Tickets online
State Historical and Architectural Reserve

The ancient city Khotyn figures prominently in medieval European history. Based near the eastern Slavs an important crossing in the Middle Dniester, it developed rapidly and become one of the important defense and commercial points of the territory. Khotyn fortress in its time was one of the strongest in Eastern Europe, under its walls repeatedly converged numerous army. Due to its strategic boundary location of a fortress for centuries it was part of various states (Kievan Rus, Galicia-Volyn, the Moldavian principality, the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, Russian Empire), which largely explains its architectural style, which was formed under the influence of general European trends associated with the development of military defense architecture, but also got a kind of ethnic coloring.

Written sources do not contain information about how the construction of the first stone of the castle, and to this day existing citadel. "On the Dniester Khotyn" is mentioned among the cities in Walnut chronicle "List of Russian cities far and near", compiled at the end of the XIV century. But archaeological studies provide an opportunity to talk about the emergence of urban tenements around a fortified castle-citadel in ancient times. Slavic village on the high rocky promontory Dniester may already be protected by simple wooden fortifications from the floor side, there was in VIII-IX centuries. In X-XI centuries. settlement occupied a much larger area (about 20 hectares), lying, judging by the finds remains of houses and stucco ware, and in the neighboring hills.

Accommodation stronghold in a valley, surrounded on three sides elevations suggests that the ancient castle built long before not only artillery, but kamenemetalnih devices. The first reliable fortification of the rampart with wooden zaborolami and hollowed rocky promontory across the moat, there is probably at the turn of the X-XI centuries. It was then that the Prince of Kiev, Vladimir Svyatoslavovych after a hike in the Croatian lands attaches to the territory of Russia and the Slavic Tivertsy by building new fortresses as centers of princely power and the seat of the governors.

In the twelfth century. Khotyn joined the Terebovlia and Galician lands, becoming a significant trading center on the Dniester waterway. It is believed that the first stone fortifications Khotyn fortress could be 40-50 years of the twentieth. XIII century. When Daniel Romanovich, Prince Galitsky, strengthening old and building new fortresses to defend against the Mongol-Tatar invasion. Another view - that it happened after 1259, when at the request of the Mongol-Tatar Daniel Romanovich cornflowers and were forced to destroy all defenses principality, including wood-Hotinskaya excavation, the site of which was built later and stone. Analysis of the mortar with the oldest part of the fortress showed its similarity to the Kiev cement (limestone with a considerable admixture of broken bricks) solutions XI-XII centuries. This indicates that the first stone walls could occur earlier in the XII-I half of the XIII century. When not stop military conflicts between the Galicia-Volyn principality and the Hungarian kingdom.

The territory of ancient stone castle-stronghold in the northern part of the modern fortress yard (today about the North Tower of the walls of the Commandant of the palace). The first fort was a small area of u200bu200bless than 2 hectares, surrounded by a fence and a six-meter width pidtrikutnim moat. From her preserved only remnants of walls, hidden deep in the eastern wall, curtain. Probably, the main defensive structure when the tower on the site of the present North quadrangular tower. It could be a tower, once inscribed in the walls, and a separate tower-dungeon, to which later built a wall about thirty meters long, formed by the square yard.


In the middle of the XIX century. a partial restructuring and strengthening Hotinskaya fortifications: the wall thickness of the half-meter time, found at a depth of 3.5 m from the modern surface extending along the northern perimeter of the Commandant of the palace in the eastern curtain, speaking southern defensive wall. These measures were implemented at the initial stage of the conquest of the Moldovan governors Galician areas in the upper reaches of the rivers Suceava, Siret and Prut. The local population and even to oppose them, but without support, was forced to submit to what is the testimony of the Polish historian Jan Dlugosz. Then, perhaps, destroyed the previous stone walls of the fortress, and the new reduced on the initiative of the Moldovan hosts after 1359 (the year of the Moldavian principality) to strengthen the borders of the newly formed state.

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 Castle 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 (Kowalska) 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.


