Bendery fortress

 Bendery is believed to be one of the oldest cities in Moldova. Officially it has more than 595 years of history, the count is conducted from the first mention on the settlement in the deed of sovereign Alexander Dobry. Nevertheless, historians believe that the city have based by Gaeta people approximately in II century BC. The first name of the city — Tigina — is a short name from  ancient Tyagyanyakyacha: under such name the settlement is mentioned in the sovereign's deeds of XV century. The Name "Bendery" was given by the Turks who captured it in the middle of XVI century. Literally "Ben-Der" means «the strengthened crossing». The city became famous for the fortress, which is an architecture monument. The fortress has been built according to the project of the Turkish architect Sinan from the sample of the West European fortresses of bastion type. Construction began in 1538 after the city entered the Ottoman empire. It was circled with the high earth embankment and a deep ditch which was never filled with water. The fortress consists of the top, bottom parts and the citadel. The total area is about 20 hectares. From the southwest side of the fortress there is the garden. Favourable strategic position on the raised coast of Dniester near the place of its confluence to the Black sea made the city one of the strong points in the fight of Turks against Russia. The Bendery fortress named «the strong lock of the Osman lands» . One of the first descriptions of the fortress was left by the Turkish traveler and writer Evlia Chelebi. Throughout many years a number of unsuccessful attempts has been undertaken to capture the fortress. In the winter of 1540 the Moldavian army led by the ruler Alexander Kornya besieged the Bendery fortress, but could not get control over it. In 1574 the governor Ion Voda Lyuty together with Cossacks of the hetman Ivan Sverchesky after the capture of Bucharest unexpectedly approached Bendery and besieged the fortress. Turks have been overtaken. The Moldavian-Cossack army quickly occupied the garden but the fortress walls resisted. Due to the weariness of the army the governor organized the camp at the dominating height to the northwest from the fortress, but the new storm was impossible to be made as the great Turkish reinforcement arrived from Akkermana. Ion Voda crushed the enemy, but the Turkish sultan ordered to the Crimean khan  to collect the army and to move to Danube. Having learned about this Ion Voda was compelled to relieve Bendery. In 1584 Turks forced the Moldavian governor Peter Hromoy to make repair of the Bendery fortress. In 1594 the Zaporozhye Cossacks led by hetmen Grigory Lobodoy and Severin Nalivayko tried to usurp the fortress, the garden was again burnt down, but the fortress was not seized. Both Moldavian, and Cossack forces were too few to capture one of the most protected Turkish fortresses. Moreover none of those besieging had enough artillery necessary for storm. In 1713 Bendery witnessed the fight between Karl's XII and Turks  armies who at first gave him and Mazepa a refuge, and later tried to take in hostages.


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