Walk Architecture

Castle Kamianets-Podil


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  • Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle (Ukrainian: Кам'янець-Подільська фортеця; Polish: Twierdza w Kamieńcu Podolskim; Russian: Каменец-Подольская крепость; Turkish: Kamaniçe Kalesi) is a former Ruthenian-Lithuanian castle located in the historic city of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Khmelnytskyi Oblast (province), in the historic region of Podolia in western Ukraine. The castle and its surrounding complex is one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine.

    The castle was built on top of a peninsula carved out by the winding Smotrych River, forming a natural defense system for the castle and Kamianets-Podilskyi's Old Town neighborhood; a bridge over the river forms the only entrance to the castle. The castle's name is attributed to the root kamin', from the Slavic word for stone. Today, along with the Old Town, the castle is listed as part of the National Historical-Architectural Sanctuary «Kam'ianets,» created to protect its architecture and cultural heritage. It is also a candidate UNESCO World Heritage Site, nominated in 1989 by the Ukrainian representatives.

    Historical accounts date the Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle to the early 14th century, although recent archaeological evidence has shown human existence in the area from the 12th-13th centuries. Initially, the fortress was built to protect the bridge connecting the medieval town with the mainland. Its location on a strategic transport crossroad in Podolia made the castle a prime target for foreign invaders, however, who rebuilt the castle to suit their own needs, adding to its multicultural architectural diversity. In spite of the many architectural and engineering changes to the original castle structure, the Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle still forms a coherent architectural design, being one of the few medieval constructions in Ukraine that is relatively well preserved. It is the most recognized landmark of the city, serving as an important regional and national tourist attraction.

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