Kiev Fortress

Kyiv Fortress


LOCATION OF FORTRESS OBJECTS

Zvirynets fortification

Gryshko botanic garden

Lysohirsky fort

Vydubychi

Vasylkiv fortification

Pecherska

Citadel of Kiev Fortress

Pechersk Lavra

Hospital fortification

Klovska

Separately bilt fortifications Kiev

Arsenalna


MAP OF KIEV FORTRESS

Kiev Fortress map

In the era of Kyivan Rus in its capital (Kyiv) there were three fortified centres – Podil, Hora and Pechersk. The Podil had the weakest fortifications – the “stolpie”, that is, the palisade of the sharpened round bars, dug into the ground. Podil’s fortifications covered an area of ​​200 hectares, i.e., 2 square kilometres. Significantly the chronicle “Mountain possessed more powerful fortifications, from where people like to start excursions around the ancient city. Its fortifications consisted of three sections – the city of Volodymyr, the city of Yaroslav, the city of Svyatopolk-Mykhailo (Mykhailivsky department). The fortifications of the Mountain consisted of a high rampart (up to 11 m) and uprising “fences” (5 m) – special covered galleries for defenders of the fortress from enemies’ arrows and enemeis’ counterparts. These fortifications also had powerful stone towers with passageways – the Golden and Sofia (Baty) gates. The area covered by the fortifications of the Mountain was 80 hectares or 0.8 square kilometres. The Kyiv-Pechersk fortress was built around the Pechersk Monastery, was the most powerful of all three fortifications (a rich monastery could afford it). It had no gross construction, but its wall was completely brick-stone. All three fortresses of ancient Kyiv were destroyed by the Mongols in September-December 1240.

In the reborn Kyiv, life focused at Podil. New wood-earthy fortifications were built, consisting of two parallel lines (the so-called Upper and Lower shafts). In the Lithuanian times they were supplemented with a castle on the Khoryvytsia, which from that time began to be called Zamkova Hill. In the time of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a Catholic Bishopric of Kyiv was founded (biskupstvo). The Kyiv biskup (bishop) got his own fortified settlement at Podil. After the destructive fire at Podil in 1811, its fortifications have never been restored.

The fortifications of the Mountain in the post-Mongolian period have not been restored, since the entire economic life of the city moved to Podil. Only after the transition of  Kyiv under the rule of the Moscow kingdom (according to the results of the Andrusov truce in 1667 with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), the Russian garrison was located nearby Hora, on its ancient shafts special rifles for artillery were made. The fortifications of the Hora again became a full-fledged fortress.

The fortifications of Pechersk were not restored until the end of the XVII century. In 1679 Cossack regiments under the leadership of the left-bank hetman Ivan Samoilovych erected around the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Lavra, a monastery subordinate directly to the Patriarch), a rectangular wooden-earthy fortress. At the same time, I. Samoilovych decides to unite Starokyivska (“Hora”), Podilska and Kyiv-Pecherska fortresses with a single shaft – a retrenchment. This shaft stretches from Pechersk to the ruins of the Golden Gate. Along the shaft was “cut” the street, which until today preserved under the name Prorizna Street. Thus, the area covered by the new fortifications amounted to a record 1000 hectares or 10 square kilometres.

In 1706 Stanisław Leszczynski, the protégé of Charles XII (the enemy of Peter the Great), took the throne in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. A joint Swedish-Polish march to Kyiv was expected. Thereby, Peter I laid Pecherska Citadel on August 15, 1706, built according to the system of the French engineer S. Vauban. This system began to spread in Europe at the beginning of the XVIII century. The construction was conducted by the forces of the Russian military and Cossacks of I. Mazepa.

In 1812, on the eve of Napoleon’s war with Russia, the Zverinetsky earthy fortification was built in Kyiv, created under the design of the military engineer K. Opperman. Thereby in 1830, due to the large-scale Polish uprising of 1830-1831, and the expected march of the rebels on Kyiv began the construction of two defensive earthy and stone structures: Vasylkivsky and Hospitalny.

The next stage of the expansion of the Kyiv fortress was the construction of the Lysohorsky Fort, whose task was to cover the approaches to the city from the south. The area of ​​the Lysohorsky Fort is 1.2 square kilometres, which made it the largest (!) in the world among similar structures (forts). It has preserved  to present day in its original form since 1875. On the left bank of the Dnipro was built bridge fortification for the chain bridge protection across the river (where now locates the metro bridge). Kyiv-Pechersk fortress had three cableways, so-called “flying cradles”, which were used to shipment of construction materials, troops and ammunition.

