The Lock is in the Padlock.
The central entrance of the castle is in the Podzamochke.
The fiery tornado of fighting in the late Middle Ages, when power and wealth were not a guarantee of security, forced the rulers to create a powerful defensive line of fortresses against both nomadic tribes and the regular army of neighboring states.
For the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, located on the eastern borders of Europe, the main threat has always come from its eastern neighbors — the exorbitant ambitions of the Russian and Ottoman Empires, supported by the warlike nomadic hordes of Asian peoples. The main burden for the construction of fortifications in those days fell on the owners of the estates granted by the crown – the famous and rich families of the Polish Kingdom, who did not separate their interests from the interests of the state and were vitally interested in protecting their cities and villages.
The northern node of the fortress defense in Podzamochka.
Thus, to implement the strategy of creating the Galich “eastern key” during the XVI – XVII centuries, a whole system of fortresses was created in large and small villages on the lands controlled by the powerful magnate family of Potocki. The dynastic marriage of Andrzej Potocki (1553-1609) with a representative of the Buchachsky — Svordovsky family, Katorzhina (- 1627), which brought the Buchach lands under the banner of the “Pilyava”, greatly contributed to the achievement of the ultimate goal of forming a continuous chain of defense.
And although the defensive castle on the top of the mountain in the heart of the city already existed, but in view of its strategic importance and the increased threat of attack on the high steep slope above the river Stripa two kilometers north in the village of Podzamochek in 1600, according to the latest fortification science, additional fortifications were built.
The first seventy years of its existence were a real test for the newly-armed stronghold, which immediately fell into the maelstrom of military operations, having been baptized during the next Polish-Turkish war of 1620-1621.
The south-eastern defensive wall of the fortress in Podzamochka.
Then, more than once during this short period of time in the scale of history, the castle under the attack of the Ottoman troops and their allies crumbled into ashes, to be reborn again, although often in a completely new appearance. However, oddly enough, during the liberation movement of 1647 – 1656 under the leadership of Bohdan Khmelnitsky, when the fortresses of the” western key ” fell under the onslaught of the attackers, he practically did not suffer.
So after the next stage of the Polish-Turkish military confrontation of 1672-1676, which ended in complete devastation, fire and destruction for the fortress in Podzamochka, the stronghold lost its primary defensive significance and passed into the category of fortified magnate residences with an indispensable regular park of the Potocki family (rebuilt by Stefan Alexander (1652-1727) at the turn of the XVII — XVIII centuries).
Remaining one of the favorite offspring of the last representative of the genus ” Golden Pilyava” Nicholas Basil (1712 — 1782), the castle on the steep bank of the Strip for the last time in its history experienced all the rapture of the rays of power and wealth, which gave it a complete reconstruction, corresponding to the high rank of the official residence of the famous Polish family with a luxurious palace and a well-equipped courtyard.
The north-western tower of the fortress in Podzamochka.
But immediately after the zenith of glory, as often happens, an insidious fate cast the stronghold, along with Buchach and the fourteen surrounding villages, into the abyss of oblivion. Although it all began with the mundane fact of the transfer of all his property to the childless Nicholas, who acted as the last representative of his branch of the Potocki, as a gift to distant relatives of the same family (brothers Jozef and Antony Michal) on November 8, 1764 in Lviv.
Lacking the means and desire to maintain extensive holdings, much less lavish private apartments, their heirs in the pursuit of quick profits at the beginning of the XIX century sell the land of their ancestors. The castle in the Podzamochka was bought for commercial use — from 1807 to 1869 there was a factory for the production of paper.
But the maintenance of the ancient walls was too expensive, so their further use was considered impractical. Then the last inhabitants leave the once last stronghold of hope of the district forever, and enterprising local residents begin their dirty work of dismantling the fortifications for building materials for their own economic needs.
The eastern bastion of the castle in Podzamochke.
In oblivion, the twentieth century, with its fire and tears of two world wars, passed over the fortress in an instant. The winds of time and the human hand mercilessly stone by stone throughout this time destroyed the former architectural splendor of the magnate residence of the famous family, gradually erasing the towers, walls, and palace from the face of the earth… until in 2008, the forgotten pearl was remembered by the state, in which, by the will of fate, at the dawn of the new millennium, the stronghold turned out to be an integral part of the National Reserve “Castles of Ternopil Region”, which gave it hope for revival.
Built of high – density red sandstone, the triangular perimeter (taking into account the citadel and the defense node of the entrance gate-closer to the pentagonal one) of the stronghold two kilometers from the Berezhansky Castle is reinforced at the corners with bastion-type towers. Its easy-to-read outline of the defensive line is relatively well preserved: walls with loopholes, a wide angle facing the floor (east), fortified nodes between the two towers of the citadel in the north and the arch of the gate in the south, a rather steep slope to the river Strip in the western part and a moat with earthen ramparts around the perimeter.
The western fortifications of the castle in Podzamochke.
The northern node of the defense is now a rectangle (15 m x 10 m) of the citadel building (which later turned into a palace) with two bastion towers, of which the eastern one occupied a large area and was reinforced with buttresses, and the smaller pentagonal western one on the first level communicated with the palace, there is a chimney inside.
The southern node , which guards the main connecting link with the outside world (the entrance gate), mirrors the northern one vertically, with the only difference that the citadel was replaced by an arched opening under a semicircular arch with a combat corridor above it. Now this part of the castle is not only the best preserved of its components, but also pleases the eye with the coat of arms of the Potocki family in the Renaissance cartouche, protected by bas-reliefs of lions and a memorial tablet that tells about the initial stage of the existence of the fortification.