Kiev Fortress

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Kyiv Fortress
Київська фортеця
Kiev fortress 003 SHCH.jpg
Location24a Hospitalna Street
Public transit accessKlovska station, Palats Sportu station (Syretsko-Pecherska Line Syretsko-Pecherska Line); trolleybus
An 1830 map of the fortress

The Kiev Fortress (Kyiv Fortress, Ukrainian: Київська фортеця; Kyivs'ka fortetsia; Russian: Киевская крепость; Kievskaya krepost') is a complex of Russian fortifications in Kyiv, Ukraine built from the 17th through 19th centuries. Construction began after the 1654 Council in Pereyaslav, on the site of the already existing fortified monastery of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra.

The Kyiv Fortress once belonged to the extensive system of western Russian fortresses that existed in the Russian Empire. The Kyiv Fortress complex features many separate fortifications in Pechersk, Old Kyiv, Podil, and Zvirynets located in various city districts of Kyiv. Currently most of the remaining structures have received a historic designation. The main fortification associated with the Kyiv Fortress (where located the Historic and Architectural Museum) is the Hospital fortification.[citation needed]


Row of artillery guns at Hospital fortifications
Northern Semi-tower


Having lost their military importance in the 20th century, the buildings continued to be used as barracks, storage and incarceration facilities. Some of them played independent historical roles. The Kosyi Caponier ("Skew Caponier") became a prison for the political inmates in the 1900s–1920s and was later turned into a Soviet museum. Now it is the center of the modern museum. A small fortress built in 1872 on the legendary Lysa Hora ("Bald Mountain") in 1906 became a place of executions for convicted political inmates. It is now a landscape reserve and part of the museum complex.


  • Old Pechersk fortresses (1655-1803)
  • New Pechersk Fortress (1831-?)
    • Citadel (Askold's Grave, 1706-)
    • Hosptital fortifications (Cherepanova Hora, 1836-)
      • Northern Semi-tower
    • Vasylkiv fortifications (1831-)
    • separately built fortifications: 3 towers, 3 barracks, other fortifications
  • Zvirynets fortifications (Vydubychi, 1810-1918)
  • Lysohirsky Fort (Lysa Hora, 1874-?)


The fortress complex consisted of about four main areas, the western side which had the hospital fortification and the Vasylkiv fortification, the northern (city) side had the Kyiv Arsenal area including government buildings and gendarme barracks, the southern side included the Kyiv-Pechersk citadel with Lavra which on its southern side was reinforced with four lunettes and further to the south with Zvirynets fortification, on Trukhaniv island across Dnieper was located a brick factory.

There were seven round or semi-round fortified buildings conditionally called towers. Three of those towers were part of the Vasylkiv fortification. One semi-tower was part of the hospital fortification.

Notable individuals who served at the fortress[edit]

Kyiv Fortress Museum[edit]

Within the Kyiv Fortress is the Kyiv Fortress Museum, or Kyivska Fortetsya. It is semi-underground. The museum is housed in a 19th-century building, which was formerly a wing of the fortress.[1]

Kyiv fortress


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kiev Fortress Museum - Unique Semi-Underground Museum". NewMedia Holdings, Inc. Retrieved 23 January 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°26′4″N 30°31′40″E / 50.43444°N 30.52778°E / 50.43444; 30.52778