Impressive legends of Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi

Marusia Bilous | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Ukraine is a true treasure for a tourist who adores history, its legends,** and secrets. We have often mentioned in our articles magnificent castles, forts and temples, which are enveloped in interesting history and legends. Some of these are the great Pidhirtsi Castle, the picturesque rock fortress Tustan, the hidden gem of Tarakaniv Fort, the marvelous Kamianets-Podilskyi Fortress, and the real pearl of Zakarpattia - Palanok Castle. In this article, we will continue our journey through the picturesque and mysterious** fortresses of Ukraine in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi,** and tell you about the impressive** legends of this city's Akkerman Fortress.

The history of Akkerman Fortress

Akkerman Fortress is** located in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, in the Odessa region. In the 6th century BCE, the city was called Tyras. The Greeks were the first to settle on the territory of the mouth of the Tyras River (Dniester River today). At that time, the city of Tyras was part of the large shopping region of the Northwest Black Sea. In the period of Kievan Rus, the Slavs called this city Belgorod. In the 14th century, the construction of the Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Fortress started on its territory, which lasted about two hundred years. In the 15th century, the fortress became a Turkish possession and was called Akkerman, which means "white stone." The fort **is truly built out of limestone. The name has taken root and is preserved to this day.

Ovid in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi - truth or legend?

There is one legend stating that once the ancient city of Tyras gladly received the poet Ovid in its walls. He got to this beautiful city because of his expulsion by emperor Augustus. The emperor was angry with the poet over the poem  "Ars Amatoria" (English: The Art of Love). In this poem, Ovid allegedly compromised Emperor Augustus and his family by recalling the infamous story of the marital infidelity of Augustus' daughter, Julia. It is hard to say whether Ovid lived in Tyras, but the firth near Akkerman Fortress is called  Lake Ovid, and also close to the fortress is the town of Ovidiopol.

© iStock /Leonid Andronov

The legend of the Maiden Tower and the robber Tamara

Another fascinating legend concerns the Maiden's Tower. 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 neighbouring 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.

© iStock /bartoshd

There are many exciting stories and impressive legends about Akkerman Fortress in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi. However, we will leave them untold, thus making you visit this mysterious and grand place to discover the legends yourself.

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