Residence of the founder of the Mynkivtsi state – Otrokiv

Residence of the founder of the Mynkivtsi state – Otrokiv

About the trip

Small Otrokiv village in Novoushytskyi district of Khmelnytskyi region was the second most important settlement after Mynkivtsi in the self-proclaimed Mynkivtsi state. It was here that the residence of its ruler Ignacy Stibor-Markhotskyi, who is the famous eccentric of the 18th-19th centuries, was located. Castle of Markhotskyi, together with towers, utility rooms and a forum, has been partially preserved to this day. In addition, the Triumphal Arch has been preserved, which served as an entrance to the residence, and natural romantic grottoes in the valley of the Ushytsia River.

Otrokiv was founded in the 17th century on the site of a small bowery. But according to one of the versions, Otrokiv Сastle could have existed in the Lithuanian Age. In 1736 Mynkivtsi, together with the surrounding villages (Mynkivtsi Key), was bought by the Polish magnate Wojciech Markhotskyi. In 1788 Otrokiv was inherited by the nephew of Wojciech Markhotskyi – Ignacy. During the times of the Mynkivtsi state, Otrokiv reached its prime.

Otrokiv Сastle, built by earl Sеibor-Markhotskyi (or rebuilt from older fortifications) appeared at the end of the 18th century on a high hill above the Ushytsia River. It was considered the most luxurious residence of the ruler of the Mynkivtsi state.

The main tower of the castle:

Another tower:

There was a manor house on the territory of the castle – the residence of the Earl Redux, which contained a library with a large number of ancient and valuable manuscripts.

The gate to the castle courtyard:

Gate from the courtyard side:

The forum was connected with a castle where Markhotskyi organized the feasts. The most famous of them was the feast in honor of the ancient Roman goddess of agriculture, Ceres, although Markhotskyi himself called it the harvest festival.

The walls, several towers and gates have survived from the forum.


Walls of the forum:

The main gate of the forum:

Two other gates:

Well in the yard:

The Triumphal Arch led to the residence of Markhotskyi from the valley of Ushytsia:

After the confiscation of the Markhotskyi’s estate in 1836, Mr. Stadnitskyi became the owner of the castle, who kept a herd of thoroughbred horses in Otrokiv.

The castle was surrounded by a large landscape park which earl spent a lot of money on.

There is one of the few monuments left over behind the village from the rule of Scibor Markhotskyi. This object, called The Grotto, is also related to the cult introduced by the earl. The monument consists of the lower and upper grottoes, interconnected by an underground passage, which is heaped up nowadays.

The Lower Grotto is located on the river at the foot of a natural amphitheater formed along the steep slope of the plateau. The building has two levels. The walls of the upper tier, made in the form of a gazebo, were once decorated with frescoes. The lower layer is more massive, carved into a solid block of limestone, protrudes from the slope massif.

The Upper Grotto is also completely carved in stone, like a corridor with window-holes, leading along the perimeter of a huge rounded stone. One of the exits is covered by a natural waterfall formed from a stream flowing high on the slope.