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State Historical and Architectural Reserve

Khotyn with the old fortress stands among the rocks over the surface of the Dniester River, is among the Ukrainian cities, which acquired the meaning of the symbols of national glory.

The town's name probably comes from the verb "want": this place is always desirable for the ancient settlers, they have always wanted to live in this beautiful and rich region.

At first it was a small, built by Eastern Slavs, a wooden fortress, its minor remnants found during archaeological excavations. Along with a wooden fortress and at the same time it existed unfortified settlement. On its territory excavated huts with ovens, stoves, which date from the IX - X centuries., And at a depth of 1.2 meters -1.4 discovered cultural layer VII - VIII centuries. These data indicate the existence of Khotyn as a Slavic settlement in the VIII century. Since then, life in its territory ceased.

In X - XI centuries. Khotyn was part of Kievan Rus. In the development of the ancient Khotyn trade played a major role. His strengthen guarding big crossing on the Dniester and restrained foray conquerors. In XII - XIII centuries. When Khotyn was a member of the Galicia-Volyn state, its development was closely linked to the trade route, which took place on the Dniester.
In the 40's - 50-ies XIII century. on the site of the primary fortifications small wooden fortress eastern Slavs was drawn first stone fortress. She was small, was at Cape arrow, where now stands the north tower from the north and from the south reached the walls of the palace commandant. Perhaps this fortress had only two towers, North and South (Entry).

"Castle on the Dniester retse desire", as stated in one of the ancient chronicles, has frequently been the scene of fierce battles. He stood at the junction of the borders of several states and had great strategic and administrative importance.

With the inclusion of the second half in XIV. Lower Dniester in the Moldavian principality Khotyn becomes an important military and political weight as a trading and customs checkpoint on the northern border of Moldova. The widespread use of artillery, which began in the mid XV century. Prompted Moldovan Ruler Stefan cel Mare IRS (the Great) (1457-1504 gg.) Actively strengthen the strategic defensive system of the principality consisted of 9 fortresses, which included Hotinskaya.

In the 60's - early 70-ies of the XV century. Khotyn Fortress capitally reconstructed and expanded to the south to more than double, to about the size of 110 x 55 m (now - this is from the North to the South West Tower inclusive). As a protection against cannon fire rose thick (5 m) and high (up to 40 m), walls and towers. They are decorated with ornaments made of red brick - series of images "Babylon" (probably a symbol of wisdom architects) and "Golgotha" (the rock where Jesus was crucified - one of the main Christian shrines). Decorated wall thus gained more strength, more reserved and power of the Orthodox faith. Stefan III, in addition to the outstanding military and political qualities, became famous among his contemporaries as a man very pious, which respect the ancestors and built many monasteries and churches. Khotyn fortress Moldovan ruler attached great importance to the defense as an important outpost on the strategic direction, so the country is the use of Christian elements in its decoration.

Citadel stood intact until the end of the XVII century. Having lived through the turbulent years when Khotyn than once at the center of European military-political events and under its walls camped Polish, Cossack, Turkish troops and placed garrisons in the walls of the various states.

In September 1621 under Khotyn it took one of the large-scale military conflicts in Europe - Khotyn war. The defeat of the army of the Turkish Sultan Osman II, together with the Polish and Lithuanian forces took part in the army of the Zaporozhye Cossacks led by Hetman Petro Konashevich Sagaydachnogo.
The government of the Ottoman Empire in 1675 issued an order to the owner of Moldova demolition castles in Neamt, Suceava and Khotyn. But reluctant to follow orders and not very carefully. Khotyn castle was destroyed but the south wall with two towers, a large part of the south-west tower, made holes in the west and north-western parts of the wall, making it impossible to use the citadel for military purposes.

The castle stood in the untenable state before the XVIII century. But after the Russian expeditions to Moldova 1709 and 1711 Porte decides to strengthen Turkish military presence here, which creates its own military and administrative center (Raju or nahii) centered at Khotyn.

Along with the reconstruction of the citadel of the Turks it was built more powerful fortifications - New Fortress. By 1718 around the castle a new irregular polygon fortress in size 250 x 1200 m from the fortified gates 4 and 6 artillery bastions, secured land tours merlons loopholes and wicker. Curtin height of 9-12 m, surrounded by 24-meter field scarp dry moat, was intended for small-arms gunfire, and counterscarp height of 6-8 m held palisadovana spacious covered road, where they could light guns mounted on shunting carriages. In the most dangerous areas were laid 17 underground mine galleries.

Although the fortification complex New Fortress was founded on the European model, in the decoration of certain facilities used elements of traditional Ottoman architecture and marks associated with military symbolism. The latter is most at the entrance gate - central Constantinople (Bender) from the south, west Timishoarsky (Iasi), northeastern Water (Podolsk) and southeastern covertly (Kamenetz). In the interior of the fortress housed built residential, military, economic and religious buildings. Now, the defense complex could accommodate several thousand garrison with provisions and ammunition in peacetime.

Citadel stood intact until the end of the XVII century., Survived the turbulent years when Khotyn than once at the center of European military-political events and under its walls razbivaly Polish camp, Cossack, Turkish troops and placed garrisons in the walls of the various states.


During the XVIII century. the fortress was never taken by storm, although three surrendered - in 1739, 1769 and 1788 Turkish authorities, who returned in 1793, lasted only until the new Turkish-Russian war in 1806, at the beginning of which the royal army occupied Khotyn fortress and held it up to the signing of the Treaty of Bucharest May 28, 1812 According to the terms of the Dniester-Prut interfluve with Khotyn inclusive, became part of the Russian Empire.

After the defeat of Russia in the Crimean War (in 1856 ..) Status Khotyn fortress as a military facility was canceled, she was transferred to the civilian agency. Citadel, and with it the new fortress gradually falling into disrepair. The destruction deepened fighting two world wars - at the beginning of July 1941 of the retreating Red Army blew up the minaret, from which there is only a basement staircase.

The Khotyn fortress held shooting many popular feature films: "Viper", "Zakhar Berkut", "Ballad of the Valiant Knight Ivanhoe", "Three mushkitery", "Black Arrow", "Walled City", "Arrows Robinhood", "Yassa" "Taras Bulba".

Considering the rich historical traditions of the city, its deep historical roots in 2000, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine was established the State Historical and Architectural Reserve "Khotyn fortress".

In the fortress of conducted surveys of many popular films: "Adder", "Zakhar Berkut", "Ballad of the Valiant Knight Ivanhoe", "Three mushkytery", "Black Arrow", "Old Fort", "Dart Robinhuda", "Yassa" ,"Taras Bulba".

Considering the rich historical traditions of the city, its deep historical roots in 2000, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine was established the State Historical-Architectural Reserve "Khotyn fortress".