With a raised pryasel curtains and towers solved the problem of the low placement of the lock with respect to the neighboring hills, but the castle courtyard was in the depths of the inner space of the fortress, create considerable inconvenience. Therefore, on the floor of the courtyard ragged stone erected pole-support future basements, blocking their arched vault. With the gaps between the buildings and walls and towers have chosen the bulk soil to the rocky mainland, which is covered by tie - a layer of stones, lime mortar, thickness of 1 m in the center of the courtyard with a thickening to 2 m towards the wall. This layer had a kind of concrete to prevent the secret tunnel. Ties are filled with debris and imported soil, thus raising the level of the courtyard about 8 m. Initially composed facilities turned into cellars that serve as the foundation for ground-storey buildings: two palaces, chapels, barracks and other buildings that have not survived. Accordingly, on 8 th deepened well, punched in the bedrock in the center of the southern courtyard of the castle, perhaps even before the restructuring fortifications.

All the outbuildings of this period: the palace pirkelaba (elders), church, barracks, etc., were built simultaneously with defensive walls and towers and formed a single architectural complex. Under the northern part of the fortress yard (so called "Princely Court") separated from the larger southern ("the Court of warriors") wall, which has grown on the site of southern defense wall XIV century. In its middle part octagonal tower housed the stone spiral staircase that led to the battle site. Between the tower and the palace was left a three-meter width of passage into the yard pirkelaba. This courtyard was a stone paving of the major chipped stone slabs held together by that mortar and curtains. To the inside of the walls adjoined storey cloisters width of 3 m.

As a result of the reconstruction of the castle was strengthened so much that in 1476 the Ottoman army of Sultan Mehmet the AI u200bu200bcould not get it. Not the least role in this was played by the organization of the defense of the fortress led pirkelaba Vlaicu - uncle Stefan, who served as commandant of Khotyn one thousand four hundred sixty-seven of 1481.

Stefan III led a fairly successful foreign policy, successfully maneuvering between Poland, Hungary and Turkey, could not succeed him. When 1527 came to power, the owner's son Petru Rares, with renewed vigor renewed military clashes with the Poles through Pokuttya. In May 1538 at the Polish-Turkish talks, it was decided to shift Rares from the principality and in its place put the other governors. In the summer of the Polish army led by Count J. Tarnowski besieged Khotyn. Having two weeks dig under the walls of the fortress, the Poles intend to plant them in the air, but not yet done so, to sign a peace agreement with the warlord Peter. It is reported by the Polish historians themselves: according to M. Stryjkovsky, crown hetman, besieged the castle, "would have already received it through bookmarks gunpowder, but the Governor Peter asked affection and peace (...), which he received when again sworn King Sigismund . Khotyn - Castle beautiful and durable, I saw in 1574 ".


Khotyn War

In the XVII century. Khotyn was held at one of the large-scale military conflicts in Europe - the battle, which because of its duration was called Khotyn war. In September 1621 fighting against the army of the Turkish Sultan Osman II, together with the Crown and Lithuanian forces took part in the army of the Zaporozhye Cossacks led by Hetman Petro Konashevich Sagaydachnogo. Already in the beginning of August, the Turks gathered under Khotyn nearly 160 thousandth army, more than 300 guns, and a large number of camels, mules, horses, even the four elephants. Poles at the time were able to oppose them only 32-thousand army led by Jan Chodkiewicz. This prompted Sigismund IRS to seek help from the Zaporozhye Cossacks. September 1, 1621 of 39 thousand army Sagaydachnogo arrived in the Polish camp under Khotin, where he was joined by a regiment of Cossacks B. mustachioed and September 2 have already engaged in battle with the Turks. Thirteen Cossack regiments were armed with 20 bronze and iron tools 3 with 12 ammunition wagons. Its maximum number of Zaporozhye army reached on the field of battle Khotyn September 4 when, after the concentration of all units it with Cossack youth (servants, Jur) employs more than 45-47 thousand. Man. By the standards, it was a huge military force fighting which played a key role in the destruction of the aggressive plans of the Ottoman Empire against the Commonwealth. October 9 AI Osman was forced to sign a peace treaty was equivalent to defeat. One of his points (on the Polish side) says: "With the signing of the agreement will have Khotyn give all right, so what caught his parish troops of the king, with all [that there was] so, who will be at the time of Moldavian rulers ". Immediately after the formation of the contract in the Polish camp he was sent to the Turkish representative appointed to inspect the fortress: it was supposed to keep the remains of gunpowder and bullets.

