Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ukraine - Kamianets-Podilskyi

It's been a long time without Ukrainian postcards on my blog, so it's time to improve it ;) I received this card from my penpal, but I've also been to Kamianets-Podilskyi (Кам'янець-Подільський in Ukrainian) twice. It's a very old (first mentioned in 1062) and beautiful city in Western Ukraine (Khmelnytsky province). There's a great castle (which was built by the Polish kings to defend from Ottoman and Tatar invasions). Also the old city centre is very interesting, you can see influences of Polish, Ukrainian, Armenian and Turkish culture.

This card shows the St. Apostles Peter and Paul Cathedral, built in 15th-19th centuries. Now it's a Roman-Catholic church (used mainly by the Polish minority), but it has a very interesting history. After the Turkish invasion, when this territory was a part of Ottoman Empire, this cathedral was turned into a mosque and a minaret was built next to it. Later, when Kamianets-Podilskyi became Polish again, it was decided not to destroy the minaret, but to put a golden statue of Virgin Mary on it to show the victory of Christianity over Islam. So, it's a Catholic church with a real minaret :))

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