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The Upper Polish Gate | Foto

It is located on the upper terrace of the Northern part of the Old Town. It is a part of the north-western city fortifications that consist of the Kushnirs'ka Tower, Vitriana Brama (the Wind Gate), Mychaylivs'ka Brama (the Mychaylo's Gate) (the middle gate), semi-tower and the defensive walls.
On the turn of the ղ- centuries, the whole centre of resistance got the name of the Upper Polish Gate.
In 1956-1958, the restoration works were carried out there.

The historical information NHAR "Kamyanets'", S. Papevs'ka.

Translated by Yana Anufriyeva
mail to:
yana@dekasoft.com.ua

THE UPPER POLISH GATE

THE REVIVAL

The Polish Gate is the monument of architecture of the XVI century. Its remains are famous as Koval's'ki (the Smiths') Towers. The history of the Polish Gate appeared to be very complicated. For more than 400 years of its existence, this skillfully made construction was never repaired. Its walls bore floods and blows of the aliens in hard days of their approaches to the city. The fragments of the metal shots, embedded from the floor side, and substantial layers of silt on the surface of the ancient paving, opened during researches there, verify that.
The question of restoration of the Polish Gate arisen twice in ancient times - in the first quarter and at the end of the XVIII century. But the arrangements as for its repairs have not been done. In 1832, this wounded guard of the north-western boarders of the city has been ruined. A part of the constructions was demolished, another part was filled up with earth. From the second part of the XIX century, the smiths were located in the Overgate Tower and its fortification. They disfigured look of the monument to such extend that even its original name had been forgotten soon.
In 1955, in the period of the inspection of the monuments of architecture of the city, the remains of the Polish Gate were taken in as the independent defense constructions - the Smiths' Towers, in a year, under such name they were included into the list of the monuments of architecture of the Ukrainian SSR, that are under the state protection. This document became like a funeral notice of the Polish Gate. In 1961, the monument was considered to be not existent: ..."where the Polish Gate was situated some time ago"... The very year, with the purpose of taking necessary measures as for the preservation of the Koval's'ki (Smiths') Towers, the Ukrainian Special Science and Restoration Department carried out the first research of them. Then, it turned out that the Koval's'ki (Smiths') Towers are the remains of the ancient defense and hydroengineering system of the Polish Gate, nearly two hundred (200) metres long. It consisted of five (5) defense towers and walls that crossed the canyon of the Smotrych River. In the place where the wall passed over its bed, the openings and sluices were located. Functionally the hydroengineering system of the Polish Gate was an integral part of the analogical defense and hydroengineering system of Kamyanets'-Podil's'kyi (i.e. the Russian Gate, located southward of the Castle Bridge).
The first anti-damage measures as for the preservation of the Polish Gate were taken in 1962. The second stage of the rebuilding of the Gate began in 1968. It had the restoration character and was aimed at placing the roofs on the towers, opening of the first three tiers that had been filled up with earth at the depth of 3 metres and building of the retaining wall with the stairs for the lowering from the present level of the road to the project one (i.e. to the level of the road of the XVI century).
The provided works are almost finished. The cadets of the Kamyanets'-Podil's'kyi Higher Military and Engineering School, V.H. Valeyev, M.V. Kiliars'kyi, V.V. Mazur, K.P. Mishurevych, Y.A. Savel'yev and O.I. Hrustyts'kyi under the direction of the lieutenant S.V. Makarenko worked during the third stage of the rebuilding of the Gate. Architects- restorers, A.D. Tiupych, S.G. Kryvutsia and technician, N.P. Kucherenko, worked there too.
The restores have a very important task - to give out the working drawings in small period of time for restoration of all right bank constructions of the Polish Gate. Till March 23, 1978, i.e. till the 50th anniversary from the resolution of the Soviet of the People's Commissars of the USSR about announcement of the Polish Gate the State Historical and Cultural Restore, they will have to finish the third stage of the restoration works there.

