BUCHACH CASTLE

Buchach is an ancient town, which keeps many historical and architectural monuments, with a special place among them belonging to the old castle. It is situated on the top of a high rocky hill, washed by the Strypa River.

The stone castle was constructed on the site of Old Slavic fortifications in the last guarter of the 14th century by the city owners, Princes Buchatskiy, whose family had Lithuanian origins. In 1542, the Buchatskiy family died out since their last representative, Yakiv Buchatskiy chose a church career by becoming a bishop, and did not leave any descendants.

buchach-castleThe new heyday for Buchach started in 1631, when representatives of the influential Pototskiy family became its owners. The city had a favorable strategic position, and the new owners took great efforts to fortify it. The city was encircled by defensive walls and ramparts, and the castle became the stronghold of the city and was significantly expanded and fortified. The reconstruction of the castle was supervised by Maria Mohylianka, who was the widow of Stefan Pototskiy. The Buchach Castle was fortified in accordance with the latest innovations in the field associated with the development of artillery. The ancient citadel was supplied powerful semicircular bastions from the side of the city. The thickness of defensive walls reached 4 meters. The eastern bastion was built next to the palace in the Renaissance style, decorated with arched galleries. On the first floor of the palace there was the entrance gate, the way to which was given by the drawbridge lowered over the moat. The part which has been preserved best to our time is the bastions and fragments of Pototskiy Palace.

buchach-castleIn 1672, a huge united army consisting of Turks led by Sultan Mahomet IV and Cossacks led by Hetman Petro Doroshenko approached Buchach. The Turks have already captured Kamyanets-Podilskiy and were moving towards Lviv, and Buchach happened to be one of the key cities on their way. At that time, the city belonged to Bratslav voivode Jan Potatskiy, who was absent on that day. Therefore, his wife Teresa had to supervise the defense. With account of being largely outnumbered, she surrendered the castle to the enemy. Later, a peace treaty between the Ottoman Empire and the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania was signed in Buchach. It was called «the Buchach peace». According to it, all lands conguered by the Turks were to belong to them. The new border between Poland and Turkey was laid along the Strypa River, and divided the city into two parts – the eastern Turkish part, and the western Polish part. The occupation of Buchach by Turks lasted for 11 years until the victory of Poland in the battle of Hotyn in 1683.

buchach-castle-1An additional fortification of Buchach Castle was the fortress in Pidzamochok village, which was the city suburb. This fortress, a transitional type from a castle-tower to the bastion-type fortification of modern times, was constructed in the early 17th century. In Buchach Castle, there was a magnate’s residence, while the army resided in Pidzamochok. The fortress occupied a rather vast territory and it has been pretty well preserved to our time.