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© Douglas Hykle
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Khotyn (Chotyn)

Khotyn was founded as a fortified settlement on the cliffs high above the Dniester river. It became an important trading centre due to its strategic position as a river crossing. By the 13th century, the town is reported to have become the site of a trading colony of the Genoese, who would later build the famous castle that was expanded by subsequent rulers.   Fortress at Khotyn

Massive gates of Khotyn fortress   The ancient Kievan Rus settlement changed hands frequently over the course of several hundred years - occupied at various times by the Kingdom of Hungary, Moldavia, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russian Empire, Austria and Romania, before reverting to the USSR in 1940 (interrupted briefly by the occupation of Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1944), and eventually the newly independent Ukraine in 1991.

In terms of historical significance, Chotyn was the scene of a famous battle in 1621 in which a large Ottoman force was resisted by the Commonwealth hetman Jan Chodkiewicz. Three centuries later, the town was part of territory annexed by Romania in 1919, an act that was resisted by the town's ethnic Ukrainians. The rebellion, which was ultimately quashed, became known as the Khotyn Uprising - commemorated by a monument in Chernivtsi.   Wikipedia - Contemporary painting of the Battle of Khoytn:

The fortress remains an impressive sight today, and is well worth a visit. It can easily be reached on day trip from Chernivtsi, including a detour to nearby Kamyanets-Podolskyy.

Location: 100 km southeast of Tovste (but closer and easier to reach from Chernivtsi)

Source: Wikipedia, last accessed on 8 September 2006.