An official from Ukraine showing Zaporizhzhya Sich. A sich is the administrative and military centre for Cossacks and especially the Zaporizhian Cossacks, a group of predominantly East Slavic people who became known as members of democratic, semi-military and semi-naval communities, predominantly located in Ukraine and in Southern Russia. - in: wikipedia
The island of Khortytsya, in the Dnieper, was the headquarters (sich) of the Zaporizhzhya Cossacks from the 16th to 18th cent. For nearly three centuries the Zaporizhzhya Cossacks served as the rallying point for Ukrainian struggles against social, national, and religious oppression. - in: http://education.yahoo.com/reference/encyclopedia/entry/Zaporizh
Zaporozhian Sich was located in a protected nature area. It was surrounded by a moat and a 10-meter shaft on which stood a wooden palisade. Inside the sich was a square with the church and the pillory where the perpetrators were punished. Around the square there were cossack houses, officers houses, warehouses, arsenals, crafts and shops.
Admission to Zaporozhian Sich newcomer was carried out under the following conditions:
- He was supposed to be a free and unmarried
- Had a good talk in Cossack's language
- Had to confess the Orthodox faith and know the symbols of faith and prayer
- Had to undergo a full training on arrival at Zaporozhian Sich - explore the army orders and only then written to the "trusted comrades" list that could happen no sooner than seven years.
The final fate of the Cossacks and Zaporozhian Sich was solved by August 5, 1775 signing of the Russian Empress Catherine II the manifesto:, "On the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich and joining it to Novorossiysk province".
In 2004 on Big Khortytsya Island began construction of reduced copy of the Zaporozhian Sich enclosed by a moat, rampart and timbered palisade with several towers. Already in 2009 the official opening of the Historical-Cultural Complex "Zaporozhian Sich" for visitors. - in: http://www.ukraine-kiev-tour.com/ukraine_zaporizhzhya_sights_khortytsia_zaporizhian_sich.html