Publication prepared by: G. S. VilkovDeputy Director for Research SUE IVMK "Bendery Fortress"
In the course of systematization and study of sources, including new ones found in Turkish archives, and, in particular, cartographic material (maps of 1770, 1789, 1790), at the end of the 18th century, on the territory of the Bendery fortress, it was possible to localize 10 (ten) mosques, i.e. determine their exact location. Also, today the name of some of them is known, as well as a description of the Main Cathedral Mosque, including, possibly, how they looked. Two mosques have partially survived to this day, one in the Gate Tower of the citadel, the second in the middle tower on the Lower Fortress. These mosques are presented today in the form of mihrabs (prayer niches) facing Mecca, well preserved, as well as in the form of reconstructed minarets on the roofs of these towers. Significant assistance in this work was provided by the Dutch historian of Turkish origin - Mehmet Tyutenzhi, the author of one of the works devoted to this topic.
Sources describing some mosques indicate that it is this or that mosque described that is made of stone, implying that some of the others were built not of stone, but obviously of wood or clay (adobe). Celebi in his description directly indicates that some mosques have minarets made of wood.
Campenhausen (1789), describing mosques, singles out only three: Munkar-Hamid or Sultanskaya (Cathedral), at the installation under No. 4, the second - Dagestanskaya, at the installation, obviously, under No. 3, the third - by Sultan Selim, probably at the installation under No. 10. "Everyone else doesn't matter" , as the author of the description writes.
The sizes and configurations of mosques (3D models) are selected based on their sizes on the plans of 1790 and 1770
location of the future new military temple of Alexander Nevsky, which was restored in 2010 and still exists today
Due to the fact that the names of the gates will be important in the further localization of mosques, their names will be given at the beginning of the publication. (Note G. Vilkov. The first names are given as they are marked on the map of 1790, on other maps the same gates have different names).
#1 - (S) Istanbul (Istanbul Kapysy), they are also Kaushansky, Constantinople, Tsaregradsky. The name of the gate is also found in archival documents as Özi (tur. Ochakov, Achi-Kale), i.e. Ochakovsky - indicating the direction to Ochakov;
#2- (T) Horde (Horde Kapysy), they are the Military (Horde) and St. George;
No. 3-(U) Varnitsky (Varnitsa Kapysy), they are Yassky;
Gate overlooking the Dniester River (on different maps they had different names):
#4- (V) Water (Su Kapysy), they are also Kamensky and Grigorevsky;
#5- (W) Stone (Tash Kapysy) they are Kamensky;
#6-(X) Tabankie (Taban Kapysy, from Turkish “Kozhevnikov”) they are also Tabac and Water;
#7- On the above map (1790) they are not shown, on other maps they are designated as Malaye Vodyanye and also Tabatsky;
#8- Watch tower, serving at the same time as a gate to the inner fortress;
#9– Large or Main (Ulu Kapysy), with a high degree of probability we are talking about the Gate Tower, which serves both as an entrance to the citadel of the fortress and as a mosque at the same time;
#10- The gate leading from the Upper fortress to the Lower. The original name is unknown. They were built during the reconstruction of the fortress in 1793-95. with the participation of the French engineer Francois Kauffer. Currently on the master plan are designated as Grigorievskie.
Below is a map from 1790 with highlighted mosques linked to the gates. The map, in addition to everything, is valuable in that the cartographer quite clearly displayed the contours and approximate scale of each structure of interest to us. As you can see from the image, the largest mosques are No. 4 and No. 3, relatively large - No. 6 and No. 10. The mosque under No. 6 is not on the plan below and its localization is established by overlaying a map of 1770, the time of the siege of the fortress by the army of Count P. Panin.
Mosque on the plan No. 1
Sultan Suleiman Mosque in the citadel of the fortress, located in the Gate Tower. Evliya Celebi writes about her. "Seyakhatname" Evliya Chelebi, v. 5, book. 1, p. 172: “Above this gate stands the mosque of Suleiman Khan, but it is not so large in size and does not differ in majesty”. (summer 1657). No other descriptions of this mosque have come down to us, but at least it has survived to this day in the form of a preserved mihrab (prayer niche), strictly oriented to the south, to Mecca.
