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Zhvanets

Zhvanets lies on the picturesque left bank of the Dniester River near the highway Kamyanets – Podilsky – Khotyn. First written reference to the town dates back to 1431. In 1450 the locality became the property of Mykhailo Yazlovetsky, and a few years later, of Mykhailo Buchatsky. During the Khotyn war of 1621 the Cossack regiments of hetman Sahaidachny were quartered there. In 1646 Zhvanets obtained the Magdeburg Law. The building of the local caslte began in the 15 th century. Its appearance underwent a thorough change in the early 17 th century when the new owner, V.Kalynovsky, completed in 1621 to modernize fortifications, casemates and towers. In 1672 the Turks started building a bridge of boats across the Dniester in the vicinity of Zhvanets, and the fortress proved unable to stop their advance. When the Turks were driven out of the fortress, it lost its defensive significance. The assaults of the Tatars and nobleman-confederates ruined it completely. In 1844 Russian government bought the remains of the castle with the intention of building it up, however, the plan was not realized. In the course of the 20 th century the local residents actively demolished the fortress part by part for their building materials. The northern part of the fortress and the ruins of three towers still survive nowadays. The northern pentagonal tower and the remains of the eastern corner tower are in the best state. The Armenian community was active in the town for a long time under the protection of the castle. It left behind the remains of the Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (1699). Its present-day baroque appearance is the result of reconstruction of 1782-1786.The church was surrounded by defensive walls with twelve loopholes, and two gates.

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