You can’t imagine Kamenets-Podilskiy without a famous Old castle. It is an unique building of defence of XI-XVIII centuries. It was built on a rocky cape near a marrow neck were there was a road to Old town.
The fortifications of the XIth century didn’t look like future powerful and strong fortress with eleven towers connected among themselves.
The first reconstruction of a castle was at the end of the XIVth century. It was done by Krakiv governor –general Spitko Melshtinskiy who owned Kamenets for four years (1395-1399) and was killed in the struggle with Tatars. In half a century the castle was re-planed: the old towers were rebuilt and 10 new were constructed. The next reconstruction took place in the middle of the XVI century under the rule of military engineer and architect Iov Pretphes. He built two towers – New Western and New Eastern and also Polni Gate with a bridge.
At the beginning of the XVIIth century a military expert Teofil Shomberg built bastion fortifications of stones and ground in front of the western facade of the castle. They were named New fortress. But in 1672 the fortress was occupied by the Turkish forces and was ruled by Ottaman Porta for 21 years.
During XVIII-XIX centuries in the south and north of the castle there were built two bastions and barracks in the yard.
In spite of the reconstruction the castle is a united architectural complex.
Kamenets fortress has a unique history. It is impossible to count all the battles near its walls. Only twice the enemy entered the castle – in 1395 it was the army of Vitovt and in 1672 that were Turkish forces of Magomet IV.
According to a legend sultan Selim saw the fortifications of Kamanets in 1621 and wanted to know who had built them. “God himself” – was the answer. “Then let Him attack himself” – said sultan. Kamanats was valued in Warsaw as an advanced post of Poland in the south-east. In 1670 Sejm allowed the town not to pay taxes and called the fortress “the most beautiful and the strongest” in Rich Pospolita.
Nowadays it is organized a historical-architectural reserve in Kamenets-Podilskiy in order to survive the fortress and the town.
The castle in Kamenets is one of the few buildings of the Middle Ages in Ukraine that is not much destroyed. The reconstruction and guiding of this reserve is our duty and honor.