go to content go to search box go to global site navigation

Kamyanets-Podilsky

History

Named after the stone on which it sits, Kamyanets-Podilsky existed as early as the 11th century as a settlement of Kyivan Rus. Like much of western Ukraine, the town spent periods under Lithuanian and Polish rule, with the latter dominating from the 15th to 17th centuries. Unlike much of western Ukraine, however, it fell briefly to the Ottoman Turks, who conquered it with a tremendous army in 1672 and ruled for 27 years. After being returned to Polish rule, Kamyanets-Podilsky was conquered in 1793 by the Russians. They used its fortress as a prison for Ukrainian nationalists. In 1919 the town became the temporary capital of the short-lived Ukrainian National Republic. During WWII the Germans used the old town as a Jewish ghetto, where an estimated 85, 000 people died. Intensive fighting and air raids destroyed some 70% of the old town.