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7 Wonders of Ukraine: Kamianets-Podilskyi

26. August 2009 by Gregg 0 Comments

Kamianets-Podilskyi is a city based in the western part of Ukraine. It is the product of the many different cultures that have lived there over the years, and features a populace and architecture derived mainly from the Polish, Ukrainian and Armenian peoples.

The founding of the city was never documented; however the first mention of it in historical records occurs around 1062 in the Armenian chronicles and it was mentioned again almost one and a half centuries later in 1196 by the Old Rus Chronicles. The city changed hands several times in the Middle Ages, being destroyed by the Mongol forces in the 1200s and being annexed by Poland in the mid-1300s.

The city was the site of major strife and conflict in more modern times as well, being traded back-and-forth by Poland and the Ottoman Empire in the 1600s and finally becoming part of the Russian empire in 1793. Both World Wars hit the city significantly, as it was occupied by Austria-Hungary during the First World War and officially became part of the Ukrainian state in the Soviet Union after that war ended. Kamianets-Podilskyi was also one of the major sites of the Holocaust during the Second World War after Hungarian and German forces invaded the Soviet Union.

Despite its violent past, the city is one of Ukraine’s major tourist attractions today, due to its history and beauty. The Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle itself is an extremely notable landmark dating back to the 12th Century, having served both as a successful fortress during the wars between the Kingdom of Poland and the Ottoman Empire and later as a prison to hold debtors and criminals. Legends abound that there is still Turkish Gold hidden in the river near the castle, the spoils of the long conflict over the area, and that there is a tunnel reaching all the way from Khotyn Fortress 12 miles away.

Like Khotyn itself, Kamianets-Podilskyi has been declared one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine and is the administrative center of the Kamianets-Podilskyi district within the Khmelnytsky Oblast.