Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi (Ukrainian: Білгород-Дністровський, Romanian: Cetatea Albă), formerly known as Akkerman (see naming section below), is a city and port situated on the right bank of the Dniester Liman (on the Dniester estuary leading to the Black Sea) in Odessa Oblast of southwestern Ukraine, in the historical region of Bessarabia. Administratively, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi is incorporated as a town of oblast significance. It also serves as the administrative center of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Raion, one of twenty-six districts of Odessa Oblast, though it is not a part of the district. It is a location of a big freight seaport. Population: 50,086 (2015 est.)
Restaurants in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi
4.5 based on 120 reviews
The beautiful city of Odessa offers a lot to the visitor, but when it comes to side trips out of town the choice is rather limited. For people with some historical interest the best excursion is probably to the Akkerman fortress on the west side of the Dniester Estuary.
There are different ways to get here, by organized tour, by public transport, but I asked my hotel to book me a taxi driver and with communicative, friendly Vitali, who also spoke very well English I probably got the best and easiest solution. The price for the almost full day trip was 2400 UAH. Due to the traffic it took us 2h15min to get to the fortress.
The entry at the castle is 50 UAH. Only brochures in Russian are available.Since Vitali had never been here before I invited him to join me. There were several pupils in Ukrainian costumes performing traditional dances near the entrance. It was a lovely sight. Later on we saw that in parts of the fortress they were shooting a period movie. So the site was not just walls and ruins for us.
The term 'Akkerman' is of Turkish origin: 'Ak' meaning 'white', while 'kerman' is a somewhat old-fashioned expression for 'fortress' (usually in Turkey this is called a 'hisar'). Naturally the Ottomans were here, until the Russians took over, but the history goes back to the Genoese and the Moldavians. All contributed to the construction.
The best kept part is the Citadel with its strong round towers. For an additional entrance fee of 10 UAH one can visit a dungeon there, with a gruesome exhibition of various torture tools. They are made to look old, but are in fact reconstructions. Not necessarily a place to go with children.
There are some souvenir stalls selling various items with medieval associations, but nowhere are food and drinks available, so it is best to take some along, when coming here. The public toilets are pretty revolting and primitive for such a tourist site.
All in all we spent 1h15min inside the fortress. Later Vitali offered to drive me to the nearby Shabo winery, whose visit is often included in organized tours. We didn't go on a tour through the cellars, just had a look at the wine shop and the modern building from outside. Of interest to me was the fact that this winery had been founded by Swiss people in 1822.
4 based on 25 reviews
Arrived after lunch and payed the small admission fee, the fort is spread over a large area with some wonderful views over the Dnistrovs,kyi but be careful you are allow if not encouraged to climb the walls but theres a shear drop No hand rails or barriers and in a lot of places the walls are crumbling like most of Ukraine.
And for another small fee you can visit the dungeon with lots of torture equipment a gallows a rack and other horrible tools of pain
There is the possibility to try archery dress up in medieval dress and other interesting attractions, The toilets are fairly new but quite smelly
Well worth a visit but a long drive from Odesa
4.5 based on 7 reviews
This is such a beautiful church building in the heart of Bilhorod Dnistrovsky. We walked here on a crisp winter day. This lovely historical landmark vividly portrays the intricate detail of Ukrainian architecture. The golds and colours of the interior are incredible! The Cathedral grounds preserve Ukrainian landscaping of yesteryear. To the modern visitor it may appear that there is a need for some T.L.C. but such would result in a loss of character to an establishment that has its roots in antiquity. We are so glad we made the visit!
3.5 based on 25 reviews
The few ruins left outside the entrance to the Akkerman fortress are definitely not a great sight. More interesting it is to read about this former Greek colony.
And if somebody comes here it is because of the well preserved and restored Akkerman fortress, which was most probably built by the Genoese on the already then ruins of of old Tyras (which is also the Greek name of the river Dniester, on whose estuary - Dniester Liman - the colony had been built).
The whole north coast of the Black Sea had several Greek colonies, most of them founded by Greeks from the Ionian coast (today in Turkey) in the 6th century BC, the archaic period of the big Greek colonisation in all directions.
On the site there is only an information board in Russian. A few finds of this place, which still existed in Byzantine times, can be seen in room 3 of the Archaeological Museum in Odessa.
4.5 based on 6 reviews
Ioannes Suchavsky Church of XIV-XIX, situated at the outskirts of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskiy, is a unique holy place and perhaps the second most interesting sight in the city after the Akkerman (White) Fortress.
This underground church was built in the rock, with three walls added, and over the spring well, which is now considered to supply holy water. In late XIX century the St.George Chapel (known in XIX as belonging to Armenian church) has been built over the church. So presently you need to first enter the Chapel and then take narrow stairs down to the underground church.
