The Ramparts of the Holy Trinity
The ruins of the fortress (the 17th century)
The village of Okopy is located at the south of the Borshchiv district of the Ternopol province. The village was named after a fortress that was built at the end of the 17th century.

In 1672, after a two-week assault, Kamianets fell under the Ottoman Empire. After making peace with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Podillia soon became a part of the Ottoman Empire and Kamianets became a center of Podillia Eyalet. Poland could not bear the loss of such a big piece of its former territory and within a year it decided to go to war with the Turks. But by now the Turks had already turned Kamianets into a formidable fortress and it became almost impossible for the Poles to invade it and defeat the Turks. For the next 20 years they made several attempts to take the city back, but only around the beginning of the 1690s, they decided to adopt different tactics. One of the most important tactics of their siege was the decision to cut off the Turkish garrison from its supplies that were located in Khotyn. In order to achieve this, in the autumn of 1692, few kilometers away from Zhvanets on the high rocks linking the Zbruch and Dnister rivers, Polish troops under the command of Stanislaw Jan Jablonovskyi, Grand Hetman of the Crown, laid the foundations for the earthy fortress that would later be named “Okopy Sviatoi Triitsi”. Fortress construction meant that the cape (100 to 400 m wide), had been split by two lines of earth trenches and ramparts, which formed demi-bastions, one bastion and fortress walls – curtains. Thus the western (Lvov) and eastern (Kamianets) fronts of the fortress were built. North and south of the city was securely defended by natural escarpments over the Zbruch and Dnister rivers banks.

The only stone fortifications in the fortress were the two gates, located in the center of the western and eastern fronts, as well as an observation tower, situated over the shallow water of the river Zbruch in the northeastern part of the fortress. Inside of the fortress were the foundations of the Holy Trinity church. Very soon the fortress construction proved its value: The Turkish garrison l was completely cut off from Khotyn and began to experience serious difficulties in receiving supplies and within the next few years, the Turkish troops began to suffer from starvation and, eventually, in 1699 Kamianets was once again handed over to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. However this did not cause the Holy Trinity fortress d to lose its military significance and up until the 19th century it remained a defense frontier on the border with the Ottoman Empire. During the 19th century it also served as a customs check post between the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empire. Between 1920 and 1939 the fortress served as a Polish frontier post. These days only fragments of the earthen ramparts and trenches, entrance gate and observation tower over Zbruch can be found of the once formidable fortress.

However, just like 300 years ago, the city of Kamianets still continues to fascinate tourists with its vivid landscapes, intriguing history and spectacular views.
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