In western Ukraine, on the banks of the Southern Bug River, stands the Fortress Medzhybizh. The impressive bulwark displays a variety of different architectural styles and periods of defensive architecture. Thus, the fortress combines features of a medieval castle with the powerful modern fortress styles of the Renaissance.
Today, the Medzhybizh fortress is part of a State Historical-Cultural Preserve of Ukraine. Within the imposing walls are museums on the history of the region, ethnography and the Holodomor (famine in 1930 as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic). Formative battles and conquests as well as the eventful history of the Medzhybizh rule are presented in detail. Festivals and cultural events bring history to life for visitors.
At the time of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine in 2022, the Medzhybizh fortress once again becomes a protective structure and a refuge for many refugees, especially women and children. In April 2022 FORTE CULTURA awarded the fortress of Medzhybizh the status of an official "Station of the European cultural route". FORTE CULTURA is thus setting a sign of solidarity for the people of Ukraine.
Monument and History
On the banks of the Southern Bug
The archaeological sites in Podolia around Medzhybizh prove, through the discovery of stone and flint tools, that the Acheulean culture had already settled there around 900,000 BC. This makes the Palaeolithic settlement of Medzhybizh one of the oldest testimonies to human life in the territory of Ukraine. The first wooden fortification in Medzhybizh is documented in the Hypatian Chronicle of 1146 as a gift for Prince Svantoslav. In 1593 the town received Magdeburg law and developed into a flourishing cultural centre in the 17th and 18th centuries. During the Cossack-Polish War of 1648-1657, 3 major battles raged around Medzhybizh. In 1666, the city was conquered by Ottoman troops and held for 27 years.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TOWN.
MEDZHYBIZH - formerly the town, now a municipality, situated at the point where two rivers - the Bug and Buschok (hence the name - Mezhybish, Medzhybizh, flow together. The first known chronicle about it dates back to 1146. "... Yizlav, who had led Vsevolodovich Svyatoslav to Christ, gave him Bozhykiy and Mezhybish, (five towns in all...)", we read in the "Litopis of Rus".
Mezhybizh was part of the principality of Galicia-Volin, in the XIV. century it became one of the cities of the country of Bologna. During the Lithuanian period, when Olgerd drove the Tatars out of the area in 1392, it belonged to the Koryatowicz princes and later became part of Poland. From 1540 it was owned by the Seniavskys magnates and belonged to this family for 200 years. In 1593 the Senyasci family obtained the Magdeburg right for Medzhiborz. The magistrate's office was established here, residual workshops were set up, two public sales were held daily and a few fairs were held each year. The town became quite populous: at the beginning of the XVIII century it had 12 thousand inhabitants. Century it had 12 thousand inhabitants.
During the stormy times of the National and Freedom War of the Ukrainian people led by B. Khmelnytsky in 1648-1657, significant events took place here. Kryvonos defeated the Polish nobility and captured the town, in June 1649 a famous battle between the Polish army and Danylo Nechai's Cossack regiments took place at the castle walls, and several times B. Khmelnytsky was brought to the castle by convoy.
At the end of the XVI and the beginning of the XVIII century the village of Mezhybizh. Century the village of Medzhybish was closely connected with Lviv, with the Lviv community. As they were engaged in trade and production matters in Lviv, they brought books to Medzhybizh, and to Lviv they delivered goods. Medzhybizh also had a connection with Kiev. Medzhybizh in the XVIII century. known in the history of Lviv chronicle, which includes events in 1493 - 1649.
In Medzhybizh were several churches and associations, one of which, the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, built in the XVIII. Church of the Assumption, built in the XVIII century, was a prime example of fortified church architecture. The Jewish community in Medzhybizh was quite numerous. In the middle of the XVIII century, a special religious movement developed here, Hasidism. It was created by I. Baal Shem-Tov (Besht), who lived in Medzhybizh for 20 years and was buried here in 1760.
The Czartoryski family, who owned Medzhybizh for 100 years (1730 - 1831), made the town their headquarters. In 1792 Medzhybizh served as the seat of Tadeusz Kościuszko's headquarters.
In 1831 the Czartoryski estates were confiscated, military settlements were built in the surrounding area and Medzhybizh became a military postal centre where the so-called "camp" was established. The "Tabor" meetings were held here. The castle was the headquarters of the 12th Akhtyrsky Hussar Regiment, whose commander in 1901 was Grand Duchess Olga Olexandrivna Romanova, the full sister of Tsar Nicholas II. After the revolutionary upheaval of 1917, the Bolsheviks took power in the country. In 1923 Mezhybizh became the district centre and remained so until 1959.