Before the World War II in Kyiv began the construction of the Kyiv fortified district. It was the last military and technical building in Kyiv.

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Vasylkiv fortificationVasylkiv fortification – fortification, built in 1831-1840 as part of the New Pechersk fortress (L.Ukrainka Blvd. and Konovalets Str.). The fortification consisted of Tower №1 (Reduit), Tower №2 (Round Tower), Tower № 3 (Prozorivska) and Tower №4, and also from the barracks of the military cantonists and Staro-Navodnytski Gate (not preserved). All the towers were connected by brick walls, and behind them were earthen fortifications with footways and caponiers. Later, next to the Round Tower, a Prison Castle was built. Since 1897 it has been converted into a warehouse. Today Vasylkiv fortification is included in the museum complex “Kyiv Fortress”.
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Remains of earth ramparts Vasylkiv fortification Vasylkiv fortification was an independent fortification complex in the system of defensive fortifications of the Kyiv fortress. Star-shaped in terms of the form of strengthening formed the main rampart and ravelin, in front of which were a covered path and glacis. The fortress side of the fortification consisted of two round and central semi-circular towers (the reduite) – the barracks, interconnected by a brick wall with three gates. To maintain the earth ramparts in their corners were arranged brick on granite socle scaffolds (outer slopes of the rampart), and the inner surfaces of the parapet are lined with brick. In the dry outer ditch of the fortification there was an additional defensive wall that covered the approach to the flank batteries of the casemate type and the caponier standing in the rear of the ravelin. From the fortification area, the outer moat come through five posterns, located in the corners of the main rampart and near the round towers. The trees were preserved near the tower №2. If you want, you can walk along the tree, the contours of which are repeated Chihorin Str. and Branovytsky Str., and then go to the courtyard to the tower №3. Also part of the earth ramparts can be seen near the Prison Castle next to the tower №2.
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Prison CastlePrison Castle – a construction in the structure of the Vasylkiv fortification, built in 1812-1817. (Konovalets Str., 44-g) and designed for holding prisoners (up to 900 people). It was a complex of buildings surrounded by a wall-carpet (the height of the wall is 7 m, the length of the side is up to 100 m), with a courtyard, angular prismatic towers, and also buildings for kitchen, baths and other household needs. In the centre of the courtyard is a two-storeyed rectangular building – barracks for keeping prisoners. Since 1871 it was used to house a military correctional company, in 1880-188. – for the household needs of the military department. Today is in a dilapidated state.
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Fortress Wall Vasylkiv fortificationRemains of the Fortress Wall. Once the tower №2 was connected by a wall with tower №4, but the wall was dismantled more than a century ago. But almost completely preserved fragment of the fortress wall, stretching from it to the Reduite Tower №1.
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Tower №1Tower №1 – one of the towers of the Vasylkiv fortification, named – Reduit (Konovalets Str., 38). The construction of the semicircular form was built in 1831-1837. Later, gate appeared in the defensive wall to enter the courtyard. The tower served as a hospital, a barracks, or a prison. It was reconstructed. Today there is a military unit here.
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Tower №2Round Tower is the tower No. 2 of the Vasylkiv fortification, which is a part of the complex of the Kiev fortress. The three other similar objects began to be built on Pechersk in 1833. One of the most famous tower among them is No. 2. It is located on Lesia Ukrainka Boulevard, although the official address of the tower is Konovalets Str., 44. The tower was intended for a battalion of soldiers of the garrison. This is a two-story monumental structure with a small courtyard – a parade ground, with narrow embrasures on the outer wall. The windows of the barracks went into the inner courtyard of the tower. A number of tower rooms had been used as a political prison since 1863. There were grown windows on the external facades instead of loopholes and embrasures in 1897. The remains of the battle shaft, closely adjacent to the tower, were preserved until now. Today the restaurants and offices are represented in the tower.
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Tower №3Tower №3 – one of the towers that were part of the Vasylkiv fortification (Konovalets Str., 34). It was built in 1838 – 1839 years and was called Prozorivska in honour of General-Field Marshal A. Prozorivsky. This is a two-storeyed structure of round shape with a courtyard paved with cobblestones. It was connected with the tower №1 by a stone wall with a gate. Originally there were military units. In 1863, the building of the tower began to be a military court and prisoners. Today, the military unit is located here. Reconstruction was carried out.
