Bratslav fortress was the center of the historic events for a rather long period of time.
It was a sort of symbol of the struggle for the Eastern Podillia. That struggle began in the middle of the XIVth century when the forces of Olgerd came there and it lasted for some centuries.
Olgerd’s nephews the princes Koriatoviches ordered to built castles on Podolian land and one of the first was ordered to be built on the bank of the Bug. It was named Briaslavl (Bratslav). That was at the beginning of 60’s of the XIV century. In some years another Lithuanian prince Vitovt took Bratslav castle away from the Koriatoviches and appointed a new Head of the town.
In 1432 (another date is 1434) Bratslav became part of the Polish Kingdom but it was returned to Lithuania in 40’s of the XVth century. Beginning from the end of XVth century Bratslav fortress became the epicenter of the military actions in the Eastern Podillia. In 1479 “Tatars did much harm to Podillia and near Bratslav.” As a result of it the castle burnt away. Soon the great province Olexander Yagellonchik ordered to reconstruct castle. Bratslav was renamed into the town of St. Peter-apostle.
The picture of St. Peter was in the first version of the coat of arms of the town (that name didn’t acclimatize). Bratslav castle was not big, it was badly fortified and equipped. In the case of necessity it could hold not more than a third of the population and the roads to the castle were not well done. A state inspector noticed that in 1545 the castle was reinforced. But at that time only a fortress could save the situation. Tatar hordes appeared regularly near Bratslav and attacked it by storm.
One of the most famous attacks was the attack made by Crimean Khan Davlet-Girey (“Tsar of Perekop” – he was called in chronicles) in 1551. The town and the castle were occupied because of the deputy Bogdan Slupitsa. A modern historian writes about this: “There left only ruins of the rich town and only 200 people from the densely populated suburb could survive. In 1569 Bratslavshchina became part of Rich Pospolita as a province and Bratslav itself got the Magdeburg Right.
In 1594 Severin Nalivayko’s rebels attacked the camp of the Polish gentry near the Bratslav castle. The rebels were supported by the local leader Roman Tishkevich and many Polish “administrators” were killed. In four years Bratslav wasn’t already the center of the province. It was in Vinnitsa.
Bratslav castle played a great role in the years of Liberation War and Ruina. It is impossible to name all historic and public figures connected with the history of the castle at that time.
Among them are: hetmans Ivan Vigovskiy, Uriy Khmelnitskiy, Pavlo Teteria, Petro Doroshenko, colonel Danilo Nechay, commander of Cossack camp Ivan Sirko, Moldavian manager Duka and many other. According to interstate agreement of the second half of the XVII century the major part of Bratslavshchina had not to be populated. Castle fortification of Bratslav fell into decay.
They were going to reconstruct Bratslav castle in the XIXth century after the order of Mikola I. Bratslav was on the intersection of strategic roads and the emperor was interested in that. In 1832 there was made a plan of a future castle but the project was not realized. Nowadays nothing has left from the old castle.