Idea #525 – Visiting the fortress of Bender in Transnistria
The citadel of Bender, or Tighina, was an important fortified place of medieval Bessarabie, with those of Soroca, Hotin and Cetatea Alba. The fortress of Tighina grew under Stefan Cel Mare’s and Petru Rares’ reigns , at the same time as the fortress of Soroca, in the North, intended to protect the road of the Amber.
In 1538, Petru Rares refusing to pay the annual dutie to Ottoman Empire, sultan Soliman the Magnifique besieged and took the citadel. The Ottoman domination had lasted until XVIIIth century. The Turks renamed the city Bender (the “Port” in Turk), and modify the fortress, which was enlarged in 1541, according to the project of the architect Sinan, which gives it an irregular rectangular plan, surrounded with a deep ditch, counting 11 square towers and an octagonal tower. The fortress became the center of the province, the residence of the Pasha and the Turkish garrison.
At the end of the XVIth century, several companies of Moldavian soldiers tried successively and vainly to take the fortified town. In the summer of the year 1574, the army of Ion Voda the Brave facted a vain attempt, renewed in 1595, and in 1600 twice. Between 1705 and 1707, the fortress was strengthened and enlarged by important works, under the orders of Dimitrie Cantemir, for the benefit of the Turks, always master of the place. They added ten bastions, doubled by a ditch. During the Russian-Turkish wars, the fortress is attacked three times by the Russian troops in 1770, 1789 and 1806. In 1812, Russia annexed Bessarabie; the fortress, which lost of its strategic importance, shelterd then barracks.
[Mp_easy_icon icon = “fa-crosshairs” right_space = “4” vertical_offset = “0”] The cannonball in the entrance of the fortress makes a reference to the adventures of the “baron of Münchhausen”, the German and mercenary officer in the pay of the Russian army in full XVIIIth century. It is told that in 1744, the baron was propelled on this huge cannonball to spy the organization the fortress, to prepare the offensive…
Where is it ?