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KAMIANETS-PODILSKYI - KAMYANETS-PODOLSKY

Kamianets-Podilskyi is one of the oldest cities of Ukraine in Podolia (Podilia) with about 99,000 inhabitants (according to the census of 2005). Today it belongs to Khmelnitsky region and lies about 20 km northeast of Khotyn on a scenic and strategic riverside of Smotrych River. Since 1993 Kamianets-Podilskyi is the twin town with the Polish city of Kalisz.

  

The exact origins of Kamianets-Podilskyi – one of the oldest cities in Ukraine is, however, in a secret. It was firstly mentioned in chronicles in 1106. The heyday period of Kamianets-Podilskyi development was between 14th and 18th centuries. From 1373 the city was under the Polish rule as the residence of Polish governors of the Podolia Province. In the period of 1672-1699 the city belonged to the Ottoman Empire. Since the 14th century, Kamianets-Podilskyi was one of the most important polish fortresses in Ukraine.

After the first partition of Poland in 1772 Kamianets-Podilskyi became the capital of the Podolia Province under the Russian Empire. In 1918 the first Ukrainian university was founded in the city and in 1919 the city became a temporary center of the Ukrainian People's Republic. But already in 1922 Soviet Union proclaimed Ukraine as the Soviet republic.

In July 1941, Kamianets-Podilskyi was occupied by Nazi Germans and stayed under occupation until January 1944, when the Soviet army started the liberation of territories of Eastern Ukraine. As the result of the encirclement of the 1st Panzer Army of Wehrmacht by the Red Army troops, the city came under control of Soviets.

As the support to German troops, the diversionary attack led from France by SS-Panzer Corps (9 SS Panzer Divisions "Hohenstaufen" and 10 Panzer-Divisions) came from the side of Stanislaviv (modern Ivano-Frankivsk), which was under German occupation until June 1944. However, the Soviet army stood the attack.    

Nazi Germans occupation regime costed repressions, destructions and Holocaust to the local population. The city suffered severe damages during the liberation battles. Only after the war ended, the reconstruction of the city began. Today this attractive town is a part of independent Ukraine.

Historically the city of Kamianets-Podilskyi was shaped by four large communities: Poles, Ukrainians, Jews and Armenians. Each community lived in its own district, creating particular flair of the city life and building specific architectural environment. In the heydays of the city, there were more than 30 churches and monasteries there. This variety of city architecture (including original Gothic style city hall and the fortress) as well as all history backgrounds make Kamianets-Podilskyi an attractive place for visitors.

Kamianets-Podilskyi is particularly famous for its fortress from the 16th century. The other important attraction of the region is the Podillia wooden churches: the church of the Holy Cross on the left bank of the river Smotrytsch dated by 1700, the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul dated by 1370 (current appearance refers to the 16 century) which is today the residence of Catholic bishops.