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Skala Podilska

Skala Podilska has been known in historical sources since 1331. The appearance of the settlement is linked with the name of King Danylo Halytsky. Noblemen from the family of Princes Koriatowiczes were its first owners. They built a defensive castle on a mountain over the Zbruch River. It was depicted on a municipal seal of 1531. Onslaughts of the Tatars (1475,1615, 1620) made the owners build a fortress. In spite of its strong fortifications it was seized by Georgy II Rakoczi. In the mid-18 th century the head of the settlement Adam Tarlo repaired the fortress and the palace. However, a few years later they burnt down because of a thunderbolt. Beside the castle there are the surviving Church of St. Nicholas (1882), the Roman Catholic Assumption Church (1719, foundation of Valentine Merzejevski) with a memorial plaque in honor of Adam Mickiewicz, and the burial mound in honor of the champions of Ukraine’s freedom. In the late 18 th century the town belonged to Count Josef Vincent Hlukhovski. His heirs remained the owners till September 1939.

The Podolian land is famous for its underground karstic caves that formed in the south of Ternopil, Khmelnytsky and northern Chernivtsi oblasts. The caves “Optimistic” (vil. Korolivka, 212 km.), “Ozerna” (vil. Pyschatyntsi, 117 km.), “Jubilee” (vil. Sapohiv), and “Mlynky” (vil. Zalissia) are the best known. Some of them are visitable.

“Verteba” is a well-known cave-museum in Ukraine (vil. Bilche Zolote, Borschivsky district). The word “verteba” means “cave” in the old Slavic. It was discovered in 1823 by Adam Potocki during a hunt. He spent many yearsstudying the cave, part of his findings are on display at Krakow Museum of History. Today the cave is under the supervision of the Borschiv Historical Museum.

Its staff continues research, and acquaints visitors with the exposition inside the cave. Excursions should be arranged in advance.

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