Unfortunately, few historical monuments have survived and those that remain are in a dilapidated state. For example, the Troitsky Church from 1632 (registration number 1694) is still in ruins in the second half of the XX century, the historical appearance of the house next to it has been lost (the mansard), shopping centres have been built, the town hall has been destroyed, the Dormitio Church with beautiful frescoes from the XV century has been destroyed. Two houses and a chapel rotunda have survived in the town.
The most significant monument of Medzhybizh is the fortress from the XVI-XIX centuries. It is situated in a riverbed created by two rivers - the Bug and the Buzhok - and is merged with the surrounding landscape.
Quelle: © Jadwiga Veresk Quelle: ©Sergii Gulenok Quelle: Medzhybish- fortress courtyard Quelle: Mezhybizh Castle ca.1900
The history of the building goes back to XIV-XVI, XIX centuries, it occupied a prominent place among the medieval fortresses .
Available architectural and archeological monuments confirm the evidence of the chronicle. Remains of earthen ramparts, these integral attributes of ancient settlements, archaeological material of the XII-XIII centuries, discovered by researchers in the fortress near the excavated masonry fortifications, burial of the XIII century on the site of these fortifications, which date back to the Tatar invasion, convincingly during this period.
The fortress was a citadel surrounded by earthen ramparts. Its well-preserved core of Ukrainian-Russian times, which researchers have discovered at a depth of 11 meters, occupied an area on the slope of a high hill topped by a church. The cape of the fortress, facing the confluence of two rivers, was occupied by a tower with a gate, from which the fortress walls diverged to the north and west. The western ridge of the ancient fortification is now located underground *. It divides the present courtyard of the fortress in half. In ancient times, a deep ditch was dug in front of it. At the corners of the fortress walls stood round towers in plan, one of them (southern) has survived to this day in a rebuilt form. The North Tower is still awaiting its researchers, including architectural and archaeological research.
The barbican, standing in front of the gate tower, defended the approaches to the gate. It had its own gate and was rectangular in plan, measuring 10x8 meters, covered with a semicircular vault 10 meters high. Probably, above the vault was a battlefield surrounded by a jagged parapet. The entrance gate of the barbican had a hersa - a device for raising and lowering the gates, as evidenced by the gaps 28 cm wide in the masonry of the gates and the slot in the arch that crowned the gate. If the enemy broke through the first obstacle - the hers, the interior of the barbican would be defended from the surrounding wooden galleries.
This is the structure of the monuments of defense construction in Ukraine-Russia - the Golden Gate in Kiev and Vladimir. But there they were cut in the earthen ramparts, and in Medzhybizh the walls of the fortress walls were built. However, behind the first obstacle in the Kyiv and Volodymyr gates, as in Medzhybizh, there was a space protected from the side wooden galleries. Unlike Medzhybizh, a portcullis stopped the enemy from the city. However, in all these examples, the general system of defense of the gate was very similar.
Bastion - Five-Leaf Bastion
The five-leaf bastion is a complex multidisciplinary roundel system. It consists of two northern and two southern half-towers and a horn in the middle. Because of this configuration, it actively flanked the outer walls of the castle, and its loopholes for sector fire made it possible to conduct dense and crossfire, making the probable attack more difficult. The internal structure of the bastion is three-tiered, with wooden floors supported by a beam system. The vault is vaulted, resting on the outer walls of the bastion and on the walls of the barbican around which the bastion is attached. The extension of the bastion was hidden behind the castle gate with a barbican from Lithuanian times. The loopholes, in addition to the central openings, have two additional openings that allow you to shoot with small arms in transverse directions.
When the castle lost its defensive significance, a terrace was built on the ceiling of the bastion, which could be accessed from the banquet hall of the castle complex.
Quelle: ©Щур Сергій Меджибіж_укріплення.JPG Quelle: © Petro Vlasenko Medzhybizh Quelle: Foto Nata Mostova - Medzhybizh Quelle: Fortess Medshybish
Upper Pobuzhia National Nature Park is located im Khmelnytskyi Oblast, in the western part of the country. The new park covering an area of 1,080 km².
Upper Pobuzhia is located in the upper part of the Southern Bug watershed. The proposed park contains a variety of flora and fauna, including 19 plant species listed in the Red Book of Ukraine, 37 regional rare species and 17 animal species found in the European Red List.
Quelle: Quelle: © Vladislav Quelle: © Igor Ignatiev Quelle: ©Haidamac Medzyboz_Zamek