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Zvirynets fortificationZvirynets fortification – earth fortification of Kyiv, located in the historic area of Zvirynets Pechersky district (partially preserved). It is part of the Kyiv fortress (1810-1812 built on the project of military engineer Opperman). A small fort, connected by four earthen redoubts with the Pechersk fortress, it had to protect from the south side the approaches to the Pechersk Lavra. It was used to store weapons and ammunition. Virtually completely destroyed (preserved a small part). In June 1918, due to improper storage of ammunition, there was a huge explosion in powdered cellars and artillery warehouses, as a result of which almost all the houses here were destroyed. Today, on the site of the ruins of the Zvirynets fortress, the Hryshko National Botanical Garden is laid out (Tymyryazevska Str., 1). The ruins themselves are scarcely discernible in the grassy hills.
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earth ramparts Zvirynets fortificationRemains of earthen ramparts (Hryshko Botanical Garden) – the outlines of the former fortification are rather well seen in the outline of the alleys and viewing platforms, and the alpine hill exactly repeats the fragment of the ramparts. The height of the ramparts reached 12 meters.
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Lysohorsky FortLysohorsky Fort – is one of the fortifications of Kyiv, part of the New Pechersk Fortress, located on the historic site – Lysa Hora. Since 1872, after the buy-out by the city authorities of the territory, the construction of the Lysohorsky Fort of the New Caves Fortress was started here. The fort was surrounded by a dry moat, surrounding earth ramparts (up to 12 m high), tunnels were bricked. Its barracks could accommodate several thousand of soldiers. The size of the fort was up to 800 m in depth. But the fortress was involved in no one war. And since 1897 the fort was transformed into military warehouses and a garrison prison. In the 1930s here was built a secret tank repair plant. During the German occupation, the factory was used by the Germans – it housed the German tank base “Tiger”. Today the remains of the Lysohorsky Fort are a monument of military-defense architecture and are part of the Kyiv Fortress Museum.
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earth ramparts Lysohorsky FortRemains of earth ramparts – the height of the earth ramparts of the Lysohorsky Fort reached 10-12 m. Under the earth ramparts, there were lost (tunnels for communication between fortifications or strong points) with a length of up to 40 m. First the posterns were built, then the ramparts were filled up. This is confirmed by plaster on the outside of the brickwork of posterns. Almost all earth ramparts preserved well, and even nowadays their correct forms are seen. There is also a paved road.
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Bastions, redoubts, posterns, underground water tanksUnder the earth ramparts were laid the posterns (tunnels for communication between fortifications or strongholds) with a length of up to 40 m. First the posterns were built, then the ramparts were filled up. This is confirmed by plaster on the outside of the brickwork of posterns. The posterns were closed with bars on both sides (the rest of the grate grew into a tree near the 2nd postern). Also, grooves were provided in the walls to cover the posterns if necessary (slots were inserted in the slots from the boards and the space was filled with ground or mined). Grooves in the walls are well visible in the 8th postern. Underground water tanks were built, to flood the fortress in case of occupation by its enemy. From the fort preserved paved roads, 8 underground galleries, boreholes, drainage systems and ramparts. On the walls of fortifications preserved inscriptions of the ХIX – ХX centuries, made by sentry soldiers.
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Tower №4Tower №4 – the tower of the Vasylkiv fortification, built in 1833-1839 (Staronavodnytska Str., 2). In comparison with other towers it had small dimensions and was therefore called the “small tower”. It is a brick circular structure with an internal cobbled yard. It was built like a barracks for two soldiers’ companies. From the tower to the barracks of the military cantonists there was a defensive wall with Navodnitsky gates (not preserved). At the moment the building is abandoned and no reconstruction has been carried out.
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Tower №5Klovsky Tower – built in the middle of the XIX century on the highest point of the city – on the Klovska Hora as an object of the New Pechersk fortress. Tower №5 was a part of the complex of defensive structures in Kyiv to protect the northern slope of the Pechersky Upland and created a serf front from the Klovsky Yar. The tower was combined with other structures with the help of ramparts and defensive brick walls. The Pechersk fortress had no analogues in Europe and was a mighty fortification, although throughout its history the fortress was involved in no one war. In 1897 in the tower placed warehouses and a garrison prison, loopholes were blocked up, and instead of them, window slots appeared. During the Soviet era, the Ministry of Defense used the fortress as a military warehouse, nowadays here house different offices.
