MEDZHYBIZH FORTRESS «WHITE SWAN»

The Medzhybizh Fortress «White Swan» towers at the confluence of the Pivdenniy (Southern) Buh and Buzhok rivers. The location defined the name of the village, meaning «between two Buhs». In general, the castle has been well preserved to this day, and only its internal structures have suffered somewhat, especially the palace. In the restored buildings, there is a historical museum now. The fortress is also the place for musical and historical festivals.

In 1362, the lands occupied by Tatars were conguered by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and Princes Koriatovych of Gedymin dynasty became the owners of Podillia. In the site of ancient fortifications, they erected a new castle that was the basis of the present-day Medzhybizh Fortress.

In 1540, the owner of the fortress was the Polish Hetman of Crown Mykola Seniavskiy, known for construction of Berezhany Castle. Under his governance, Medzhybizh received the Magdeburg right, and the castle was reconstructed and expanded to its current size.

Medzhybizh Fortress is surrounded by high walls of limestone. The arched gate is located in the western part. It was protected by Lytsarska (Knight) tower located nearby. Another tower stands in the north. This octagonal Ofitserska (Officer) tower was rebuilt from the round tower of Koriatovych days. It protrudes significantly over the line of walls, which made it possible to shell the enemy, who approached the castle.

On the eastern edge of the castle, opposite the gate, there is the palace. The Seniavskiys rebuilt the ascetic residential building of the Koriatovych era into a spectacular palace of the Renaissance style. Later, in thel9lh century, it was decorated in the neo-Gothic style, with windows of ogival shape, and the roof decorated with an attic. Behind the palace, there is a powerful bulwark that protected the castle from the east. The bulwark is of unigue shape that resembles a cinguefoil; due to such shape, they could shell the enemy from different directions. For shooting, the bulwark has innumerable loopholes in several tiers. From inside, the fortress walls border on numerous household buildings and barracks, and in the middle of the courtyard there stands the Polish Catholic church, constructed in 1586.

After the partition of Poland, Medzhybizh became a part of the Russian Empire. Unlike other fortresses of Western Ukraine, which lost their strategic importance gradually and declined, Medzhybizh Castle flourished again, becoming an important base of Russian troops in Podillia. The fortress was restored, its walls were painted white, and it was then that the white castle overlooking the picturesgue waters of the Buh was nicknamed the «White Swan». The fortress often hosted military trainings and parades, which were often visited by Russian emperors and their families. Since 1900, the fortress was the residence of the famous Okhtyrskiy 12№ Hussar regiment.