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© Douglas Hykle
2006-2017
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Kamyanets-Podilskyy (Kamianiec Podolski)

Historical map of Kamyanets-Podilskyy   The fortress town of Kamyanets-Podilskyy (or Kamianiec Podolski, in Polish) is one of the oldest in Ukraine. Once the ancient capital of Podilia, its historical importance is said to be surpassed only by Kyiv and Lviv. Historians may disagree as to whether the town was established in the 11th-12th centuries or whether it emerged later, in the late 14th century.

In any case, what followed is a rich history marked by repeated invasion, destruction, reconstruction and expansion. The following historical accounts appear in Wikipedia and another website dedicated to Kamyanets-Podilskyy:

"The town is first mentioned in 1062 as a town of Kievan Rus'. In 1241 it was sacked and destroyed by Mongol (Tatar) invaders. In 1352 it was annexed by the Polish King Casimir III, and became the capital of Podole Voivodship and the seat of local civil and military administration. The ancient castle was reconstructed and substantially expanded by the Polish kings to defend Poland from the southeast against Ottoman and Tatar invasions. After the Treaty of Buczacz (1672) it was briefly part of Turkey and capital of a local eyalet. To counter the Turkish threat to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, King Jan III Sobieski built a fortress near by, Okopy Swietej Trójcy ("the Entrenchments of the Holy Trinity"). In 1699 the city was recaptured by Poland. The fortress was continually enlarged and was regarded as the strongest in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The preserved ruins of the fortress still contain the iron cannon balls stuck in them from various sieges."

"In the 14th-18th centuries, due to the favourable geographic position, Kamyanets-Podilsky was coveted by numerous invaders who considered the city a fine stronghold. After a short period under the rule of the Lithuanian feudal lords from 1374 to 1430, the city laboured under the Polish yoke (1434-1793). Polish masters marked their protracted rule by building numerous churches, dwellings and fortified structures which, to a great extent, defined the general aspect of the city. Turkish rule, short as it was, 1672- 1699, also left its imprint on the city's architecture. As early as the beginning of the 15th century, the main principles of the city planning and construction were established in accordance with Old Rus tradition which predominated over both West European and Muslim architectural traditions."

Kamyanets-Podilskyy was proclaimed a historical and architectural preserve in 1977, in recognition of the over 200 architectural landmarks in the town. Tourism has blossomed over the last decade, and there are many other attractions to draw visitors, apart from the ancient fortress. The official website of Podilski Tovtry National Nature Park has an incredible collection of photographs of the town and surrounding region, as well as links to many other useful sites.

Location: 75 km southeast of Tovste
Website: http://www.tovtry.km.ua/en/index.html