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Barracks of military cantonistsBarracks of military cantonists – built in 1835-1839 (Moskovska Str., 45). Between the barracks and the tower №2 was erected a fortified wall with Navodnitsky gate (not preserved). The structure was a long rectangular two-storeyed building, divided into sections – casemates. In the 1930s over the middle part of the building were built two floors, above the side – one. The structure has been preserved to this day, it was reconstructed.
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Nikolsky Gates with barracksNicholas (Nikolsky) Gate – a monument of fortification architecture, erected in 1846-1850 and were the main entrance to the Kyiv fortress (Ivan Mazepa Str., 1). Nikolsky Gate with barracks are also known as “barracks on the isthmus”, because were built on the site of a natural isthmus. The construction in the form of a stretched letter “M”, with loopholes and towers with crenellations, amazes with its unusual configuration and romantic forms. The gate as a whole with the defensive barracks stood in a chain of fortifications, located around the Pechersk Upland on the isthmus, connecting Pechersk with the palace part. A brick wall with loopholes was connected to the workshops of the “Arsenal” plant (a fragment of the wall was preserved). The building of the barracks with Nikolsky gate was divided into vaulted compartments-casemates with embrasures facing the external facade. In 1852 the front facade of the gate was decorated with lion masks and ornaments (preserved from the moat side). After the abolition of the fortress, the gates were dismantled. It is known that in the early XX century soldiers of the pontoon battalions were stationed in the Nikolsky barracks. Later, on the site of the buried part of the moat and pulled down the defensive wall, starting from the gate, through the fortifications was paved the street. In the 1930s the thoroughfare of the Nikolsky Gate was laid. Today, the remains of the building partially covers the building of the metro station “Arsenalna”, and from the Mariinsky Park it is closed by dwelling houses.
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Manufacturing workshops ArsenalManufacturing workshops – built in 1850-1854 in connection with the expansion of the plant “Arsenal” – the oldest weapons plant in Kyiv. Workshops “Arsenal” were part of the fortress between the tower №6 and Nikolsky barracks at the Arsenal Square. In 1961, two floors have been completed, without reference to the historical part of the building. A fragment of the wall, riddled with bullets during the Bolshevik uprising in 1918 (the Moskovska Str., 2), preserved to the present day.
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barracks of the gendarmerie regimentThe barracks of the gendarmerie regiment – were built in 1844-1847 and were included in the “Arsenal” fortification of the New Pechersk Fortress ( Moskovska Str.,22). They are built between the towers №5 and №6, connecting with them by fortress wall (not preserved), and used to accommodate military units. In the barracks there were 87 casemates and premises for the lower ranks and chief officers of the gendarmerie regiment with kitchens and storerooms. Also there were stables, a horse hospital and an arena (not preserved). The building is a brick arc-shaped two-storeyed building with two semi-towers, cut through slit-shaped loopholes (in the 1960s the floor was built up), with branched underground communications for the needs of the fortress and for the water supply. Since 1859, engineering units have been stationed in the barracks. Later there were various educational institutions, and in Soviet times the premises were used for production. Preserved to the present day. Today, here is the club “Shooters”.
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Citadel Old Pechersk fortressCitadel – or the Old Pechersk fortress, a monument of architecture of military engineering. It is part of the museum complex “Kyiv Fortress”, being one of the largest stone and earth fortresses in the world. It represents fortifications of the XVIII century, built on the basis of the Pechersk Monastery. In 1679, to strengthen the defence by decree of Hetman Samoilovych around the monastery appear moats and earth ramparts. In 1706, in connection with the need to strengthen the city in case of an attack by the Swedes, the Pechersk citadel was laid on the basis of the Lavra. Hetman I. Mazepa financed the construction of new structures – a stone wall with four towers. By 1711, the citadel, surrounded by 8-meter brick walls with loopholes, became an impregnable fortress, in which the Vasylkiv Gate (west), the Kyiv Gate (north) and the Moscow Gate (south) were included. During the XVIII century the Old Pechersk fortress was constantly being completed, serving as a base for administrative and military institutions. The citadel, opened from the Dnipro side by earthen ramparts with bastions, had two circles of fortifications, preserved to this day. The first is the defensive walls around the monastery, the second is the ramparts (the Park of Eternal Glory), the “Mystetsky Arsenal” (“Artistic Arsenal”), the fortress walls (Naberezhna Road), the Moscow Gate and the powder cellars (Lavrska Str.). Since the beginning XІX century the construction of the New Pechersk fortress begins.