From archival documents that mention the mosque of Suleiman. (C.AS./296-12297-0), document for 1758 year, which contains a report on the repair work on the fortress, including the mentioned mosque. According to the document, this year the reconstruction of the wooden roof and 5 doors of the Suleiman Mosque, located inside the inner fortress (as in the original), was carried out. The reconstruction of the upper surface of the mosque was also carried out, which was commissioned by Yusuf Pasha. The tiles and one part of the floor of the mosque were also repaired by order of Ismail Pasha. Apparently, we are talking about the entire Gate Tower, and not just the mosque itself, since the document mentions the repair of other towers of the citadel.
In accordance with the decree approved by the Sultan in 1761 year, it was ordered to allocate funds from the national treasury according to the report on the examination of buildings (in the fortress), as well as to restore the mosque of Sultan Suleiman and the nearby tower in the border fortress of Bendery, which were damaged by fire / burned down. This document also indicated the workers and their area of specialization. It was prescribed that all construction work was to be carried out by the palace architect Elhak Ahmet. The estimate was prepared and sent to Istanbul. Restoration work started in 1757 year, continued through that period of time.
(C.AS./1090-48098-0), document dated 1777-1778 years, which mentions the deadlines for the delivery of the restored and not restored parts of the Bendery fortress. It states that the restoration work of bridges, gates, Sultan Suleiman Mosque, ammunition building and tower floors, Muhafiz Palace, Agha Mansion, arsenal squares and winter shelters of Janissary units will be completed within 20 days.
In firman from 1783 In the 1990s, an order was given for the reconstruction of the mosque and minaret in the Bendery castle (citadel) under the control of the architect Hafiz Ibrahim Ag with the help of workers who were sent from Istanbul. For these works, an expert on minarets and masons were allocated.
Mosque on the plan №2
Also located, like the first one, in the middle tower in the Lower Fortress (previously there were three towers in the curtain wall, the southernmost tower did not survive the assault of 1770, approx. Vilkov). Evliya Celebi also calls it a mosque Suleiman Khan, namely : “In the great tower that serves as the gateway to this nether fortress, there is another Mosque of Suleiman Khan. On both sides of her mihrab are bal-emez cannons.. But researchers believe that this mosque, like the tower, could not have been built under Sultan Suleiman in 1538, since it is reliably known that the Lower Fortress and, accordingly, the towers, by order of the Sultan, were built by the Moldavian ruler Peter Khromoy in 1584 year. Sultan ruled at that time by the Ottomans Murad III. Ukrainian professor A. Krasnozhon was able to decipher one of the lapidary monuments on the Gate Tower - a memorial plate with an inscription and read the date on it: 992 Hija (1584). It was during the construction of the Lower Fortress that the indicated tower was reinforced with armored (additional) masonry. As you know, the name of a newly built mosque was almost always assigned by the name of the then ruling sultan or another famous person, as was the case, for example, with the Dagestan mosque. Therefore, it is obvious that the name of this mosque under No. 2 was in honor of Sultan Murad III.
The following documents were found in the archives of this mosque, as well as the mosque under No. 1: (BOA AE. SABH.I. 273, 8341 24-10-1200), on the payment of a tax on oil and wax for the mosques of Sultan Murad and Sultan in the Bendery fortress, from the revenues of the tax administration of the Kiliya district; (BOA İE. EV. 35, 4057 12-12-1111), the petition of the governor of the Bendery fortress for the appointment of the muezzin of the Sultan Murad Mosque, which is located in the curtain (wall) of the Bendery castle.
Mosque on the plan №3
Dr. Mehmet Tutenzhi believes that it was in this place that Dagestan mosque, although none of the sources indicates the exact location of this mosque on the territory of the fortress. Mosque of Dagestanly Ali Pasha (dated 1190 Hijri, i.e. 1776-77 gg.). From the archival document C. AS. 865, 37068 29-06-1190 the order is known to the vizier of Dagestanly Ali Pasha, who manages the restoration of the Bendery fortress, with an expression of gratitude to him for the construction of stone mosques, fountains and charitable houses at his own expense during the specified period.
