Ukraine travel blog | About Ukraine in English

Jul/24

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The Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi

Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi (until 1918 – Akkerman) is a town with a population of about 47 thousand people located on the north-west coast of the Black Sea in Odesa Oblast, about 85 km south of Odesa. It is one of the oldest towns in today’s Ukraine.

The main attraction of this town is its old fortress – the largest fortress in the territory of Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Fortress on Google Maps. Photos by: Maxim Ritus.

Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, photo 1

The fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi is a monument of history and town-planning of the 13th-15th centuries, one of the best preserved fortresses on the territory of Ukraine. The total area of ​​the fortress is 9 hectares, the length of the walls – 2.5 km.

Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, photo 2

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The Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Fortress is located on a rocky shore and has a form of an irregular polygon. In the past, it consisted of four courtyards, each of which had a specific purpose and could conduct defense independently (to date, only three fortress courtyards have survived).

Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, photo 7

Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, photo 8

Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, photo 9

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Today, the Akkerman Fortress has the following main parts:

  • The Citadel was the most fortified and important part of the fortress, it was here that the commandant and officers of the garrison were stationed, the treasury and arsenal were kept.
  • The Garrison Courtyard was used for the permanent residence of the garrison.
  • The Civil Courtyard was built up with one-story houses and semi-dugouts, however, they have not survived. In case of danger, the population of the town and nearby villages flocked to the territory of this courtyard.

The area of ​​the not preserved Port Yard, which ran along the coast, was about 1.5 hectares. Goods brought to the town were stored here during the quarantine period (forty days).

Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, photo 11

Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, photo 12

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Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, photo 15

The original number of fortress towers was 34, 12 of which were full-fledged combat towers, the rest were bastions and semi-bastions, later filled with rubble and turned into platforms for artillery guns. Some of the towers have their own names (Watchtower, Ovid’s (Maiden’s) Tower, Pushkin’s Tower and others), which have become a reflection of local legends and traditions.

Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, photo 16

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Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, photo 23

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