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5 hryvnia 2002 - Hotin - 1000 years
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35 mm diameter, 16.54 g, German silver (a silvery copper-nickel-zinc alloy), reeded edge
Obverse: an arch into a wall, adorned with colored bricks, UKRAINA meaning "UKRAINE", the small coat of arms of Ukraine, 5 GRIVENI (with Cyrillic letters) meaning "5 HRYVNIA", a trophy made of flags, spears, muskets, trumpets, drums, cannons and cannonballs, at left the logotype of NBU (National Bank of Ukraine), in exergue year 2002
Reverse: an imagine of the Hotin fortress, inscription "HOTIN 1000 ROKIV" (with Cyrillic letters) meaning "HOTIN 1000 YEARS", above the fortress the nowadays Ukrainian coat of arms of the city of Hotin

Mintage: 30.000 coins

This coin was issued by the National Bank of Ukraine for the celebration of 1000 years from the first mentioning of a city with this name or a very resembling one, from the Kievan Rus. The coin belongs to the "Old Cities of Ukraine" series. The coin design was created by Ukrainian artists Sviatoslav Ivanenko and Mykola Kotchubey, being engraved by Sviatoslav Ivanenko.

This coin appears on Romanian coins because the fortress of Hotin played a very important role in the history of medieval Moldavia.

About the fortress of Hotin (also written Khotyn or Chotyn)

Nowadays there is no certain information about who established the fortress of Hotin and when. There is a possibility that there were constructed some wood and earth fortifications in the 11th century, by prince Vladimir the Great of Kiev. The prince of Galicia-Volhynia, Danylo Romanovich, may have constructed the first stone fortifications at Hotin around 1250. What it is certain is that the rulers of Moldavia owned Hotin - that was part of a region named Country of Șepeniț - starting from the 14th century, and they enlarged and strenghtened the fortress [1], [2].

A sure mention of Hotin dates from year 1310. The city is shown as residence of a Catholic bishop [2]. During the rule of Alexandru the Good at Hotin there was a Moldavian custom office. Stephen the Great recovered the fortress of Hotin from the Poles in 1462-1464, giving the administration of the Hotin county to a magistrate named "pîrcălab" (burgomaster).

Hotin has a very agitated history. The Poles often tried to conquer this important strategic point on Nistru River (Hotin is named Chocim in Polish). In the 14-17th centuries the fortress passed for several times from Moldova to Poland and back, peacefully or after sieges. For example, Despot Heraclid gave the fortress of Hotin to Albert Laski, a Protestant Polish nobleman who had helped him to obtain the throne of Moldavia in year 1561.

From 1713 Hotin was occupied by the Turks, who organized there a raya (Ottoman border province inhabited by Christian subjects). During the Russo-Turkish wars the Czarist Empire conquered the fortress for four times. The Russians occupied Hotin in 1812, when they abusively seized Basarabia from Moldavia.

After WWI Hotin was part of Romania. In 1940 and again in 1944 the city of Hotin was occupied by the foreigners, this time by the Soviet Union (being alloted to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic). Nowadays the city of Hotin belongs to the Cernăuți district from Ukraine, the former having around 10-11.000 inhabitants.

About the Romanian coat of arms of Hotin county between WWI and WWII

The Official Gazette number 186 from August 21st 1930 shows that the coat of arms of the Hotin county is a silver stronghold with three towers, with the gate closed. The stronghold is placed on a terrace emerging from a silver river. Above the fortress lie two golden swords pointing down. The swords are crossed and between them is a cross over a crescent.

Images with Hotin Fortress, photos from November 2010

Main references

1. Boldur A., Istoria Basarabiei. (History of Basarabia, in Romanian). Ed. Victor Frunză, Bucharest, 1992.

2. Giurescu C., Giurescu D., Istoria românilor. (History of the Romanians, in Romanian). Vol. 1 and 2, Ed. științifică și enciclopedică, București, 1975 and 1976.

3. Iorga N., Istoria românilor. Volumul V. Vitejii. (History of the Romanians. Volume V. The Braves, in Romanian). Ed. Enciclopedică, București, 1998.

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