What is Belgorod Dnestrovsky Ukraine
Belgorod Dnestrovsky is a satellite town located near Odessa Ukraine. Rich historical heritage and town location attracts tourists, who visit Odessa city. It is ancient town with a rich history, that stretched from ancient greek times. Today Belgorod Dnestrovsky represents small town with a few points of interest and is a good place for making a day trip from Odessa.
What to see in Belgorod Dnestrovsky
First of all, the place well-known by good-saved medieval fortress and the remnants of ancient greek city Tyra. Also there located few architecture monuments, represented by religious buildings: orthodox cathedral, synagogue and Armenian church. Besides the town located near Dniester estuary. The water serface with a fortress walls – one of the beautiest sight in Belgorod Dnestrovsky. Since history of Belgorod has more than 2000 years, from 1940 here works special museum of local history.
Attractions and places to visit
- Akkerman fortress (read special article). Main attraction of Belgorod Dnestrovsky. Fortress is a huge fortification of 13th century and is biggest in Ukraine. Its huge defensive moats and high walls give an idea of how many battles took place on this territory. Also from fortress walls opens beautiful view on Dniester estuary. Today fortress serves as a stage for various concerts, theatrical performances, festivals and other events. Akkerman fortress is open for a tourists. You can make a walk through its territory, climb walls, look into the citadel and take a guide.
- Archeological excavations. Starting from 6th century BC, here was ancient greek city – Tyra. This city was a big trade center on this coast. Starting from 19th century, local people and then archaeologists found ancient coins and other artifacts. Excavations going on for over a hundred years and archaeological finds exhibit in local museum of history. Unfortunately, most of ancient city destroyed by construction of Akkerman fortress. Nevertheless, archeologists found big part of Tyra right near main gate into fortress.
- Holy Ascension Cathedral. Monument of history and architecture of XIX century. At the beginning of 19th century a large number of Orthodox Christians lived in Belgorod Dnestrovsky, but there was no church. Cathedral appeared right after the conquest of town from Ottoman Empire. Immediately after the conquest, Christian community asked permission to build a church for their needs. As a result, a church was placed on the highest point of the city, which was later rebuilt into a cathedral.
- Museum of history. Main town museum, opened in 1940 for collecting and researching historical heritage of the region. Main exhibition of museum contain materials found during archaeological excavations. Visitors can see old and modern Belgorod Dnestrovsky photos, lot of artifacts of ancient greek period and weapon collection of 18-19 centuries. Visit to museum can be a good final of urban exploring tour.
- Armenian church of XIV century – Before capture of by ottomans in 1484 year, Akkerman (Belgorod) used to be major center of Armenians. Armenian community of Akkerman founded on trade relations between West and East. First mention of Armenian church dates back to 14th century. Archaeologists still find medieval memorial plates. Today, this church considering as oldest religious building on territory near Odessa. Tourist information center does not mention this place on Odessa tourist map, but it certainly deserves attention.
What to do in Belgorod Dnestrovsky
- Steel League – wellknown knight tournament, conducted by historical reenactors. Take place inside castle in summer. Tournament represent spectacular view of fighting on swords between participants. Also tourists can make photo with knights and even try their strength in a sword fight.
- Shabo vine factory – another Odessa tourism point. The factory located not far from Belgorod Dnestrovsky and is open for a tourists. One can visit the Museum of Shabo and make excursion throughout the factory. Usually such tours finishing with degustation of local wine. Besides there is factory shop, where one can buy any kinds of wine, that you tasting during the tour.
- Cheese farm – local modern cheese farm with eco production. Here one can taste lot of different cheese and buy it. Besides cheese farm stands right near wine factory. So it is quite easy to visit both places during one gustro tour. Odessa region is known by it’s local food and you can try it by yourself.
- Guided tour – we provide one day tours from Odessa to Belgorod Dnestrovsky. Odessa tours can include visit to Akkerman fortress, Shabo wine, cheese degustation and sightseeing. You able to choose full program for whole day, or visit only one point of interest. Contact us for details about day trip to Belgorod.
Belgorod Dnestrovsky & Akkerman fortress history
First people on territory of Belgorod Dnestrovsky appeared in VI century BC. Ancient greeks from Miletus founded here their colony – Tyra. Greeks considered this territory as suitable for making sea trade. As a result, from a regular colony, city turned into independent city-state, which minted its money, led extensive trading and war.
Tatars, Genoese and Moldavian period
New period began, when in 1241 crimean Tatars captured Akkerman. However, tatar control continued not so long. In 1288 tatar ruler Nogai searched money for war against his enemies. That’s why for a generous payment, he gave Akkerman to Genoese merchants. Genoese government changed name of the city: White Castle (Asprocastro) becomes Green (Malvocastro) and Castle on Mount (Monastro). Since that time Akkerman took important place in economic life of region. The city developed crafts, minted coins and carried out profitable trade operations. Afterwards in XIV century – Belgorod became part of the Moldavian principality, which was subordinate to Hungarian kingdom.
In 1420, Turkish fleet attempted to seize city, but retreated with heavy losses. Sultan Bayazid II wished to conquer White City as it was gateway to Moldova, and to Polish kingdom. That’s why in 1484 Sultan collects an army, unprecedented before that time: 300 thousand Turks and 50 thousand Crimean Tatars. Surrounded both from land and from estuary, without hope of escape, White Castle fell under onslaught of invaders. For 328 years, with small interruptions, Ottomans controlled the city. In the same period appeared new name – Akkerman.
Russian Empire period
In 1768 Russian Empire and Ottoman Empire involved into a war against each other. This war lasted about a century. Finally in 1812 year, Akkerman incorporated into Russian Empire. Soon new settlers began to come here: Russians, Bulgarians, Gypsies, Jews, Moldovans. Aa a result, special role in economic growth of region belonged to German and Swiss colonists. Afterwards Akkerman fortress losing military-defense importance and transferred to local city government. After this begins slow destruction of fortress.