Belgorod-Dnestrovsky

BELGOROD-DNESTROVSKIJ

Belgorod-Dnestrovsky is one of the most ancient cities on the planet.

It is 2 500 years old.

It was founded by the people who were from the Middle-Eastern town of Milet by birth. They built it in the mouth of the Tiras River (now the Dniester) and called it Tira.

In the XIII-XIV centuries under the Princes of the Moldovan Principality a powerful fortress was erected. It was named Chitatya Alba (the white fortress).

The Fortress of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky belongs to the well-known monu-ments of history and architecture in Ukraine and is an outstanding monument of Medieval Defense architecture.

The Fortress is built on the high rocky bank of the Dnestrovsky estuary with the local lime stone. In the draft it is represented as a polygon the area of which is 9.2 hectares. The length of the defence walls is about 2.5 km. The height of the walls and towers is from 5 to 15 m., the walls are from 1.5 to 5 m. thick.

The fortress is encircled from 3 sides by the moat which was filled with water. The level of water went up to 3 m. the original depth of the moat was 20 m., the width was 13.5 m.

The walls of the fortress were strengthened by 34 towers, many of which haven't preserved. Each tower had a special purpose. Civil Yard was to defend the local population during the siege.

There are some remains of the Turkish mosque on the territory of the Civil Yard the Minareth, the foundation of the Christian Church of the XII-XIII centuries

The Citadel is the most ancient part of the fortress, it goes back to the end of the XIII century (the Genoese Castle).

During many centuries the fortress not once defended the town from enemies' attacks.

In the XV century the Ottoman Empire attempts several times to сap-ture the town.

In the XV century the Ottoman Empire attempts several times to сcapture the town and the fortress. The most dangerous siege was in August, 1484 when 300 000 army of the Turkish sultan Bayzet II and 50 000 army of the Crimean Khan Mengli-Girey surrounded the fortress. The siege lasted 16 days, then the fortress surrendered.

For long 328 years the area was under the Turkish yoke. The name of the town was Akkerman (from the Turkish "Ak-Kerman" the White Stone) till 1944.

Beginning with the end of the XVIII century the Russian Empire, fighting for the entrance to the Black Sea, was leading the war against Turkey for many years.

As a result of the third Russian-Turkish War (1806-1812) according to Bucharest peaceful treaty our area (the territory between the Dniester and the Prut rivers, that is the South of Bessarabia or Budzhac) was taken by Russia.

In 1832 the fortress was abolished as a military defense construction.

In 1896 it was given the status of the historical and architectural monument. In 1963 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the decision about the protection of the Fortress as an architectural monument.

The restoration of the fortress has been under way since the XX century.

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