Y. PLAMENYTS'KA, architect-restorer

Translated by Yana Anufriyeva
mail to:
yana@dekasoft.com.ua

THE POLISH GATE


In October, 1430, Podillia, including Kamyanets', was seized by the Poland. The Polish King gave the city the brothers Buchats'kyis, who had taken an active part in that aggression.
When the Turks began to occupy the Balkans, and came up to Valahiya, the threat of Turkish feudals aggression on Podillia arose. In 1463, the Polish Petrykovs'kyi Seym sent a special commission in Kamyanets' with the task to buy the city from the Buchats'kyis, and plan the measures on strengthening it. As the Polish treasury had no money for the buying of the city, that commission imposed taxes by nature upon the local Podillian citizens. From every yard the peasant had to give a bull to the commission.
Haven received several hundred of the bulls, the Buchats'kyis passed the city Polish emissaries (representatives of the Polish King), and then, the King's Garrison entered the city. Later, the building of new fortifications began in the castle and in the city. The Polish Gate was built at the end of the XV century - at the beginning of the XVI century. It was located in the valley of the Smotrych River near the brewery, in the place, where the steep slopes of the left bank ended. It was made with the purpose of surrounding of the territory by the fortifications, and also for giving the opportunity to the aliens not go down the slopes in the valley of the river behind the fortifications.
The stone corridor-bastion has been base of the defense of the Polish Gate. It stretched from the stone stairs till the opposite left bank of the River. On the left bank, the main bastion rest on the three-storied tower. Another, smaller bastion stretched from this tower to the rock slopes along the left bank of the River. There were passages for the warriors and embrasures inside it. One more tower was located in the centre of the line of the second bastion. The area and a part of the wall of the bastion have remained till today.
There was the entrance gate with a vault in the main bastion that crossed the River. That passage that led to the city was closed with a heavy wooden gate bound with iron. Nearby, under the rock, in the corner, near the stone stairs, the one-storied stone building with columns was located. There was a military guard in the building. It was on guard at the gate. The military unit that defended the Polish Gate, was located in the barracks, which were located in the place where the brewery is situated.
A large stone four-storied tower was located on the very bank of the River, outside the Entrance Gate, mentioned above. The first floor of that Tower remained till today, it can be seen at the water, in the place where the road turns from the stone stairs to the Ford of the River. A four-storied tower on the right bank and the tower that was situated on the left bank defended the main bastion from the outside.
The main bastion looked like a long stone corridor with thick walls and vault. There were the embrasures for ring fire and the openings for lifting of the wooden gates which closed the sluices (channels) in the main bastion over the bed of the River. These sluices were made in the lower part of the main bastion for passage of the river water under it.
The sluices were as long as the width of the bastion, i.e. about 6 m. There was a vault in the upper part of the sluice. The large oaken gates hang on the iron chains from the outside of the bastion in front of every sluice. They could lift by people from the main bastion if needed. The wooden gates, pulled down to the very bottom of the River in the period of the siege of the city closed the sluices tightly. So, water could not pass through them and raised rather quickly and flooded the valley of the River in front of the Gate. At the same time, the first floors of the towers were also flooded.
Later, the Entrance Gate was built on opposite the passage gate of the main bastion on the right bank of the River. It consisted of the Koval's'ka (Smith's) Tower and two small towers on the rock near the Entrance Yard opposite the Koval's'ka (Smith's) Tower.
Large Entrance Gate was made under the Koval's'ka (Smith's) Tower. From the side of the River, the Koval's'ka (Smith's) Tower was connected with the four-storied tower, high stone wall, 3.5 m wide. There was a passage for the warriors in this wall. Such covered passages from one tower into another one were made with the purpose, for the aliens who had shot the defense constructions, not to shoot the defenders.
When the transition wall from the Entrance Gate to the four-storied tower was built on the bank of the River, the closed fortified yard was formed between those towers. It is located under the rock, opposite the bridge that was built by the Russian military engineers in 1793.
Frankly speaking, the Polish Gate was never assaulted by any aliens. Firstly, it has been very difficult for the aliens to force a crossing over the River, and they had no possibilities and means to ruin the bastion with the sluices. Secondly, the aliens did not want to come into the Polish Farms loop, formed by the Smotrych River and Castle. That is why there are no mentions about assault of the Gate in the documents.
In the second part of the XVI century, in 1764, 1766, and 1768, during great spring flood, water has ruined the main bastion and silted the Entrance Gate to the level of the vault. As a result of this, from that time the entrance to the city was over the passage between the Koval's'ka (Smith's) Tower and the rock. In the second part of the XVIII century, with the purpose of widening of the passage, the rock was cut and the passage became 4.5 m wide.
In 1959, the Entrance Gate under the Koval's'ka Tower was excavated by Y.M. Plamets'ka.
There was one more tower in the Polish Gate. It was situated under the rocks, not reaching the brewery. That tower can be well seen in the plan of the city of 1699. In 1832, it was demolished because for widening of the road.

S. SHKURKO,
expert in Country Studies


Translated by Yana Anufriyeva
mail to:
yana@dekasoft.com.ua