntya, Ilko Lypey have no end.

Khust is a place of antiquity and history, wine and cheese place, a place where old legends come to life. A place that is sure to be seen.

by Ostap Ukrainetz