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Urych Sights | Tustan Fortress | Kievan Rus Rock Fortress
Individual and group tours to Tustan Fortress

Urych Sights | Tustan Fortress | Kievan Rus Rock Fortress
Tustan Fortress is a unique monument of medieval history and architecture of IX-XVIII centuries the analogues of which there are not in Europe.

The fortress city of Tustan was formed and built on three rocky groups: Kamin, Mala Skelya and Gostryi Kamin. The central part of the medieval city of an area of three hectares is located on rock group Kamin and around it. Ditinets was housed on rocky plateau.

The form of cliffs served as natural walls and intervals between the rocks builders filled with wooden logs using a folding structure. In the rock where wooden logs adjoined grooves were hollowed out. Today there are about 4000 traces on the rocks of wooden structures.

Long-time researcher of Tustan Mikhail Rozhko performed a graphic reconstruction of Tustan Fortress on basis of a detailed study of remains of traces and archaeological excavations. For all its existence XIX-XVIII centuries the fortress survived five periods of wooden rebuilding and two - stone rebuilding.

Tustan Fortress became an important strategic point and was part of Carpathian Line of Defense of Southwestern Boundaries of Kievan Rus and subsequently Kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia. In historical sources Tustan was first mentioned in the chronicle of 1333 - 1384. Then the castle was captured by Polish King Casimir the Great and rebuilt.

At that time the fortress was quite famous and stood next to cities such as Lviv, Syanok, Przemyśl, Krosno, Lubaczów, Terebovlia and Halych. For its territorial location Tustan Fortress was incorporated into international trade relations as a checkpoint to Veretsky Pass. In addition the fortress played the role of border and customs center between Kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia and Hungary and later - between Polish Kingdom and Hungary. The main income of Tustan fortress was taxes from merchants who went to Carpathian mountains passing from Drohobych with salt carts to Europe.

Tustan Fortress lasted until XVI century and in lustration of Drohobych Salt Union it is stated that in 1565 the fortress loses the role of customs and was abandoned.

Since XVIII century ruins of Tustan Fortress attracted attention of numerous travelers, tourists, ethnographers and historians. For them local residents of surrounding villages make numerous legends.

Tustan Fortress Legend

For a long time in Kievan Rus was an inaccessible fortress in the place where the ruins are now. Through the village near the fortress there was a great trade route. In that village there was a guard and when merchants ride through the village he told them: "Tu Stan" (that means "Stop Here"). Merchants stopped and had to pay the tax called "tslo". That is why the village was called Tustan. Soon it grew so big becoming the one of the main cities of Kievan Rus.

But soon Tatars came. The city was burned and then they attacked the fortress. Several times they went to attack but their tries were all in vain because the fortress had a strong army and walls were high and unapproachable. Then Tatars began to throw torches behind the walls and one of those torches hit the daughter of the prince. The dress caught fire and her father shouted scared: "Gorish! Gorish!" (that means "You're Burning!").

From these torches the fortress was burned out and those who escaped founded the new village of Orich and then it became the city of Urych.

You could visit Urych Sights | Tustan Fortress with Ukraine Tour West Ring

Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide

Pavel Korsun
Tour Guide
Ukraine tours and Kiev tours

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