Back to main menu | to historical-architechtural sights

Kushnirs'ka Tower and Vitriana Brama (The Wind Gate), 1585. Preservation #727/4 | Foto

Among the city defensive constructions of the Middle Ages in Kamyanets'-Podil's'kyi, the seven-storied Kushnirs'ka Tower is most original. It has remained till present. It was called Kushnirs'ka because it was built of funds of the guild of the craftspeople, Kushnirs.
The Tower had great fortification meaning, because the bank of the River Smotrych is flat in that place. So the enemies could take advantage of it during the storm of the city. The passage in the form of the stone vault was made in the tower. Air whirled in its long corridor. The name Vitriana Brama (the Wind Gate) originates from this fact. The Russian Market was not far from it. The local and foreign goods were sellled there.
The major restoration was carried out in 1785 and 1956-1958. According to the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of March 23, 1956 it was included into the register of the monuments of the republican meaning.

������� �., ������� �. ����������� �������. - ����:�������, 1968

The main Gate of Kamyanets' is called the Vitriana Brama (the Wind Gate). It is located between round five-storied stone tower, built in 1585, on funds of the local craft class and is called the Kushnirs'ka Tower. Besides, this tower has another name of Stefan Batoriy. Stefan Batoriy altered it into the temporary theatre. But gloomy and sultry basements and mechanic buildings of the army were not changed. On the main side of the Vitriana Brama (the Wind Gate), that faces the city, the following Latin inscription in red letters is made on the white stone plate. It testifies to the time of its building and restoration:

A. D. 1585
Per Steep. Bathory R. P.
conditum, Stanislao Augusto
Regnante Polonis Restauratum. et Auctum.
A. D. 1785.

The following words are written on the cast-iron plate, fixed into the external wall of the former fortification, facing Karmelits'ka Street:

Sub avspicio Serenissini as Potentissimi Principis
Augusti III
Regis Poloniae Magniq: Ducis Lithuaniae
Ac Principis Haereditarii Saxonlae Electoris
illustrissimus Dominus Losephus A Potok
Casteianus Cracoviensis
Supremus Exercitium Regnl Dux
Hoc opus incerpit erigere
Postquam Desiit vivere
Filius iIlustrisim, Dns: Stanisia A Potok
Palatinus et Generalis Terrarum Kioviae
Tam ductus Gloriae Parentis sul
Quam Amore Patriae
Hoc opus finivit.
Per C.DahIke Goloneilum cor. Artil. Regni
et Prim: Praefect: Archit; Militaris. Anon Domini MDCCLIII.

This inscription, undoubtedly, denies the folk legend about building of this and other similar fortifications. As we can see from the information below, the Turks, in spite of their long lasting possessing of the Kamyanets' and standing firm there, leaved only a few monuments of the building art. Everything points to the fact that they destroyed more than they have built.
The main and the only entrance to the city from the Kyiv side, described by us, especially in dark autumn night, in bright light of the lamps and numerous lights gleaming in the windows of the multistoried houses and poor hovels, that are squeezed over the river and the steeps of the rock, strikes a traveller greately. All this mass of the buildings looks like turning into one huge palace with dozens of storeys, domes, balconies and columns. Going uphill looks like never-ending. The Vitriana Tower (the Wind Tower) seems to be the colossus, the top of which hides in the sky. Even muddy waves of Smotrych, reflecting innumerable lights and stars, get a special charm and majesty. And the South-western sky, unfamiliar to the citizens of cold North, with myriads of the stars, covers this picture with unlimited luxurious marquee. It gives Kamyanets' such fascinating charm, that you seems never get tired of admiring, never want see it another. And if in that minute of sweet fascination Kamyanets' were introduced me in its miserable reality, I would definitely say that it is another city.

Translated by Yana Anufriyeva
mail to:
[email protected]