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Okopy

The Dniester and Zbruch rivers flowing together near the village of Okopy create in this place a scenery of incredible beauty. The village proper appeared as a result of the Polish-Turkish military confrontation. After the peace treaty was signed in Buchach in 1672, the greater part of Podolia passed over to Turkey. To get back Kamyanets-Podilsky the Poles organized a new place for the concentration of troops. To secure safety Hetman Stanislaw Jablonowski ordered to dig trenches (Ukr.”okopy”). In 1692 they laid the foundation of a fortress, which lost its significance in 1699. When Galicia became part of Austria, new power ordered to dismantle the fortress altogether. Lviv and Kamyanets gates have been preserved in Okopy to this day. For the Poles this locality was an important area, for it was there that a rising of the lordly confederates took place and was attacked by the Russian army commanded by General Izmailov. Many of the Poles perished in the local Roman-Catholic church where they concealed themselves. The ruins of this church can be seen today. A legend narrates that in place of the old Russian-Austrian-Romanian frontier stood a tavern on whose roof a rooster “crowed for three frontiers.” There is no frontier today, but the rooster has been renewed recently.

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