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Kiev-Pechersk LavraKiev-Pechersk Lavra – was founded in 1051 by the monk Antony, who settled in the caves of the future Pechersk Monastery. In 1062 the monastery was called Pechersky. Since the end of XI century the territory of the monastery begins to complete . In 1679, to strengthen the defence by order of Hetman Samoilovych around the upper monastery appear moats and earthen ramparts. In 1688 the monastery was given the status of the Lavra. In 1706, when there was a need to strengthen the city in case of an attack by the Swedes, the Pechersk citadel was laid on the basis of the already existing fortifications of the Lavra. The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra becomes part of fortifications, and by 1723 – the central construction of the impregnable Old Pechersk fortress, which consisted of a semi-circular citadel with ramparts and various fortifications.
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Powder cellar Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Powder cellar – built in 1749-1751 years. (I. Mazepa Street, 17). It is located on the territory of the Citadel of the Kyiv fortress between the Pavlovsky bastion and the Malyarna tower of the walls of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Built according to the design of the military engineer D. Debosquette. Brick one-storeyed, elongated rectangle with blind walls and a semi-circular vault throughout the length of the structure. The facades of the cellar in the form of arches are divided by twin pilasters on the side walls. Used for the purpose, holding the territory of the monastery under the constant threat of an explosion. During the Great Patriotic War it was used as a warehouse. Today, the cellar is an abandoned vaulted structure without doors with an entrance to the side wall.
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Mazepa walls with towersMazepa walls with towers – walls of the Upper Lavra with five towers and several entrance gates, including those with gatehouses built in 1698-1701 at the expense of I. Mazepa. They served as a defensive part of the monastery and were part of the fortifications of the Kyiv fortress. The stone walls had a height of 7 m and ended with battle galleries. Two-tier towers with loopholes supported the line of walls. To present day preserved Onufriievska, Malyarna, South and Ivan Kushchnik’s towers. The earth rampart up to 6 m high surrounded the Lavra in a semicircle, taking into account the natural protection from the Dnipro. The wall rests against the gate church of All Saints, built by I. Mazepa at the same time as the walls and served as an entrance tower. In the south-western part of the wall is the Clock Tower, which was designed to defend the southern part of the fortress walls. The tower of Ivan Kushchnik as a watchtower was also part of the fortification system of the monastery. At first it was two-tier. The lower tier was meant for defence. The upper tier was built in 1718-1727. Onufriievska Tower is located in the south-eastern part of the fortress walls and resembles the church of All Saints. In the event of a siege, defensive actions could be taken from the tower. The tower retained only the main architectural features. The Malyarna tower (height – 8 m) is located in the north-eastern part of the fortress walls. It served as a clock tower. In the XVIII century here was the school of painting, hence the name of the tower “Malyrna”. In 1838 it was rebuilt and preserved in this form to the present day.
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former plant ArsenalThe former plant “Arsenal” is a historical and architectural monument located on the former territory of the Old Pechersk Fortress (Lavrska Str., 10-12). Originally in 1750-1763 there was a wooden building to accommodate in it workshops for the manufacture of ammunition, parts for guns and its repair. In 1764, the construction of a brick plant began, in which a cannon yard was opened, where guns and artillery equipment were repaired and manufactured, and so on. The factory served the artillery of the Pechersk fortress and the fortifications of Kyiv. The production premises of “Arsenal” served not only as workshops, but also as a weapons warehouse. “Arsenal” as a fortification structure of the Old Pechersk Fortress served as a defensive fortification – it could accommodate up to 2,000 men and 2,000 pood of gunpowder in barrels. In the 1830s The Old Pechersk Fortress lost its defensive role and became a production and warehouse complex. But “Arsenal” has not lost its importance and by the beginning of the World War I it had a strategic and defence significance, fulfilling military orders for the entire Russian Empire. During the World War II, the south-eastern corner of the building was destroyed. In 1979, “Arsenal” received the status of a monument of architecture and military engineering. Until the late 1990s was in the department of the Ministry of Defense – there was a Kyiv repair plant (until 2009). Today in the historic building of the “Arsenal” plant is the museum complex “Mystetsky Arsenal” (“Artistic Arsenal”).
