Khotyn Fortress

Khotyn Fortress


Location: Khotyn, Khotynskyi Reion  Map

Entrance Fee: 10 UAH

Open: 8am- 8pm


History of Khotyn Fortress

Khotyn Fortress is located in Khotyn, Chernivtsi Oblast of Ukraine. This impressive medieval citadel was constructed in 1325 on a site of an older Russian castle. Khotyn Fortress was erected in 1325 by Genoese (Italian Republic) on a site of an older castle that originally was built in the 10th century by Russian Prince Vladimir Sviatoslavich. Prince Stephen the Great of Moldavia greatly expanded the Khotyn Castle in the late 14th century. He ordered construction of a outer curtail wall that measured at 40 meters (130 feet) high and 5-6 meters (16 feet) thick. It became a worthy defence against Turksih army of Sultan Mehmed II who managed to capture Constantinople and all of Byzantine Empire few years earlier.


Khotyn Fortress saw numerous battles over a course of its history. One of the most famous battles of Khotyn happened in 1621. Polish Kingdom enlisted the help of 40,000 Russian- Ukrainian (whatever) Cossacks. They defeated an Ottoman Turk army that numbered over 250,000 troops. Cossack leader Petro Sahaydachny today is honoured by a large statue that greets you at the entrance to the fortress.


In 1711 Turks finally captured Khotyn Fortress using new weapons. Russian Empire finally re- captured the castle in the 19th century. Today Khotyn Fortress is open to the public. Since the Soviet times stronghold was used as a backdrop for numerous historic movies.


Local legends


Khotyn Fortress has a distinct feature in its outer curtain wall. It is a dark spot that was made when defenders of the castle patched the hole in the wall after new siege. Although local legends claim that it was made by tears of a young girl named Oksana. She was captured by the Turkish forces who tortured her in order to get a secret to get inside Khotyn Fortress and capture the citadel. Oksana refused to give up the secret and betray her people. Ottoman Turks walled her in walls of the castle. It is said that before she died young maiden cried for her unfortunate fate. Her tears made their way through rock of the wall and now a wet spot is clearly visible on the castle exterior.