Berdychiv Fortress

Central Ukraine

The impressive brick-walled complex hogging the horizon as you approach Berdychiv from Khmelnytsky is widely known as the fortetsya (fortress), but it's actually a Carmelite (Roman Catholic) monastery. The towering Church of Our Lady, which lords over the complex, dates to the 17th century. It's well worth going inside to check out its beautiful interior, dominated by the soaring central nave. The monastery's fortress-like defensive walls and towers were built in the late 18th century.

Within the monastery grounds you'll find the Polish-funded Joseph Conrad Museum and Berdychiv's modest Regional History Museum, with small exhibits on Balzac and Conrad, plus the usual Soviet WWII and ethnographic exhibits.