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fortress wall around the Far and Near CavesThe fortress wall around the Far and Near Caves – was built in 1844-1848 with loopholes for shooting from rifles and embrasures for cannons, embrasures were closed with wooden flaps (Blyzkopecherska Str.). Repeating the terrain, the wall with two open semi-circular towers covers the territory of the Far and Near Caves, separating the lower part of the Pechersky Monastery from the urban development on the south and south-east side, from the western one – from the Hostynny Dvir, and from the north – connecting with the walls of the XVIII century. The length of the wall is 1039 m, the thickness is 3.5 bricks, the height is up to 4 m. There was no battleground on the wall, so wooden racks were built to place the shooters, if necessary. A fragment of the wall has preserved. In 1972 it was restored in its original form.
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Moskow GateMoskow Gate – an architectural monument, the southern entrance to the Old Pechersk Fortress. It consists of the Upper and Lower Gates. The Upper Gate in the form of a triumphal arch was built in 1765, through which the road led to Moscow and the Left Bank (Lavrska Str., 22/1). The Lower Gate, located just below the Upper Gate, in the transverse shaft of the retrenchment, was built in 1779. They are vaulted tunnels flanked by facade walls. The gates are preserved and have undergone reconstruction.
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Powder cellar Tsarske SeloPowder cellar – fortification structure of the Old Pechersk fortress, built in 1749-1751, the cellar of the Oleksiivsky bastion. It is located on the territory of the Citadel between the Pavlovsky Bastion and the Malyarna Tower (Painter’s Tower) (LavrskayStr., 22). It is a brick one-storeyed cellar with blind walls and a semicircular vault, in the composition of the facades – deep niches in the form of arches. It was used for its intended purpose and only at the beginning of the nineteenth century was filled up with the construction of new fortifications. In the 1980s reconstruction was carried out at erection of a memorial complex. The structure has survived to the present day. Today in this building there is a restaurant of Ukrainian cuisine “Tsarske Selo”.
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Vasylkiv GateVasylkiv Gate – erected in 1755 and served as a western entrance to the Old Pechersk Fortress, an architectural monument. It consisted of the main and ravelin gate. Until now, only the ravelin gate with a facade facing the courtyard (Tsytadelna Str., 3) have been preserved. At the moment the gate is in an abandoned state and requires urgent reconstruction.
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earth ramparts of the Kyiv CitadelThe earth ramparts of the Kyiv Citadel. From the time of the Old Pechersk Fortress, Kyiv received the Pechersk relief. This is almost all irregularities in the territory of the current Park of Eternal Glory, the Museum of Ukrainian History of the World War II and nearby places – parts of the so-called Petrivsky Val.
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lower supporting wallThe lower supporting wall – is a semicircular structure, part of the fortification of the New Pechersk Fortress (Parkova Road, 4). It is a two-level vaulted gallery with gun loopholes. It was erected in 1856 to strengthen the fortifications around the fortress, cover the ravine and water pumping station, which was located on the banks of the Dnipro. The main goal of the lower supporting wall is to close the approaches to the Nikolayev chain bridge (not preserved) and to keep the defence of the Podolsky embankment. From the water pump through the supporting walls passed an underground passage, connecting with the workshops of the “Arsenal”. Inside were laid iron pipes (partially preserved), along which the water pump supplied water to “Arsenal”. The tunnel itself was called the “Rattler’s move.” The lower supporting wall is preserved, but is in ruined condition.
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upper supporting wallThe upper supporting wall – is part of the fortification of the New Pechersk Fortress , a semi-circular brick structure built in 1854 to strengthen the Dnipro slope. It is a two-tier vaulted gallery with rectangular side wings and reinforced rear buttresses. The upper supporting wall had the appearance of a defensive construction of the feudal era, but did not bear military significance. Through the lower and upper supporting walls, from the Dnipro River located on the bank of the Dnipro, there was an underground passage connecting the workshops of the “Arsenal” plant and the water pump. In 1949 at the base of the wall was built the Green Theatre for 4 thousand seats. Today the theatre is in an abandoned state. Sometimes there are night discos and performances of youth musical groups. Most of this place was loved by people of informal and alternative movements because of the legends about ghosts and mystical cases.
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Hospital fortificationHospital fortification is a part of the architectural complex “Kiev Fortress”, it is a semi-underground construction. There are embrasures and loopholes, as well as guns that are represented on the perimeter of the caponier. The fortification was erected in 1844. It includes the defensive structure “Oblique caponier”, located at an angle to the earthen rampart of the fortress. There is also the northern half-tower, the northern gate with a caponier, a military hospital with a tower, a caponier of 1-3 polygons in the hospital fortification. They all preserved to this day. It is considered to be the largest preserved stone-earth fortress in Europe and the second largest in the world.