Citadel stood intact until the end of the XVII century. Having lived through the turbulent years when Khotyn has repeatedly found himself 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 1672 Mr .. After the capture of Kamenetz, there were again Turkish soldiers led by Hussein Pasha. Having collected thirty thousand Polish-Lithuanian army crown hetman Jan Sobieski by a right-bank hetman Cossack M. Khanenko November 11, 1673 forty thousandth defeated Ottoman troops. Polish-Lithuanian-Cossack losses were generally low, but among them was a young nobleman with Oshmyanskogo County Lithuania Stepan Orlik, father of the future Hetman Orlyk.

Triumphal victory of 1673, which brought Jan Sobieski the Polish throne, reflected in many paintings. This canvas J. van Hugtenberga "Battle of Khotin» (I-quarter of the XVII century.), Written for the family J. Sobieski; Etching R. de Hooge "Battle of Khotin" (1674), made on the basis of eyewitness drawings of storming the fortress F. Gratty, Secretary J. Sobieski; painting "The Battle of Khotin" Stesha A. and F. van Kessel (1674-1679 years.). All paintings can be clearly seen, as it appeared Khotyn fortress. In particular, the southern fence walls situated in the middle of a square tower was completed in the corners of the two round towers with mounted loopholes - Southwest and Southeast. The latter, skirting it, led the entry bridge to the four or five pylons, poles, one flight is raised. And now, some of these supports with holes laid between them rise from the Dniester, the right of the entrance gate of the tower bridge.


Using pictorial sources, archaeologists have found the remains completely destroyed Southeast tower and part of the southern wall, which are now deep in the south-eastern part of privratno courtyard of the castle, to the right of the bridge. From her left about half of the perimeter of the foundation shall be issued to a height of 1 m above the modern surface. The walls of the tower erected on the construction principle of the Roman-Byzantine masonry: the outside and inside outlining pidpryamokutni boulders and stones interior space zabutovuvavsya irregular flooded limestone solution with a mixture of pebbles. In this way all defense facilities built castle. The size (inner diameter of 4.5 meters, width of walls - 2,3 m) south-east tower roughly correlated with the Western (Commandant) round tower. Features mortar and method of construction indicate that the tower was part of a complex of fortifications built in the II floor. The fifteenth century.

Win J. Sobieski and temporary stay in the fortress of Polish garrison led the government of the Ottoman Empire in 1675 to issue an order for the demolition of Moldova master locks in Neamt, Suceava and Khotin. 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 create a military and administrative center (Raju or nahii) centered at Khotin. At the beginning of October 1711 intelligence reported to Peter I on the repair order Vizier Khotyn Castle. In the spring of 1712 in Khotyn came first new military district commander in chief Abdi Pasha, and in 1713-1714 gg. These were deployed about 20 thousand. A soldier of the Turkish divisions. Create Raya completed at the end of 1715 - 1716 in the fortress became its administrative center, which housed the administration and the Turkish military garrison.

According to historical and literary sources, in July 1713, "more than 100 000 people, 200 weapons large and small, horse, equipment and tools to strengthen the fortress moved toward Khotina because it was necessary to strengthen and strength, and the city of Khotin on the Dniester." Then walled gap, rebuilt the south-west tower with a much thicker than previous walls, built a new defensive wall and gate tower, pushing them to the south. On the extension of the castle in this period, among other things, show details of Ottoman architecture, applied in the design of new fortifications, such as decorative reliefs on the window arches (sockets and poultry). The Turks are not restored to the newly ornament the walls of the fifteenth century. with Christian symbols ("Babel" and "Calvary"), but the gap zamurovyvaya the north tower, built of brick or image kofeyschika kumgans: narrow-necked jar of Aquarius, which was used in the East for ritual ablutions before prayer of the faithful Muslims. Maybe he has become a symbol of purification from a previous submission to the fortress of Christian owners.

