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7 Wonders of Kamyanets-Podilskyi

                     There are cities, that you don't know what interesting about them to tell. And there are those, that you don't know from what exactly among the mass of interesting information to start telling. And Kamianets is one of them. "i" means "stone". And "Podil" can be translated as "dale".So, Kamianets-Podilskyi, "The city on stone", is the historical capital of Ukrainian region Podilia. Much has been written about this unique city.

                     Experts are still debating on question of the city's founding. Several major versions have the time span of II - XIV centuries B.C. Though, the Ancient Russ hypothesis of city foundation in the pre-Mongol period in the late XII - early XIII centuries considered to be the mane. In the next centuries, the city has experienced many vivid historical periods, each of them contributed to the unique outlook of present city.

                     In 2007 there was organized the national rating "7 Wonders of Ukraine". The Old Fortress in Kamianets and located nearby Khotyn fortress were included to the list of winners. After that the citizens of Kamianets created local rating. The result of "7 Wonders of Kamianets" rating was a list of unique sights. Let's look on this list in detail.

                     On the top of it, of course, The Old Fortress - a national competition finalist. However, we'll start with another object that will help us to understand the unique location of old town and explain the reasons of the fortress erection. Moreover, these object - the only one in the list of a natural origin and is a candidate to the UNESCO world cultural heritage list. So, river Smotrych Canyon.

                     Smotrych River on its way from the north to the south makes here a beautiful omega-shaped loop, forming a picturesque canyon with steep slopes up to fifty feet high. The territory formed this way in the canter of the canyon was an impregnablenatural stronghold in those times. Ideal place, for secure, settlement. At the only narrow isthmus, connecting the great off spur with the rest of the river bank, a castle was built.

                     Canyon itself is part of an unique natural formation - Podilski Tovtry. Thesetiny mountains are the limestone ridges, which are the remains of the barrier reef, formed by the calcareous algae, mollusks and other organisms in those distant times when not the villages or cities, and the mountains and valleys were forming on these lands. Locals affectionately call these small rock formations Medobory as rich flora of Tovtry provides a generous collection of honey.

                     Handsome Canyonin Kamianets, perhaps, the most romantic part of Podilski Tovtry. Beautiful medieval fortress supplements this romantic place very successfully. But let's return to our top list and from the fortifications beauty we'll follow the temple buildings beauty.

                     The architectural ensemble of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul's cathedral combines many architectural styles and includes the cathedral itself, the belfry, a triumphal arch and - attention - the minaret (!). This minaret reminds the times of Turkish rule in the city in the late seventeenth century. But more, the minaret is decorated with shiny gilded figure of the Virgin Mary at the very top surrounded by stars and a crescent. Just try to find something like this in Ukraine or even in whole World. Kamianets, however, can boast of such an unique miracle. Another artistic miracle locates here, in the cathedral.

                      Tombstone of Laura Pshezdetska is the artistic masterpiece of a world's value. It was created by St. Petersburg Academy of Arts Professor Victor Brodsky in for 2 years. They sad that the cause of death of 21-year-old girl in 1874 was the spine injury during horse riding. But marble beauty looks like she's just sleeping and only the extinct torch in the hand of sad Cupid symbolizes an extinct life. Near the Cathedral there is another outstanding historical and architecturalattraction.

                    Local Town Hall is called the oldest office building (administrative structure) in Ukraine which has remained till our time. And it seems to be true. City Hall in Kamianets is, probably, the oldest in Ukraine.

                  At the end of our review there are two city bridges left.

                  One of them is called the oldest engineering structure in our state, referring to the hypothes is that the town was built by the Romans in the II century B.C. Castle Bridge is really interesting subject. The first, he doesn't look like a bridge, he reminds a dam. Under this sarcophagus, built by the Turks, might be the work of the Roman bridge builders pictured on Trajan's Column in Rome. The second, it connects two right banks of Smotrich river. The locals sometimes call it Turkish bridge.

                  Another bridge with a beautiful name "Swift Fallow Deer" is presented as the highest unsupported bridge in Ukraine. And again looks like true because it's really high (near 70 m). And really reminds a swift fallow deer frozen in a rapid jump.

                      So, this is the end of rating, but not the end of the city wonders. Indeed, the number of important historical and architectural objects (about 150) is smaller only in comparison with such cities like Lviv and Kyiv. And if luxurious Kiev and exquisite Lviv have already had the opportunity to stay in your heart – it is time now for unique city of Kamianets.

Autor Alexander Pylypchuk

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