“Tarakanovskiy fort” and the “Tunnel of Love”

It is always better to have months and months for travelling, but sometimes less can do it. We only had 4 days for our trip this time. The main goal was to visit the Tarakanovskiy Fort, an old fortress in the western part of Ukraine about 200 km from where we live. We started out a Friday night, where we drove to Ternopil. I still didn’t get the transmission fixed so the car only had 3 gears, which meant that we were not going so fast. It was dark as we drove so having only 3 gears kept the speed low, which is good for safety since it gives you time to avoid the potholes in the road... It was my first time in Ternopil and I liked the town. Here are some pictures from Ternopil.

And then we finally arrived at the fortress…

I would love to give a detailed historical description here, but Ukrainian history is just so difficult. Well, the Russian Empire started to build the fortress in 1873. Its purpose was to protect the railroad (which still runs next to the fortress) against the Habsburg Monarchy, which later became the Austro-Hungarian Empire that has had a great influence on West-Ukraine. Lviv, the biggest and most important city in West-Ukraine, could as well, judging by the architecture, be situated in Hungary.

The fortress also played a minor part in the First as well as the Second World War. In the 1960ies, the USSR decided to use the fortress to store canned food. Instead of just throwing in a few cans to check if the fortress was suitable for this, they tore down a part of the wall around the fortress to make it easier to enter. They closed a lot of the windows and door openings with bricks, just to find out that the humidity inside the fortress was too high and that the cans were rusting. So the fortress was abandoned for good.

When we arrived there, we couldn’t find the entrance to the inner of the fortress. We called a friend who had been there before, and we got a phone number of a guide who lived nearby. Teaming up with the guide was not a bad idea since this

Or more specifically this was inside the fortress.

We spent the night at the parking lot close to the fortress. We weren’t alone; some young people were having a bonfire and drinking beers most of the night. We didn’t mind. After dark the fortress was a bit scary and we were glad not to be completely alone.

We had another famous attraction, which we mostly knew from Instagram, that we wanted to see: The “Tunnel of Love”. Maybe you have seen pictures of it before?

It is a local train line that runs through the woods and (together with some cutting) gives the trees the tunnel shape. It is famous all the way to Japan were the tunnel is the scene for a movie.


After we finished our walk in the tunnel of love, it started to rain and the weather stayed grey for the rest of the day.

We spent the night near an artificial lake close to the town Ostroh. The lake is used for a water power plant.

The next day, the weather was much better and we decided to explore Ostroh.

In Ostroh there is a very old University/Academy – it is supposed to be the oldest in Ukraine.

And here the entrance to the Academy. It was undergoing some maintenance to make it look even better.

I like old vans – I drive one myself so when I saw those two old USSR vans, I had to take photos of them.


We also have a drone video from the Tarakanovskiy Fort – enjoy!

Tarakanovskiy fortress

Tunnel of Love