Tarakanivsky Fort is located near the city of Dubno, Rivne region, close to the Tarakanovo village. It was built with the main aim to protect the Lviv - Kyiv rail road and was a concrete-earth fortification. Complex military and political circumstances in Ukraine in XVIII - XIX century required strategically fortifications such as Tarakanivsky Fort in order to protect its lands and citizens.
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Photo: Recently discovered rare historical photo of Tarakaniv Fortress circa 1916, before it was ruined during Brusilov expedition in 1920 by Russian troops.
Tarakanivskiy Fort is rectangular-shaped construction more resembling a rhombus. Its walls used to be about 240 m high. The fort used to be surrounded by a wide and deep moat from the outside. In the middle of the fort there was a two-story building, to which a long stone tunnel was connected for transporting ammunition and other needed goods. The tunnel is preserved till our days. The building had the residential, storage and utility wings. Artillery units and headquarters commandant of the fort had their own rooms. Along the perimeter of the fort there were so-called safe casemates, which were able to shelter up to 800 people. In total, there were 105 casemates in the fort; every area had its particular functions such as to combat operations, business, provide warehouse facilities; there was a hospital with surgery room, a network of wells to provide the fort with drinking water even during the sieges. The network of underground passages arranged by military engineer to give shelter and comfortable fighting positions during bombardment awes even contemporary military professionals.
Locals call Tarakanivsky Fort the City of Ghosts. Many believe that the place is haunted by the ghosts of many soldiers who died in the fort during long and gruesome war years. Locals say that even time goes slowly there; it feels like the place lives in another dimension. Another legend tells the creepy story about Nazi laboratory which was located in Tarakanivsky Fort during WW2 during German occupation of Western Ukraine and conducted various experiments on prisoners of war to produce soldiers with super powers. The legend doesn’t tell if the nazi scientists have succeeded, it is only believed that before Germans retreated from the fort, they poured great amounts of concrete to fill the premises of the laboratory and hide everything that was going on there.
Tarakanivsky Fort is also featured in some popular computer games and is a frequent setting for military and historical movie shootings.
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Photo source: shutterstock.com, wikipedia.com. All images belong to their rightful owners.