Khotyn Fortress

Lonely Planet review

While Kamyanets-Podilsky is awesome taken as a whole, its castle building is upstaged by Khotyn Fortress . Eastern European filmmakers love to use this massive fort overlooking the Dnister River as a location; recently refurbished, it served as Warsaw Castle in the recent Russian-language blockbuster movie Taras Bulba . With walls up to 40m high and 6m thick, today’s stone fortress was built in the 15th-century, replacing an earlier wooden building. Its location safeguarded river trade routes making it a sought-after prize. The defining moment in its history came in 1621, with a threatened Turkish invasion. The incumbent Poles enlisted the help of 40,000 Cossacks and managed to rout a 250,000-strong Turkish army. This improbable victory made a hero of Cossack leader Petro Sahaydachny, whose huge statue greets you near the fortress’ entrance. However, any notion of the fortress’ impregnability was dispelled in 1711 when the Turks finally nabbed it. The Russians took over in the 19th century.