Along with the reconstruction of the citadel around the Turks it was built more powerful fortifications - New Fortress. Castle lost the value of self-defense facility and become part of a new system of fortifications, covering the east part of the yard again and serving the defense industry in the future arsenal. Now the entrance to the citadel did not need additional protection, and was therefore constructed in the eastern side of the wall of the lower tier of the new gate tower that allows you to quickly make ammunition. The openings between the pillars of the old bridge XV century. stones were laid, thus this section was included in the overall system of outworks.

Keep the records left by Turkish officials, who at the time served as secretary and financial arsenal Chancellery in Khotin. He notes that "in the old fortress is a mosque, a converted old church, housing dzhebedzhibashi (senior officer of the troops destined for the protection and transport of military equipment), dizdara (commandant of the fortress), the artillery barracks and the house of the Imam and muezzin." Near the mosque was built minaret, the foundation stone of which is now adjacent to the western wall of the church.

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. Now, the defense complex could accommodate twenty thousand garrison with provisions and ammunition in peacetime and sixty thousand troops during the fighting. 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. Much later finds the locals already half-buried remains of these galleries have created numerous legends about the existence of underground passages that seem to have joined Khotyn with the opposite bank of the Dniester, or even with the Kamenetz.


The courtyard of the fortress

In the interior of the fortress housed built residential, military, economic and religious buildings. Here's how they describe the already mentioned Turkish official, "was built on the old fortress town has gates of Constantinople, Timishoarsku, Water and covertly. In the outer court there are two baths, two mosques and near the gates of Constantinople a lot of shops; before the inner fortress there is a bath and gates Enicher-Agassi (the commander of the Janissaries), nearby - a mosque and barracks of the Janissaries; Finally, at the end of the valley is a powder magazine. Above - Pasha Palace, and in front of him - the house sofa Efendi (a secretary of the sultan). Across the road is finely decorated public bath defterdara (government official, who was involved in the financial affairs) Kasim Effendi, it is similar to the Istanbul bath before it well and mosque late valide-Sultan (the title of mother of the reigning sultan) in the vicinity of their trial and the cemetery where is Abdi Pasha. At the same cemetery rests a lot of godly men. Abdi Pasha was buried in a marble sarcophagus, well carved and ornate, gilded and vizirsky turban. Inside, to the right of the gates of Constantinople, were artillery barracks space for wagons and Palace defterdara; Left - a pantry of bread, a spacious and well-built, like no in Rumelia, or in port, or in other fortresses. Next to the bath Kasim Effendi - a well-built school and the arch. " Unfortunately, only in some places extending from the grass foundations remind us of the dense inner granted New fortress in the past. Relatively well preserved only remnants of a mosque with a minaret-valide sultan, built, apparently at the expense of the mother then ruling Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730 gg.). Their ruins are now well traced across the Church of St. Alexander Nevsky.

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, Izmail), northeastern Water (Podolsk) and southeastern covertly (Kamenetz). Their facades but secretly adorned the top of the chronogram "of gold on blue, made letters taliks (a form of Arabic script)." These poetic inscriptions were dedicated to significant events and glorified action Pasha. In the picture gate of Constantinople, made by the Russian military at the end of the XVIII century. This chronogram surround also numerous drawings, of which only a few have survived. The majority of these drawings ("the sword of Ali", "heart", "crossed the snake", "anchor", "rosette", "fish", "minaret") - is the emblem Janissary Horta - military units that served in the fortress . Similarly, emblems, symbols janissaries attached special importance, they are proud of them and reproduced on banners, tents, barracks walls, like tattoos on the body, and the like.

The result is a grand building of a new fortress was succinctly described by the Moldovan and Russian statesman Dmitry Kantemir: "... in 1712 the Turks captured the fortress, partially destroyed the old walls, but it was surrounded by sturdy structures for new models, increasing them by more than half, so that Now it is rightly regarded as the best and the strongest fortress of Moldova. " Although contemporaries and considered new Khotyn fortress "the best and the strongest" in the construction were not considered innovative at the time and form of technology, prevailing in European military engineering science, and being based on the outdated principles of the French fortification system. After all, before the end of the XVII century. and the long curtains, and finally faceted bastions disappeared from European defense architecture because of the impossibility of adequate protection against artillery.

