Castle of Bar. Visualization 1.0
Amber had always been and always would be, and every other city, everywhere every other city that existed was but a reflection of a shadow of some phase of Amber. I remember thee. I shall never forget thee again. I guess, deep inside me, I never really did. R. Zelazny, "Nine Princes In Amber"
In the Ukrainian Podillya, in the origins of the river Riv, lies the ancient town of Bar. This town saw Tatars, Poles, the cossaks, hetmans, Russians, the kings and queens. It burned in the fires of peasants uprisings. It was the residency of hetman Konetspolski and hetman Vyhovsky and also the center of Bar Confederation. There is a historical object left from those times. It is the Bar Castle. This object is the most mysterious, the most deserted and the most discussed object. Perhaps, someone, like R. Zelazny's character, would have remembered The Castle of Bar, if it has been preserved nowadays.
A bit of History
Let`s continue with a short reference from Wikipedia to mark the main stages.
The territory of Bar was populated since ancient times. After Olgerd's conquest (Syni Wody battle) the territory had been included to the Podillya principality, that was a part of Great Lithuanian principality. The construction of big town-castles had begun.
After the division of Halych Principality Lithuanian princes started to grow their influence on the land of Bar as the part of Western Podillya, and since 1366 the tribute from Podillya was payed to the king of Poland. 1370-1386 - Bar lands were under the rule of the king of Hungary. In 1387 the rule of Poland had been renewed on Podillya.
The first documentary sign about the town named "Rov" goes back to 1401. Famous Ukrainian historian Myhailo Grushevskiy wrote "... in 1405 Rov was a populated town, and it meant that the process of population had been held in previous times..."
Although, there is a theory that the castle had been built by Koriatovych brothers. Due to the theory a wooden castle had been built in 1380, much earlier before the town was mentioned. The castle had double wooden walls and towers. In 1430, when the last member of Koriatovych family died, Rov became the property of Poland Kingdom.
After Tatars' invasions to Podillya (1453, 1 457, 1469, 1474, 1478, 1489 1490, 1494, 1498) the castle had been renewed continuously. In his chronicles Martin Belskiy described the horde`s lootings of 1452, during which the thatars ocupied and ruined the Castle in Rov. They captured its residents and the town elder Rey Stognev together with his family
Kazimir Yagelochek gave permission to village eldery Andrei Odrovonge to buy Rov and the surrounding territory in 1456. In 1532 King Sigizmund I set the territory free of tribute due to heavy ruin.
The queen Bona Sforza together with her son Sigizmund August came to Rov in 1533. The Queen bought the territory of Rov with the surrounding lands and ordered to build a new fortress. She named the town Bar - in honor of her native town Bari in Italy, where she was born.
The new castle was built in 1538 on the new plot and the area around the castle was united in the so called Eldery of Bar. The region where the old castle stood was called Mountainos Bar or Chemerysy. None of the plans or drawings of the old wooden castle were preserved so all the further stories would be about the stone Castle of Bar.
The Stone Castle
In the XVII century the castle had masonry walls. It had rectangular proportions and the towers on it's corners, which were carried forward from the main perimeter. But very few fragments were preserved at the beginning of the XX century.
New masonry castle had been built under Martin Gerburt command, who was the elderly of Bar in 1553-1570. The main function of the castle was to strengthen the Poland's south borders and to block the exit to the Black Sea. The Castle of Bar became the third (after Kamianets and Medgibizh) fortress of Poland and it was often called "the gate of Polish Ukraine".