The White Kovel Castle in Smolyan is the residence of the Volhynian princes Sangushkas, built in 1626 on the border of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Russia. In the XVII century, border clashes between the two states happened all the time, so it was very important that the princely residence could survive the enemy attack and even the siege, but it was still a princely residence, not a fortress, because the castle was built in the Renaissance style. Construction was led by a Dutch architect.
Castle White Kovel was similar to the famous in our days reconstructed Mir Castle – the territory of the castle 100 x 200 meters was surrounded on all sides by water. The castle was surrounded by tall walls, built of large bricks and wild stone. The thickness of the walls reached 1.5 meters. In every corner of the walls towered watch towers, in which, apart from the defensive ones, there were also living quarters.
The inner structures of the castle were three-storyed with large windows decorated with platbands with Dutch ornament. The whole castle was more like Dutch, not Belarusian.
The name “White Kovel” was given to the castle by the princes of Sangushka, yearning for their estate in Kovel, which was once exchanged between the Sangushki and the fugitive Moscow prince Andrey Kurbsky, who received Smolany as a generous gift from the government of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
In the XVII century, White Kovel became the cultural center of the country. Being at the big roadway on the way from Moscow to Europe, hospitable hosts hosted many distinguished guests. At the time of the Northern War, White Kovel belonged to Paul Karol Sangushko, who fought in this war on the side of the Swedes and placed in his castle the Swedish garrison. Russian troops were able to take the castle, but realized that they could not hold it, therefore, on the orders of Peter I, the castle was blown up.
Gradually dilapidated and confiscated by the Russian Treasury after the partition of Rzeczpospolita, the castle was dismantled for building material. Only one five-tiered central tower has survived.