From the series “Fortresses of the North-Western Black Sea Region”.
Palanka Fortress was located on a high indigenous plateau on the right bank of the Dniester, in the area of its confluence with the Dniester estuary, opposite the Mayak crossing. Several variants of the name of this settlement are known. First: Yanyk-Hisar, more precisely "Yanykhisar Kalesi". The second, later version is Eni Palanka (New Fortress), marked on the European map Mer Noire 1724-1729, or Yanyk-Palanka. The latter name is used in the documents of the engineer Francois Kauffer and seems to be more correct for such a small type of Turkish structures. In the Ottoman documents of the first quarter of the 16th century. there is a “fortification” of Yurgech-Kerman in the rural district of Akkerman, which can be considered as the probable early name of Yanyk-Palanka.
The object itself has not been preserved, and its appearance and design features can only be judged from two well-known cartographic documents: "Situational plan, profile and view of Palanka" and "Plan topographique de la Fort Palanka sur le Dnestre prise par l'Armie russe le 24 Septbr 1789” (“Topographical plan of the Palanka fortress on the Dniester”). The plans show a bastion-type fortress with a simple-shaped fence. Rectangular in plan, size (along the scarp line) 128 × 57.5 × 50 m. The width of the moat is 8.5 m, the depth is 6.5 m. The escarp and counterscarp are lined with stone. The main fence consists of a low earthen ditch with a palisade. On three five-pointed bastions located at the corners, tours were installed to cover artillery positions (numbering 5, 8 and 9, respectively). The gate tower is square in plan, with two tiers, located in the center of the western curtain, facing the city. A bridge is thrown over the moat in front of her. In the center of the eastern curtain there is a postern for evacuation along the slope to the Dniester. On three sides, the fortification is protected by ravines and a steep high coastal cliff. Thalweg one of the beams was the road from the Mayak crossing, which turned the fortress into the dominant control point of this section.
According to the planning and design features, the bastion fortress cannot be dated to a period earlier than the first half of the 18th century. It is characterized by the traditions of bastion architecture, characteristic of this region only from the 1710s. The stone tower in the north-east corner of the defensive complex, on a towering cape above the road from the Dniester floodplain, differs from the external earthen fortifications. In appearance, this is the most archaic element of the defense complex, around which the late bastion front was formed. In diameter, the tower reached 10 m, which is comparable in size to the northwestern tower of the Belgorod citadel. The height of the walls was 7.5 m (or 15 m - to the top of the roof). At the time the plan was made, gunpowder was stored in the tower.
Within the fortress fence there were six buildings and two estates, as well as a mosque with a wooden gable roof without a minaret. On the edge of the suburb, one can see several mounds and "the ruins of an old dam, which is recognized as Trajan's road."
E. Celebi 1657 calls this tower “powerful”, comparing with the “Galata”, “with a pointed wooden top”. His mention of the existence of some kind of medieval fortress here is important: “In the past, there was, as it were, a large fortress here. It was built by Sultan Bayezid Veli. There is no mention of bastions, but a moat and a rampart with a palisade, built in 1616, are noted. F. Kauffer also paid attention to Palanca in his report: “Observations sur la deffense des frontières ...” compiled in 1797. The French engineer complains that when Janyk -Palanka (“redoubt”, so the author) had a meaning, but “today it cannot prevent the enemy from entering the Dniester to transport heavy artillery.” At the end of the 1790s. “The post of Yanyk Palanka is not needed. In addition, it is poorly located and can be fired upon from the [nearest] heights. It is easy to approach him [invisibly] along the road laid in the lowland. He will be handed over directly from fear of the Cossacks.
