About the trip

The ancient town of Podillia – Sharavka was first mentioned in 1433. At least that’s what O. Plamenytska’s article “Defensive Temples of Podillia” states. It is known that already in the 14th century a defensive structure was erected there, which was later transformed into the bell tower of the Church of the Intercession, and still remains a pearl of the defensive architecture of Podillia.


Today, the former Sharavka is the village of Sharivka, Yarmolynets district, Khmelnytskyi region, located on the picturesque hills a few kilometers east of the road leading from Khmelnytskyi to Kamianets-Podilskyi.

However, finding the main attraction of the village is not as easy as it seems. There is a signpost in the village of Pravdivka on how to get to Sharivka, but only if enter from the side of Kamianets. There are no pointers from Khmelnytskyi. The church is located on a hill in the southern part of Sharivka, but it is unlikely that you will be able to find it so easily. For example, it cost me an hour of wasted time, excessively burned fuel on the first gear, killed shock absorbers (or something else there) and, of course, my nerves to finf it. And all because the locals do not navigate well in their own village. And the village, by the way, is not so big – only 1,200 inhabitants. My first guide was a local old man, whom I decided to give a ride. The old man told me very responsibly and in great detail how to get to the place. But it turned out that he sent me to the other side of the village, and on such a road that it’s just awful! Furthermore, while he was driving with me, my whole car began to smell like him:

: the old man did not wash himself for about 3 month, not less for sure …

However, good people were still found. After a relatively long search, the beauty appeared on the horizon on one of the Sharivets hills.

So, now more about the church-fortress. Monuments of Urban Planning and Architecture (1987) reports that the oldest part of the church was the bell tower, which served as a defensive tower. The thickness of its walls is impressive – 1.7 meters!

It was built in the 14th century, and in the 1430s, when the village was bought from the nobleman Zhegota and written down to the nobleman Jan Domarat from Sviatkov, a three-conch church was added to it. The church was consecrated in the name of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin.

In 1607, Jacob Pretwich founded a Dominican monastery in Sharivka, and rebuilt the temple into the Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. In 1773, after numerous destructions and damages, the church was rebuilt, and at the beginning of the 19th century the interior was repaired.

In 1832, the monastery was closed and the church was transferred to the Orthodox community, consecrating it to the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin.

It is known that in the 18th century in Sharivka there was a wooden church of the Nativity of the Virgin, dismantled in the early 19th century by Count Dulskyi. A Polish source, published in 2000 in Lublin under the title “Sources to the history of the delimitation of Latin dioceses in the Russian Empire in the 19th century” reports that in 1861 a stone church of the Rosary of the Mother of God was built in Sharivka.

Obviously, we are talking about this small church located near the church-fortress.

Next to the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic churches on the hillside above the pond are the remains of an ancient park. From here opens an unforgettable panorama of the village and the defensive Church of the Intercession.

Source “Titus D. Hewryk Masterpieces in wood: houses of worship in Ukraine. – New York, 1987, p. 83” reports that there was a wooden synagogue in Sharivka dating back to the 18th century. Preserved photo depicting the interior of the shrine: