(part 2)

Tustan is a rock fortress city, which was a defensive and administrative center for 9-15 centuries. Tustan is located near the village of Urych in Skole district of Lviv region. The city was founded by tribes of Croats, then conquered by the Poles, and from the end of the 16th century Tustan began to decline and later only the stone foundations of the fortress remained. Thanks to the research and archeological excavations, scientists were able to restore the graphic reconstruction of the fortress with an accuracy of almost 90%.

According to researchers, the fortification complex on the rocks was founded in the ninth century. Tribes of white Croats set up a defensive and customs point: past Tustan there was the Salt Way, which transported salt from Galicia to the Central Europe. Later, the fortress city became the border and customs center between the Galicia-Volyn principality and Hungary.

In written sources, Tustan is first mentioned in the chronicle of 1333-1384, Vice-Chancellor King Casimir Janko of Charnkow and Polish historian Jan Dlugosz in 1340: then Polish King Casimir the Great captured the fortress and later rebuilt it. At that time, Tustan was already known in such cities as Lviv, Sanok and Przemyśl, Terebovlia and Halych. Beginning in the 18th century, the ruins of the castle-fortress became interesting and attracted the attention of tourists, ethnographers and historians. Among the archeological finds, the most sensational are the wooden structures of the tenth century. Handmade traces on the rocks from wooden buildings IX-XIII centuries were determined. They put the fortification complex in a number of unique monuments of Europe. In addition, there is a large number of rock images-petroglyphs (the most numerous in all the Carpathians): mostly solar signs – symbols of the Sun, although their purpose is still unclear.

Mykhailo Rozhko, a long-time researcher of Tustan, performed a graphic reconstruction of the fortress on the basis of left traces and archeological excavations. This gives the opportunity to see the architecture of the fortress of that time (with 90% accuracy). The unique combination of natural rocks and wooden architecture at an altitude of 40-80 m above the valley level made the fortress impregnable and impressive at the same time.

Today Tustan is a popular tourist attraction, the venue of the annual festival “Tu Stan!”(You stand up!) In addition to the rocks themselves, it is interesting to see will be the Tustani Museum and the cultural center “House in Deep.” It should be mentioned that the Tustan Reserve is a part of the Skole Beskydy Natural National Park.

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