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Khotyn Fortress

Khotyn Fortress
Operation: year round
Location: Svyatopokrovskaya Street 40a, Khotin
Quiet green fields surround the Khotyn Fortress on the high bank of the Dnister River, with serene blue skies above. Fairytale looking fortress amid charming and peaceful landscape contrasts the thousand-year history of the place, name of which supposedly went from Slavic word “wanted, sought-after”. No surprise, Khotyn always used to be an attractive piece of land and many bloody battles happened around it.
Wooden fortifications have appeared here as early as in the 11th century at will of Volodymyr the Great to make a strong link in the chain of fortresses on the southwestern frontier of Kievan Rus. In the 13th century Khotyn becomes the main western fort of the Halych-Volhynian Kingdom. Recalcitrant Prince Danylo of Galych commands to dress the wooden walls with stone. The small fortification of those times became the strongest portion of the fortress in its future history. In the next century Khotyn becomes part of Principality of Moldavia, Stephen III the Great expands the fortress sufficiently and builds 40-meter high and 5-meter thick walls. Starting from the end of the 16th century the Khotyn Fortress has been possessed by the Turks, Polish and Moldovans. Each time it was ruined to be rebuilt and reconstructed to become stronger and mightier. The last reconstruction was made by Turks in collaboration with French military engineers in the beginning of the 18th century, and the Khotyn Fortress became the strongest European fort of the Ottoman Empire. Though by the middle of the 18th century the fortress defensive role weakens, it becomes a battlefield in the Russo-Turkish war for several times. In 1856, already a part of the Russian Empire, the Khotyn fortress ceased being a military object. But still battles and wars has been always right near these old walls – such a hard luck of the “sought-after, wanted” frontier town and fortress.
Each historical event, work of people of many nations, remarkable engineering and architectural art has summed up to make the fortress a great sightseeing object – wooden bridge with a secret trap, high walls and towers, Prince Castle with red brick ornament, 68-meter deep well, extensive underground tunnels, dungeon…”Where is a ghost?” one would ask. There should be one. Someone keeps a big spot on the wall wet. No scientific explanation to the wet spot on the wall. But many legends easily explain it. You will hear it for yourself when you visit the Khotyn Fortress.

My husband Greg and I, must tell you how wonderful our trip to Ukraine was. Because of your wonderful services and personal touches, everything went extremely well.

We had an amazing journey and love your country. Greg's mother was born in Berdyansk, lived in Kharkov and her father was from Poltava. We visited each of those cities as well as Kiev and Mariupol and enjoyed every minute.

The accommodations you recommended were exceptionally nice. We especially loved our apartment in Kiev and Hotel Kievsky in Kharkov. The staff of the hotel could not have been more accommodating and the room itself was clean, comfortable, cozy and convenient. The apartment was just beautiful and had a great location.

We had a couple of glitches in Mariupol at the Spartak with the electricity going out for many hours, the phone never working and of course no hot water which was not unexpected. The one thing we wish they had was an elevator since we had heavy luggage and were on the fifth floor. None of those things, however, were enough to take away our enjoyment of the room or our stay in Mariupol.

We were stunned by how nice the airport in Mariupol was. It was not only lovely but it was efficient and the flight was nicer than most domestic flights in the US as far as service and food were concerned.

All in all, we couldn't have had a more wonderful adventure and YOU were such an integral part of all of that. From the moment we were met at Borispol and given our vouchers and tickets until the time we left, we knew we were in good hands--yours. I even text messaged Irina about a possible concern when we were about to leave (concerning customs) and she responded immediately and accurately.

What can we say but THANK YOU SO MUCH! We plan to return in a few years and have recommended the trip and especially your service to all of our friends in Orlando, Florida, USA. I hope they get the opportunity to travel to Ukraine and to experience your hospitality.

All the Best,

Candy and Greg, USA

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