On the right bank of the Dnister, not far from the ancient town of Khotyn in Chernivtsi region, towers the legendary Khotyn Fortress (13-th – 18-th centuries). This stronghold has walls that are about 50 meters high and 6 meters thick. Khotyn used to be part of Kyivan Rus, the Halych-Volyn Principality, the Republic of Genoa, Poland, the Moldovan Principality and the Ottoman and Russian Empires. Its strategic location and the might of the citadel itself caused rivalries among many countries.
Invaders ruined the fortress more than once, yet each time, it was rebuilt and expanded. Khotyn became most famous during the 1621 military campaign. In those days, under the fortress’s walls, a 200,000-strong Turkish-Tartar army with Sultan Osman II at its head confronted the combined army of the Rzeczpospolita headed by Jan Karol Chodkiewicz (35,000), which operated jointly with the Ukrainian Cossacks led by Petro Sahaydachny (40,000). The armed conflict under the walls of Khotyn Fortress lasted a month and ended in the signing of a peace treaty between the Rzeczpospolita and the Ottoman Porta, which created unfavorable conditions for the latter. According to historians, the outcome of this battle was of immense international importance. The victory saved the Rzeczpospolita from being conquered by the Turks and made Turkey give up its ambitious plans for invading the whole of Europe. Today, Khotyn is a place where you can feel peace and harmony like nowhere else. From the top of its high walls, one can observe the green slopes of the blue Dnister or walk down the stone steps to the gigantic basements, or rest near a small spring.