The engineer advises moving the fortification "to the distance of a rifle shot" to the west, that is, away from the coastal slope and ravines. Then this would allow the defenders to follow the terrain and shoot through the esplanade along the entire perimeter of the fortifications (the advice is quite in the spirit of the artillery era). “He would be in a very advantageous position, controlling the whole area around him at a distance of a cannon shot and even the river.” In order to deprive the potential enemy of the advantages during the siege, F. Kauffer proposes to “demolish Tepe”, probably one of the barrows in the immediate vicinity, located on the watershed. The modernization of Palanca could have a positive impact on the security of Bender and Ackerman. At the very least, this intermediate outpost will still be needed to protect and timely prevent the actions of the enemy, if he planned to cross the river between the two fortresses in order to take them by surprise. But in the meantime, without all these changes, "the outpost can serve to protect the border no further than the distance of a rifle shot."
Perhaps the only version of the construction periodization of the fortress was prepared by a modern researcher I. V. Karashevich. She distinguishes three stages of its construction. The first one is associated with the name of the semi-legendary Moldavian pircalab Yurgech, who appears in some sources of the 1440s. The author dates it to the middle - the end of the XV century. A somewhat strange division, since in 1484 these lands were annexed to the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, the appearance of which particular fortification - Yurgech or Bayazid II is associated with this period - is not clear.
The second stage: the end of the XV - the middle of the XVI century. The fortress is "rebuilt again". Based on the message of E. Chelebi, I. V. Karashevich speaks of its destruction as a result of the attack of the Cossacks in 1577 - 1584. (during the reign of Mohammed Giray). This assumption can be considered quite reasonable. At this time, a particularly powerful attack occurred on the Bendery fortress.
The researcher limited the third stage to the beginning of the 17th - the end of the 18th century. But for some reason it dragged on for two centuries, from 1616, when a “fortress of stone” was allegedly built here, and ending with some “construction work” in 1779. For some reason, two construction events were reduced to one stage.
The author is trying to "reconstruct" the appearance of this fortification in the 17th-18th centuries, which duplicates the information on the development of the facade on the plan of 1789.
The basic information provided by cartography on the defense complex of Palanca can be summarized in the following thesis. Early in its structural properties, the stone tower represents architecture from before the artillery period. Maybe it is really connected with the castle of Yurgech or the construction initiatives of Bayezid II. The outer bastion front with the use of pentagonal mounds (such as those of Bendery or Khotyn) represents a late period associated with the beginning of the use of heavy siege gunpowder artillery in the region (since 1710).
From the dissertation of Professor A.V. Krasnozhon "EVOLUTION OF LONG-HOUR FORTIFICATION AND HISTORICAL TOPOGRAPHY OF THE MIST OF PIVNICHNO-ZAKHIDNOGO COASTAL SEA ON THE COB XV - NAPRIKINTSI XVIII ST." (The evolution of long-term fortification and the historical topography of the cities of the northwestern Black Sea region at the beginning of the 15th - the end of the 18th centuries). Odessa, 2018
Sec. 3 "Bastion fortification of the North-Western Black Sea region in the 18th century", p.r. 3.6., pp. 315-319
Translation from Ukrainian: Vilkov G.S.
According to the Moldavian historian Mark Tkachuk, the very name Palanca in this sense is more than eloquent. It is believed that this word penetrated into the Turkish language from the well-known Greek military term "phalanx" and began to mean "fortification", "fortification". From the Turkish language, it migrated to Eastern Europe and began to mean the same thing in the Zaporozhian Sich and not only there. In the XVI-XVIII centuries. throughout Eastern Europe, a wide variety of fortified points with the name "Palanka" appeared. One of the most famous is the Palanok castle in Mukachevo, in Transcarpathia.
Symbols: 1 - dilapidated mound of the barrow (?); 2-barrows marked on the plan (?). windmills; 3- ruins of an old dam, in the past the Troyan road; 4 - fortress; 5-marked mound on the plan (?); 6-mound on the territory of the modern cemetery (mound?); a – modern ravines; b-modern quarterly grid of the village of Palanka; in-territory of old quarters and gardens; d-buildings; e-mosques; 3 old roads.
- Line of least elevation within a valley or drain
- Tower in Istanbul, 67 m high, which can be seen from all points of the central part of the city