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Ramparts of the 1st moatRamparts of the 1st moat – is part of the Hospital fortification of the New Pechersk Fortress. The main rampart of the fortification was piled during the period of 1842-1845, but some works were continued in 1849. Ramparts and moats were the main obstacles for the enemy troops carrying out the assault on the fortification. In this regard, the shaft was poured around the perimeter of the fortification, with the exception of the rear part. In this part, it did not fill into to facilitate the counter-attack by the garrison of the fortress on the fortification, in case of its capture by the enemy. On the rampart under the shelter of the parapet were fortified artillery and infantry. The length of combat positions on the rampart was 1 km 195 m.
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fortress wallThe fortress wall is a brick defensive wall erected at the foot of the rampart, as an additional barrier for enemy troops. The wall had numerous gun loopholes, through which soldiers of the garrison could fire on the assault troops.
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Northern GateThe Northern Gate (with the caponier) – built in 1843-1844, through which the passage through the main rampart of the hospital fortification was carried out. The passage of the North Gate is made in the form of a tunnel, laid inside the ramparts. Inside the passage on both sides there were ladders along which soldiers of the garrison could descend to the lower floor of the gate. The gates were erected in the rampart of the Northern Front of the Hospital fortification for shelling, but soon they were used as a workshop for the hospital. Preserved until our days, reconstructed (Hospytalna Str., 18).
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Northern semi-towerNorthern semi-tower – a defensive structure with embrasures and loopholes, built in 1839-1842 and served as a cover for the approaches to the North Gate of the Hospital fortification. In the two-storeyed building of the Northern semi-tower of the form of a semicircle there was barracks for 58 casemates. At the end of XIX century here was located the Kyiv military paramedic school. It was reconstructed (Hospytalna Str., 16).
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Hospital of Kiev fortressHospital – military hospital with a bath-house, built in 1836 – 1844. The two-storeyed building of the hospital as a component of the front of the Hospital strengthening was designed for 1,5 thousand people. A small one-storeyed building of the bath-house (1839-1842) consisted of several rooms, covered with stone arches. In the second half of the XIX century the water tower was built up. The hospital was distinguished by a high level of sanitary and technical equipment and amenities. There were bathrooms with warm water and toilets, and under the baths sewer channels were designed. In 1845 a garden was laid out in the courtyard of the hospital. In addition to the main goal, the corps played an important role in the defence of the fortification. The buildings of the baths and the hospital, as well as the defensive walls that connected them, formed a bastion front inside the fortification, which would allow keeping on the battle in the event of the capture of the main rampart. The facades were equipped with artillery embrasures and loopholes. Also there were gates for passage. Today, in the buildings of the former hospital, there is a military medical institution ( Hospytalna Str.,16).
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Central CaponierCentral Caponier – part of the Hospital fortification of the New Pechersk Fortress. Defense fortification was divided into three polygons and two fronts – the North and the Rear front. A feature of the defensive system were the caponiers – buildings of a casemate type, intended for conducting artillery firing along the moat in two directions. The central caponier was a rectangular room with arches resting on the walls and 4 internal pillars, in the centre of the room – equipped places for storing ammunition. The caponier was adjacent to the counter-cracker of the moat (the furthest slope of the moat) and its covering served as the support of the lifting bridge leading to the North Gate of the fortification. The caponier had no direct communication with the internal part of the fortification – it could be accessed through the bottom of the moat through the passages in the defensive walls of the courtyards of the I and II polygons.
