is a small village situated close to Dubno
in Rivne Oblast
. The place is known for its fort, one of the most impressive military objects on the territory of Western Ukraine
. Numerous vaults, the labyrinth of underground passages, deep wells and chasms, brick casemates and concrete defensive posts take a visitor back to the uneasy times of the end of 19th century when the territory used to be the borderland of the Russian Empire.
The strategic purpose of the fort was the defense of the western border of the Empire. By a twist of fate the fort has never fulfilled its original aim – it was easily taken by the Austrians in 1915 when the Russian troops just left it in a hurry. Later on the fort used to be an army depot, a prison and a shooting ground of the Soviet army. It is still considered to be an object belonging to Ukrainian Army, but it is not used nowadays.
Tarakaniv Fort was designed by the progressive Russian military engineers of those times. A sliding bridge was the only way to get in. All the doors were gas-protected. A tunnel though an earth rampart leads to the administrative section, which consisted of 105 casemates, warehouses, a church, a dispensary and an operating room, decontamination facilities, a mortuary, toilets, wells and an isolated generating plant. There also was a sewage collector and a water supply system. Nowadays, the most frequent visitors of the fort are tourists.
The place is not marked but it is easy to locate. Coordinates: 50° 23' 1.32" N 25° 42' 44.92" E If you drive along M-06 route from Lviv to Kyiv, you’ve got to turn left at the end of Tarakaniv village, taking a dirt-track. Make sure you’ve got long trousers because there are lots of poisonous hogweeds causing severe skin burns. A hand lantern is a must, as it’s really easy to get lost in the underground passages.