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.