Despite this, during the XVIII Art. the fortress was never taken by storm, but surrendered three times - in 1739, 1769 and 1788 The last time it happened during the Russian-Austro-Turkish War of 1787-1791., when Galicia-Bukovina body imperial troops under the command of Prince Ivan at Coburg support of Russian troops blocked the Khotyn fortress in May 1788 and after fierce fighting September 29, 1788 forced its garrison to surrender on honorable terms. Hazyaynuyuchy in Khotyn in 1793, the Austrians did not manage to significantly affect the architecture of the fortress complex at the premises of the mosque valide-Sultan, which was adapted for housing for the Commandant, officers and the garrison priest deliberately destroyed before the evacuation of troops in February 1793 True, this time from the past the greatness of this building there is not much when Russian troops seized the fortress August 31, 1739, they damaged the roof and the floor of the mosque, broke the sarcophagus Abdi Pasha and took a rich Turkish library, which is stored at the mosque. Of course, the Turks then able to restore their places of worship.

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 Khotinshchina inclusive, It became part of the Russian Empire. But even before the formal transfer of these territories in chief of the Moldavian Army General MI Golenishtchev-Kutuzov March 14, 1812 sent a secret letter privy councilor presiding sofa principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, Senator B. Red Milashevich with a request to assist the tasks entrusted "with the highest command of His Imperial Majesty" on military engineer Major General Harting, which went into Khotyn for "amendments and strengthen" Fortress "in the case of rainfall." In order Harting was supposed to provide 2,000 workers with his "entrenching tools" and 150 wagons. Already in the 20 days of March came the first thousand people, and in the autumn of 1812 a whole day zadiyuvalosya to 11 thousand. Working with different tsinutov, and the number of wagons has grown to 250. The commandant of the fortress at that time was known Major General M . I. Liders, veteran of the war of 1787-1791., who distinguished himself during the assault Ochakov, in 1805 fought at Austerlitz, in 1809, was seriously wounded in the assault Braila. October 7, 1810 he was appointed commandant of Khotin, and October 25 - also the commander of the garrison battalion Khotyn. Since August 1812 participated in the battles with the French, but at the end of December 1812 he was ordered to return to the city and begin to fulfill the commandant service, he and his nose to the resignation in 1820

However, not all commanders Khotyn fortress noted such heroism. One of the first long held the position Colonel Hesse, but in May 1808 it had opened proceedings on complaints from residents of Khotyn Ivan Petrov for the appropriation of money, bills and things. Soon, he was removed from his post, and in the next case it (debt collection for firewood merchant Kamenetskii Azarsovu) already featured different Khotyn fortress commander - Colonel Baron Lange, and performed these duties until the appointment of M. Lüders.

In addition to purely repair work, while in the fortress under the Russian submission was conducted and determined its reconstruction, after which a military object was assigned the second rank. Probably in the western curtain was made one more entry, so-called. "Russian Gate", was situated between the western and north-western bastion. In addition, in another it was resolved entrance to the castle - punched holes in the second tier of the gate tower, which led to the bridge on the same support, that now serves as the input. The room of the mosque was used as a warehouse for food supplies.


Russian-Turkish war

During the Russian-Turkish war of 1828-1829. The Khotyn were units of the 6th Corps Second Russian army. In 1830-1832 gg. For the religious needs of the military garrison there was the church of St. Alexander Nevsky, built by architect Shtauberga in the neoclassical style of the architecture of Orthodox religious buildings I floor. XIX century. In 1994 .. It was rebuilt, was consecrated and now - a working temple of the UOC-of Chernivtsi Bukovina diocese.

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. By order of the commander of the 5 Army Corps fortified buildings intended for the staff and the hospital Modlin Infantry Regiment, stationed in Khotin, but for a long time they were not used in full because of unfitness: even then, most of stone were in a dilapidated condition and discussions between Hotinsky City Council and Bessarabian Governor-General ML Fonton de Verrayonom who and at whose expense will repair them, protracted for years, did not produce results.

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.

Restoration work began only in the 60s. Twentieth century. When in 1963. Facilities fortress was taken on the account as a monument of national importance. In 2000. Created Historical and Architectural Reserve "Khotyn fortress", which in August 2007, among others, was the winner of the campaign "7 Wonders of Ukraine".