It commemorates Genoese merchant Ioannes from Trebizond (presently Trabzon in Turkey), also known as Saint John the New, who was martyred to death by Tatars in Cetatea Alba (presently Bilhorod-Dnistrovskiy) for his refusal to give up Christianity in favour of Islam. His relics were eventually purchased by Voivoda (Prince) of Moldavia Alexander cel Bun and brought to Moldavia in 1415. Until now they are kept in St.George Monastery in Suceava, now Romania. And in 1884, by initiative of St.Nicolas Church priest Ioannes Yenakevich, part of these relics were brought to Akkerman (another historic name of Bilhorod). Presently they are kept in the Ascension Cathedral of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskiy.
The underground Church of St.John is a very popular pilgrimage place. So the visitors should better observe the dress code. There are scarves and skirts you can find on the fence near the entrance, a must-wear for women. They can be borrowed for free and returned when you exit. Men should take their hats off and avoid wearing shorts.
The holy spring is also known locally as Praskovia well. According to the legend, the rock gave shelter to the young girl who tried to escape the eunuchs following her in order to take her to the harem of the local ruler. No wonder she preferred to die, and at the place of her death the spring has appeared.
This spring has been «civilised» these days - there are now several taps from it outdoors. Lots of people take water from them, especially during religious holidays or pilgrimages. The believers also come here to swim in the pool created by the holy spring. The water is icy cold, and it is recommended to have a shirt to swim there.
4 based on 6 reviews
Greek Church of St. John the Baptist is perhaps the most scenic church of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskiy. It is situated on the shore of the Dniester Liman (lagoon), not far from the Akkerman Fortress. The church is not large, and makes an amazing ensemble with its natural environment.
The original wooden church built in XIII by Greek merchants from Trebizond (presently Trabzon in Turkey) was replaced by a stone one in XV century, during the Moldavia ruling period of Stephen III the Great. It was precisely here that Saint John the New was initially buried after his martyrdom (see my review of Ioannes Suchavsky Underground Church). His relics were later taken by Voivoda Alexander the Good to Moldavia and are presently kept in St.George Monastery in Suceava, Romania. Part of the relics were returned to Bilhorod-Dnistrovskiy and are kept in the Ascension Cathedral. But the Chapel were the original burial place was can still be found here.
We were hesitant to get inside because of our informal dress, not quite appropriate for the church. But couldn’t resist an invitation by a little boy who helped to clean the territory. We heard him asking permission from a Mother before addressing us and seeing us inside, and how could we resist!
The interior of this well kept church is charming, with bright paintings richly covering all walls. And the atmosphere is very welcoming, warm and peaceful. The observation site behind the church offers wonderful lagoon views. Well worth dropping in.
4 based on 4 reviews
Этот музей-одна из достопримечательностей не только Одессы и области, но и всего юга Украины. Он открылся ещё до Великой Отечественной войны, а постоянную работу продолжил уже в 1946 году. Здесь есть несколько отделов, один из них- отдел этнографии народов юга Приднестровья расположен в отдельном здании. В основном здании тоже есть на что посмотреть! Мне понравилась экспозиция нумизматики древнего города Тиры. Есть там выставка оружия. А ещё неплохие картины. Неплохой музей-факт
4 based on 3 reviews
Болгарская Свято-Георгиевская церковь построена в 1840 г. по заказу местной болгарской общины. При храме существовало церковное кладбище, закрытое вместе с церковью в 1934 г. Здесь находятся могилы семьи князей Волконских, которые делали большие пожертвования на содержание церкви. В годы независимости Украины храм восстановлен во всей прежней красе. Сейчас он действующий.
3.5 based on 6 reviews
The Glory memorial in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi is located not far from the scenic Greek church, in a small park stretching along the Dnistrovskiy Lagoon. The memorial embraces common and personal graves of the WWII as well as of the Afghan war soldiers and a few military items exhibited outdoors.
The park - surprisingly bearing the name of Lenin's Comsomol - is somewhat neglected and was deserted when we wandered around. But for the same reason we have enjoyed its tranquility very much. It's one step away from the Dnistrovskiy Lagoon, and you can descend to the beach from near the Glory memorial. Nice for a short walk.
4 based on 2 reviews
Это одна из самых старых церквей Белгород-Днестровского. Мы приехали в этот город на однодневную экскурсию и она была одним из мест, куда мы заходили. Церковь небольшая и довольно неприглядная. Крыши выкрашены в оригинальный зелёный цвет-цвет здоровья и жизни. Внутри тоже все скромно, но красиво и умиротворенно
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