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Caponier of the 1st polygonCaponier of the 1st polygon- part of the Hospital fortification, built in 1843-1844 at the bottom of the fortress moat for firing along the rampart of the 1st reinforcement polygon (Laboratorna Lane, 24). The brick structure consisted of two facets at an angle and a straight horizon front. In the centre of the caponier was a powder chamber for 1.13 thousand poods, along the perimeter of which casemates were located. The battle casemates, located in the front part of the caponier, had an artillery embrasure and two gun loopholes. To communicate with the caponier in front of him in the depths of the ramparts was a tunnel. In the walls connecting the rear part of the caponier with the defensive wall of the rampart, there were gun loopholes and lifting bridges to enter the moat, which allowed the artillery fire from the caponier to be filled with gunfire and to concentrate the infantry for counterattacking (not preserved). Through the tunnel, soldiers of the garrison exited behind the defensive wall of the rampart to fire. Initially, the caponier of the 1st polygon was intended to house a bakery and a warehouse of hospital personnel. In 1863, the caponier served as a prison for the participants in the Polish uprising, since 1865 – for the deployment of troops, later – the warehouse of the quartermaster department. Some loopholes and embrasures on the facades were spread under the windows.
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Caponier of the 2nd polygonCaponier of the 2nd polygon – part of the Hospital fortification (Hospitalna Str., 24-a). It was built in 1843-1844 and is located at the bottom of the moat, intended to fire along the rampart of the 2nd reinforcement polygon. In the centre of the caponier was a powder chamber, along its perimeter were built battle casemates, in the rear – a room through which one could get into the casemates and the powder chamber. is Caponier of the 2nd polygon constructed similarly to the caponier of the 1st polygon. Overall, the caponiers had 11 artillery embrasures and 6 gun loopholes. To communicate with the caponier, there was a tunnel through which the garrison was also exited behind the defensive wall to conduct a gun fire. In the walls that connected the rear part of the caponier to the defensive wall of the rampart, there were gun loopholes and lifting bridges, which allowed the artillery fire from the caponier to be supplemented with gunfire from behind the wall and concentrate infantry in the courtyard for a counterattack. Initially, the caponier of the second polygon served as a repository for shells of the fire department of the Kyiv artillery warehouse, since 1863 – a prison, and later it was used as a warehouse.
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Caponier of the 3rd polygonCaponier of the 3rd polygon – part of the Hospital fortification of the New Pechersk Fortress. It was built for longitudinal firing moat in 1844-1846 similarly to the caponiers of 1st and 2nd polygons under a single plan (Hospytalna Str., 18). Initially, the caponier of the III polygon served as a laundry for the hospital nurses and warehouses for property. Since 1863, it was adapted to prison, later it was used as a warehouse.
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Kosyi KaponirThe “Kosyi Kaponir” (Oblique caponier) – part of the Hospital fortification of the New Pechersk Fortress, built in 1844-1846 to protect the north-west corner of the fortification under an individual project with enhanced weapons (Hospytalna Str., 24-a). It was located at an angle to the moat line, therefore it was called “oblique caponier”. The feature of “oblique caponier” is that it locates on the slope of the Cherepanova hill, and not in the moat, like other caponiers. It represented a semi-subterranean construction of a parabolic configuration from the outside, brick walls were cut by embrasures for cannons and loopholes for guns. Caponier had 15 artillery embrasures, 6 gun loopholes and a powder chamber of increased size. In addition, it did not have battle casemates, separated from each other by the capital walls, as in the caponiers of I, II, III polygons. Glacies have also been built-gently sloping to improve the conditions of firing ahead of the lying terrain and to protect the fortification from the west. Caponier’s vaults rested on the outer walls and walls of the powder chamber, resulting in a single casemate, encompassing the perimeter of the powder chamber. Connection with the caponier was carried out through a tunnel, the entrance to which was located in the counterscarp of the fortified moat. Since 1863 the Kosyi Kaponir was used as a prison for prisoners of the Polish uprising. Here, single and mass cells, two punishment cells and a guardroom were set up. Within its walls were participants of an armed insurrection of November 18, 1905, as well as soldiers of the 41st Selinginsky Infantry Regiment and the 21st Sapper Battalion of the uprising of July 4, 1907. For a harsh regime, the military-political prison “Kosyi Kaponir” was nicknamed ” Kyiv’s Shlisselburg “.
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Tower № 6Tower № 6 – it was built in 1846-1851 and was part of a chain of casemate-type buildings stretching along the northern slope of the Pecherska Upland (Moskovska Str.). The tower was connected by a brick defensive wall with the barracks and production workshops of the “Arsenal” plant. It was a circular brick structure with two rectangular wings and an inner courtyard with an arched passage, inside it was divided into arched sections-casemates. In the lower tier there were gun loopholes, in the upper one there was a cannon embrasure flanked by loopholes. In the casemates were ventilated air vents. Initially, the tower was intended to house a gendarmerie regiment. Since 1854 it was used to house employees of the Kyiv artillery arsenal. In 1967-1969 was completed the third floor, in 1976-1978 the courtyard is built, the facade is tiled.