Laddzia / Vieža

From the 13th century simple and majestic viežas (towers) began to be constructed on our lands. Belarusian architects borrowed the idea of ​​creating such defensive structures from the Normans. Powerful and independent bergfrieds, dungeons, "Volyn pillars" drew a line from earth to heaven in Kamianiec, Hrodna, Bierascie, Polack, Turau, Navahrudak, Vilnia. They rose in the middle of the fortress or in front of the gate and showed a stern spirit of time, dangerous and disturbing.

"Белая вежа" у Камянцы. Фота: ekskursii.by
Kamianiec vieža. Photo: ekskursii.by

Stubbornly silent and impregnable on the outside, inside the tower lived and sounded: from floor to floor were going up or down additional or built-in stairs those for whom it became a shelter. Above one or two dark tiers was a living room with a fireplace, where the duke and his family could wait for the onslaught of enemy troops. And from the observation deck on the roof, looking out from behind the cremallers, the guards watched the neighborhood. The danger grew stronger - people left the tower through the underground passage and disappeared into the darkness of night or the thick cover of the morning mist.

In the corners of the chessboards of our ancestors long ago rocked laddzias. But later the game reflected the loss of access to the sea and the transition to territorial defense: the Belarusian and Litvin chess board is surrounded by viežas instead of ships. White stand on squares a1 and i1, black - on a9 and i9. The piece can move in any direction and at any distance. If the army vieža is destroyed by the enemy, the ratnik who has reached the edge of the field can build a new dungeon and "close" in it (the ratnik "turns" into a vieža).

Laddzia piece of 12th century found in Hrodna
Emblem of Polack with laddzia. 16th century.

The kniaź can also hide in a vieža, having carried out casting. The lord of the duchy takes two or three steps to the vieža, and then changes squares with it, extending his stay on the field by at least one - perhaps defining - move. There are two conditions: this move must be the first for each of the pieces and there can be no attacked squares between them.

Traditionally in the Belarusian lands the vieža is called laddzia - as a symbol of tribute to the history of the Polack principality.

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