Not far from Odessa stands a little town – Belgorod Dnestrovsky. The town known mostly by its main tourist attraction – huge medival fortress. Akkerman fortress represent a monument of history and fortification construction from XIII — XV centuries. Stronghold located on a cost of Dniester estuary, which together with fortress walls create unforgettable view. In addition Akkerman one of best preserved fortresses in Ukraine.
Internal structure of Akkerman fortress
Previously, fortress had four courtyards, which had their specific purpose and could independently wage defense. Today, in 2019, there are only three yards. Totall length of strong walls reaches 2.5 km. The fortress used to have 32 watchtowers, of which only 12 remain. Remaining bastions filled with rubble, to create platforms for cannons.
- Citadel – most important and fortified part of Akkerman fortress. Here housed commandant and officers of garrison. Also here was treasure storage and weapons arsenal. One can look into dungeon for prisoners, that located inside citadel block.
- Garrison court – used for permanent dislocation of battle garrison. Today represent white space around citadel, where archaeologist provide excavations of ancient city – Tyra. Besides, this yard usually using for festival events.
- Сivil courtyard – resembled a residential fortified point for civilians. Civil yard used to be full of small houses and dugout, which did not saved to our days. Today, here stands only minaret of mosque, which was here long time ago.
- Port yard – located by Dniester estuary. One can see here remains of port facilities and warehouses for goods, that brought to fortress by ships. Port yard is almost destroyed, but a wonderful landscape opens from here.
How to get to Akkerman fortress
Distance from Odessa to Belgorod Dnestrovsky is 85 kilometers. So, time of travel takes 1.3 hours by car, or 2.5 hours by train. If one have a free day while Odessa trip, it is very easy to visit Belgorod Dnestrovsky for seeing Akkerman fortress. Here are couple options of how to visit Akkerman fortress:
- Bus – direct bus to Belgorod Dnestrovsky going from Odessa bus station (see on map). The number of route – №560, price for 2019 – $3 (three dollars). Bus Odessa – Belgorod Dnestrovsky is regular and departs every 20 minutes.
Notice, that there no need to search cashier for getting bus ticket! Bus ticket of №560 is bought directly from the driver.
- Train – also there is special direct train to Belgorod Dnestrovsky from Odessa train station (see on map). Train departs 3 times per day: 05.14 am, 13.45 and 16.54 pm. Cost of ticket – 1$.
Notice, you can’t buy ticket to this train online! You need to come to train station at least 20 minutes before departure and buy a ticket at the box office. Or, get into train and to buy ticket from conductor.
- Private guided tour – we provide day trips from Odessa to Belgorod Dnestrovsky and other places of interest near the city. Such Odessa tour can include not only Akkerman fortress, but all attractions of the town and nearby point of interest, like: Shabo wine factory, private cheese factory, boat trip along Dniester estuary etc. Contact us for details.
- Boat trip – most exciting and unusual way to visit or explore Belgorod fortress is to travel from Odessa on yacht. By renting yacht for a whole day, you can make sailing to the fortress through Black sea and Dniester estuary.
Summer events in Akkerman
In summer period within territory of fortress take place couple tourist events. Usually such events held in form of musical festivals, costumed performances or knights tournaments.
- Steel league – annual knights tournament made by people, who like historical reconstruction. Festival goes in form of knight tournaments, where participants fighting by swords. Also visitors can make photo in historical clothes or try himself in a friendly sword fighting.
Akkerman fortress facts
People who going to have Odessa tour, may be interesting to know, that Akkerman is a regular place for filmmaking. Because of beautiful panoramic view of fortress, it used as natural scenery since Soviet time. This tradition continuing today, but with much modern special effects.
- In February 2017 within fortress were unusual filmmaking. Ukrainian film company made a special trailer for computer game on motive of Lord of the rings. In a bottom of fortress moat filmed battle scenes between humans and orcs. Shooting of trailer done by Radioaktivefilm commissioned by Warner Bros. Game “Middle-earth: Shadow of War” released in September 2017, so one can try to recognize Akkerman in a trailer.
- In 2018, inside fortress citadel held movie shooting of blockbuster. According to film plot, some fortress captured by militants with whom are fighting soldiers of special forces. Thanks to the limestone, the yard of citadel reminds middle east fortress. That was a reason to choose this place as movie location.
Akkerman Fortress Project – AFP
Since 2018 started international coworking project devoted to comprehensive historical and archeological exploration of Belgorod Dnestrovsky fortress. Currently, continuing preparation of documents for make Akkerman fortress protection of UNESCO. Besides, historical heritage of that place connects with many countries: Turkey, Moldova, Greece, Italy and Ukraine. That’s why AKP gathering those, who want to take part in archeological excavations, or archive researches, or any other kind of help. To become a member of a team, or know more about Akkerman Fortress Project, visit AFP official website.