This story will impress all people who like military tactics and original military architecture. My article is about a place that is a hidden gem in the literal sense. This ghost town is a complex maze with lots of traps. The impressive defensive structure was actively used during World War I. It is located in the Rivne region between the city of Dubno and the village of Tarakaniv. I want to share with you a story about a real military hidden gem called Tarakaniv Fort, a dangerous and mystical place with unique architecture.
This masterpiece of military architecture was built in the 19th century. At that time, the area of the fort belonged to the Russian Empire. Since this area was a border point, the authorities of the Empire decided to build a hidden military fortification there. The purpose of Tarakaniv Fort was to defend the railroad and highway from Kremenets and Radziwilovs and to prevent the enemy from creating military bases on the border. The main goal was to create a real military base.
It is interesting to note that, besides stones and bricks that were usual materials for that period, during the construction was also used concrete - a new building material. Sixty-six million rubles were spent on the development. That is equal to more than 400 million USD nowadays. However, the defensive structure was not used for its intended purpose. In 1900, Tarakaniv Fort was converted into a warehouse, and later it became a prison. In 1915, when Russian troops ultimately left the fort, the Austrians were next to use this masterpiece of military architecture. They also destroyed it in 1916, during the Brusilov breakthrough.
Tarakaniv Fort is a model of Russian military architecture of the 19th century. The building is a concrete-earthen fortification, made with the use of bricks and cast-iron parts, from which were made hermetic doors and all the ladders. To get to the middle was possible only with the help of a retractable iron bridge. There is even a particular room, built under the bulk, to hide the bridge during a siege. The main entrance tunnel leads to the administrative building of the fortress of a sizeable two-storied building, that was once inhabited. There were residences, warehouses, household premises, even a small church. In total, the castle had 105 casemates, which were intended both for military operations and for living. There was also a hospital, an operating room, a morgue, several toilets, and wells. All casemates were equipped with ventilation and heated with ovens. Besides, there was a sewage in the fort, as well as a water supply. All premises of underground corridors and rooms had electric lighting.
The fortress of the Tarakaniv is still considered a military object and belongs to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. Unfortunately, nobody cares about it. Today, the ruins of the fortress are a mysterious place which tourists dream of visiting. People do not advise visiting Tarakaniv Fort independently. There are traps on the perimeter, and also labyrinths in the walls of the fortress, so it is easy to get lost. People even tell about the ghosts of the dead soldiers. The place is quite dangerous, as the walls of the fortress often collapse. Despite all the dangers and warnings, there are a lot of tourists looking to see this unique engraving. Tarakaniv Fort is a real military hidden gem.
Cover photo © credits: iStock/RoNeDya
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