Khotyn fortress – one of the “7 Wonders of Ukraine” | Chernivtsi region, Ukraine

Khotyn fortress, Ukraine

Khotyn Fortress is one of the 7 wonders of Ukraine. What should every Ukrainian know about the Khotyn Fortress? How is the history of the Ukrainian Cossacks connected with the history of the fortress? And which battle here changed the course of history? You will find the answers to all of these questions in this publication.

Khotyn fortress, Ukraine

Khotyn fortress, Ukraine

The Khotyn fortress is the Ukrainian symbol of power and courage.
This is one of the most impressive fortresses in Ukraine.
The rich history of this fortress includes many wars, victories and plenty of secrets.

Khotyn fortress, Ukraine

Khotyn fortress, Ukraine

The Khotyn fortress is located in Khotyn city, Chernivtsi region, 30 km from Kamianets-Podilskyi city and 60 km from Chernivtsi city.

The Khotyn fortress was built by the Eastern Slavs near an important crossing on the Dniester River, back in the 10th century during the reign of the Prince of Kyivan Rus – Volodymyr the Great (the very one who introduced Christianity in Kyivan Rus). In those days, the fortress was made of wood.

And in the 13th century, during the reign of Danylo Halytskyi prince, wooden fortifications were replaced in the fortress with more powerful stone fortifications, to protect against the Mongol-Tatar invasion at that time.

The Khotyn fortress on the right bank of the Dniester was once one of the most powerful buildings in Eastern Europe.

For centuries, the Khotyn fortress was part of various ancient states.

Due to its advantageous trading position, a lot of rulers wanted to conquer the fortress, numerous armies gathered under its walls, and no one ever managed to capture it.

The height of the fortress walls reaches 45 meters, their thickness is up to 5 meters. And there is a deep moat under the fortress. It was just impossible to take the fortress by storm with these powerful fortifications.

One of the most significant events of the fortress, which should be singled out from the entire stormy military history of the fortress, is the legendary Khotyn Battle, which took place in the fall of 1621 between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which then included these Ukrainian lands, and the Ottoman Empire. This battle glorified the Zaporizhia Cossacks and their chief – hetman Petro Konashevich-Sagaidachny and became one of the turning points in the history of the invasion policy of the Ottoman Empire. During the Khotyn Battle 35,000 Poles and 40,000 Ukrainians under the leadership of Lithuanian Hetman Jan Karol Khodkevych and Hetman Konashevich-Sagaidachny fought the 200,000 Turkish-Tatar army. Can you imagine? In addition to three hundred powerful guns, the Ottoman army had even 4 elephants. Furious attacks by the Turks continued for a whole month. At the same time, our brave ancestors – Ukrainian Zaporizhia Cossacks bled and demoralized the Turkish army with night raids. As a result, the Ottoman Empire was forced to sign a peace treaty that was beneficial for all of Europe, but not for the Turks. It is simply incredible what our glorious ancestors – the Cossacks – were capable of! In front of the entrance to the Khotyn Fortress, a monument to Hetman Petro Konashevich-Sagaidachny reminds us of that legendary battle.

We walked around the Khotyn fortress, and we especially remembered the view of the fortress from the side of the Dniester river.

Such places with a courageous history inspire. These powerful stone walls have withstood so many attacks and will stand here for many, many more centuries, and will tell stories about brave Ukrainian warriors from generation to generation.

Many films were shot on the territory of the legendary Khotyn fortress.

Excursions are held here. And this is the place where it is worth taking a tour to feel the power of the fortress that courageous historical epoch, when the history of the glorious Ukrainian people was being created.

There are also exhibitions where you can see the military equipment, that was used during the storming of the fortress, various types of weapons, installations from the forge, coins found from different times, items from archaeological excavations, historical clothing, paintings depicting various historical personalities and events.

Khotyn Fortress is one of the most important and iconic tourist sites of Ukraine. You can come here for an excursion on the weekend, as an option, combined with a visit to the Kamianets-Podilskyi fortress, which is only 30 km far from Khotyn. Or it can be part of a much longer tour around Ukraine.

Khotyn Fortress is included in the list of 7 wonders of Ukraine, and that fact makes this place more special and symbolic in Ukraine.  

Author (c): Iryna Melnyk
Photo (c): Nick Melnyk

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