Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi fortress also known as Akkerman fortress is a historical and architectural monument of the 13th-14th centuries. It is located in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi in the Odessa region It is not known when Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi fortress was founded. Now most historians believe that it was the Republic of Genoa trading enclave on the Black Sea first established in the 13th century. The most important part of the fortress was the Citadel, which was protected by four towers.
According to their location, 20m towers formed a small courtyard of about 300 square meters. The construction of the Citadel belongs to the Genoese period of the 13th-14th centuries. Akkerman Fortress — a Fortification Pearl in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi. The total area of the fortress is 9 hectares, the length of the walls – 2.5 km. The fortress had 34 towers, some as tall as 20 meters. Outside the fortress was surrounded by a deep moat. The fortress was built of white limestone, the solution of which was made of serving eggs, crushed marble, carbon, and silicon.
History of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi (Akkerman fortress)
In 1484, the fortress was conquered by the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II (r. 1481-1512), and for most of a period of more than three hundred years, until the Russian Empire annexed it in 1806, Akkerman was held by the Ottomans. Given its strategic location on one of the two great rivers that flow south from the steppe into the Black Sea-the other is the Dnieper it — was among the most forbidding of the fortresses that stretched in an arc from the Danube to the Sea of Azov, and is one of the best-preserved.
After Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Fortress lost the status of a military facility in 1832, the city authorities demolished the inside buildings, but the walls survived due to a sturdy mortar. During World War II, Germany occupied the fortress, and after its liberation, the fortress returned its Slavic name, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi. In 1963, the fortress was included in the list of architectural monuments under state protection. You can see more historical photos from the Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi fortress Historic Photo Archive here.
The legend of the Maiden Tower of Akkerman fortress
It tells the story of the Moldovan ruler Alexander the Good and his daughter, Tamara. The girl was intelligent and pretty. Alexander regularly went on military campaigns, and Tamara stayed at home. As she grew older, she began to lead an unlawful lifestyle. One day, Tamara asked her father to set aside money to build a monastery. Alexander made some money, summoned the locals to build a shrine, and went on a campaign.
However, instead of the monastery, Tamara ordered to create a mighty fortress and declared herself an independent queen. Settled in the fort, the robbers attacked neighboring towns and villages. When Alexander returned from the campaign, he saw the fortress instead of the monastery. And, when he found out about his daughter’s actions, he cursed her. He ordered Tamara to be immured alive in the walls of the fortress, and since then, the tower has been called “The Maiden.”