While in Trakai, I visited the town’s most famous building, the Trakai Island Castle. I have my reservations about castles… and most of them are a result of the structure themselves and how it seems like many are reconstructed and have very little trace of their original architecture. I understand that in many cases, in order to make a castle safe enough to be toured, a city/country must reconstruct it… and then there are castles that were destroyed by fires, etc. But…it still makes the structure loose a bit of charm in my opinion.
This was the case with the Trakai Island Castle. It was beautiful and flawlessly situated, but a lot of charm was lost when I saw how new the castle looked up close. But it was definitely worth a visit, nonetheless.
Construction of the castle began in the 14th century and was built in phases. The castle has experienced many wars and fires during its lifespan and was recently rebuilt in 1961. Why does it feel like everything in Europe was destroyed by fires at one time or another (or is this just me??).
Anyways, it was a fun and expensive activity on a relaxing day, and I would recommend it to anyone who is in the Vilnius area for around a week. If you are there for a shorter period of time, I would not suggest time to be wasted there unless you are a history buff and castles and their history is your thing.