Trakai Historical Park, the only 'national historic park' in the EU, has two attractions beyond the Castle and the town - the astonishingly visual CXIXth Uzutrakis Palace (and the quirky CXXIst Hill of Angels).
We were visiting Trakai Castle when we first saw this large white building standing on the rising eastern shore of Lake Galve.
Uzutrakis Palace has undergone an extensive restoration programme (completed in September 2013), which has restored the ground floor using period furniture from the best Polish collections and turned the first floor residential spaces into exhibition galleries.
Count Joseph Tyszkiewicz, a Polish magnate, had the White Palace built at the turn of the C19th. The Tyszkiewicz family owned the estate until the Soviet invasion of 1940.
Our visit (May 2013) occurred before the completion of the restoration programme, which meant we could not see inside. There was NOT a fee for the park and gardens.
Getting there: Instructions for car-drivers from Trakai Castle. Take Karaimu Road out of Trakai town. At the large roundabout take the KAUNAS/VIEVIS exit - 4.7km from Uzutrakis. Take the first turning on the right signposted towards RYKANTAI and also for Uzutrakis. This road the 4722 initially skirts round the north end of Lake Galve. Then take the second turning on the right (4750 route). This will eventually lead to the carpark of the White Palace, so long as you are not tempted by the first turning to the right that lead to the SLENIS camping site.
If the restoration programme has been carried out as diligently as the remodelling of the gardens and park (and like the Latvians did at Rundale Palace), the interior of the White Palace must be well worth seeing.
The location of palace's kitchens is interesting - some 50 metres from the palace. According to the National Historic Park's website the restoration programme is examining the feasibility of remodelling the kitchen block to meet CXXIst standards!
I'm uploading the photographs of the parts of the park and formal gardens we saw, they are considerably more extensive.
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