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Khotyn Fortress

The Khotyn Fortress (Ukrainian: Хотинська фортеця, Polish: twierdza w Chocimiu, Turkish: Hotin Kalesi, Romanian: Cetatea Hotinului) is a fortification complex located on the right bank of the Dniester River in Khotyn, Chernivtsi Oblast (province) of western Ukraine.

It is situated on a territory of the historical northern Bessarabia region which was split in 1940 between Ukraine and Moldova. The fortress is also located in a close proximity to another famous the Old Kam'yanets Castle of Kamianets-Podilskyi.
Construction on the current Khotyn fortress was started in 1325, while major improvements were made in the 1380s and in the 1460s.

The fortress is a large tourist attraction for the area and Ukraine. In 2007, the fortress was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine. It is also a National Ukrainian Architectural Preserve as of 2000.

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The Khotyn Fortress's beginning goes back to the Khotyn Fort, which was built in the 10th century by Prince Vladimir Sviatoslavich as one of the border fortifications of southwestern Kievan Rus', after he added the land of present-day Bukovina into his control.
The fort, which eventually was rebuilt into a fortress, was located on important transportation routes, which connected Scandinavia and Kiev with the Ponyzia (lowlands), Podillia, Genoese and Greek colonies on the Black Sea, through Moldavia and Wallachia, on the famous "trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks".

The fortification was located on a rocky territory, created by the tall right hand shore of Dniester and the valley. At first it was just a huge mound of dirt with wooden walls and protective equipment. It was designed to protect the settlement of Khotyn across the river. The first stone construction was rather small. It was located exactly where the northern tower is located today. Throughout the centuries, this fortress underwent many reconstructions and expansions, and was damaged by new conquerors, who would later rebuild it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khotyn_Fortress

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