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The Kamenets Tower is considered to be one of the most noticeable sign of Belarusian architecture. It is a remarkable sample of medieval fortification building. A great deal of myths surrounds the building. One of them states that it was erected by a nameless giant and was to be his memorial. But as stated in historical documents, it dates the 13th century and was constructed to protect the borders of Galicia–Volhyn Principality on the skirts of Bielaviezha Forest. The Tower has some common characteristic with great towers that were widely built in medieval Western Europe. Such samples existed in lots of Belarusian cities but only the Kamenets Tower managed to withstand for many ages. The stately tower resembles a chess rook.
The 5-storeys round tower rises for 30 meters above the ground. The walls that is a little bit thicker that 3 meters are constructed of dark-red and yellow blocks. The purpose of the tower was to defense the territory from the enemies, that is why there are no decorative units on it. But there are small windows on it and 4 plane recesses with half-round ends. The upper part of the tower is encircled with 14 square merlons with holes. An ornametal strip can be seen all around the tower's top. In 14th - 17th centuries the building withstood crusaders' invasions, attacks of Polish armies, Sweden or Russian forces. Two hundred years later the building was not so strategically important and was overwhelmed. The ruins of the earth barrow where the tower was located were vanished during the restoration at the beginning of the 20th century.
It turned out to be the last chief restoration - the Tower hasn't been changed any more. Do you know that one more popular nomination of the sight is Belaya Vezha which means the White Tower? But how it can be possible if was constructed of red brick? This version dates the 20th century: Georgy Kartsov, the scriber of the book about Bielaviezha Forest, made a slip-up that it was situated near the Belaya River. Nowadays experts in history suppose that there might have been one more tower that gave the name to Bielaviezha Forest. But the tower's color has been constant all the time - red - as this color protected the walls from the enemies because it was more awkward to aim successfully. In the middle of the 20th century the building of the tower was painted in white. Nowadays the Tower looks authentic. It accommodates a museum and has an observation stand.
Фото: Vladimir Kezling
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