Dagestanly Ali Pasha for a long time served as a seraskir and head of the garrison of a number of fortresses, was the governor of various provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The elder brother of Dagestanly Ali Pasha was the famous ruler of Algeria ("Algerian uncle") Dagestanly Hassan Pasha. As the ruler of Algeria in 1791-1798, he built the famous Ketshava Mosque (Kechiova in Turkish) in the city of Algiers and the Pasha Mosque in the city of Oran.
After the second conquest of the Bendery fortress in November 1789 by the Russian army under the command of Field Marshal G.A. Potemkin, the mosque on the plan under No. 3 according to the order of the commander, it was consecrated and converted into an Orthodox temple them. Holy Trinity, on a number of maps it is designated as a “Russian church”. Only on the map of 1790 is she marked under her own name. In his letter to His Grace Ambrose Archbishop of Yekaterinoslav and Kherson Tauride dated November 7, 1789 (No. 1591), Potemkin, in particular, wrote: “Of the mosques that are here (in the fortress), I chose the two best ones, for their conversion to churches. Your Eminence, deign to consecrate one of them as a cathedral in the name of the Holy Great Martyr and Victorious George ( on the plan No. 4), but name the other according to your discretion, and so that they were prepared for this, I gave the command. In the order dated November 7, 1789 (No. 1592) G.A. Potemkin writes: “Of the two mosques I have chosen, one large one is assigned to be converted into a cathedral church, and the other will also be converted to a church, both of which I prescribe to clean and prepare for consecration.”
However, after the conclusion of the Yassky peace, as a result of which all the lands east of the Dniester went to Russia, the Bendery fortress, located on the right bank, was again returned to the Turks. All Muslim mosques converted into temples of other faiths have regained their status.
IN 1806 In 1999, after the bloodless occupation of the fortress by the corps of Baron Meindorf, the military once again adapted the building of a large Turkish mosque, located 65 meters from the citadel, along its western wall, next to Turkish baths and wells, as an Orthodox church. As mentioned above, under Potemkin in 1789 it was called Holy Trinity. After 1806 she was named St. Alexander Nevsky Church.
IN 1807 year, with the blessing of Metropolitan Veniamin of Yassy, Archpriest Stefan Shamrayevsky took up the re-equipment and adaptation of the former Muslim mosque into the military church of Alexander Nevsky. This former mosque was a two-story stone building with two rows of windows, covered with tiles on top. A place for a choir was equipped in the upper part of the large hall, a rich and beautiful iconostasis was installed. As in many temples of the military department of that time, in the church of Alexander Nevsky, military trophies obtained from the Turks were kept in a place of honor - banners, bunchuks, cannons, firearms and edged weapons. Having fallen, like many other military churches of that time, into the sphere of the growing separation of military church institutions from the management of the Holy Synod, the church of Alexander Nevsky, in addition to the military district chief and the chief priest who was with him, was also subordinate to the Metropolitan of Bendery and Akkerman - Dimitri.
After 15 years, the building of the former mosque, which was badly damaged especially during the first assault on the fortress, judging by the correspondence of the military engineering department, began to collapse and, due to its size, could not accommodate everyone. Therefore, in 1821 In 1999, a petition was prepared to the commandant of the Bendery fortress, the district military commander, as well as the metropolitan, to allocate a site for the construction of a new capital building of the Alexander Nevsky Church. Soon it was chosen and, as it turned out, very successfully: on the site of the demolished former Turkish shopping malls, on the main fortress street - Tsaregradskaya, leading from the fortress directly to the city center, between the citadel and the main gates of the fortress. In 1825, the building of the former mosque was destroyed, so before the construction of a new temple, the Nevsky Church temporarily moved to a private house.
Mosque on the plan №4
Actually this is Home, Cathedral, Sultan Mosque, which had several names in connection with its restructuring and complete restoration under different sultans. Its localization is well known, it was located at the Main (Kaushani, Istanbul) gates.
Under Campenhausen (1789) she was named Munkar Hamid [Muynkar-Dgaramid]. He's writing: “People gather at the main mosque, which is called Munkar Hamid, only on Fridays. This mosque is considered a cathedral in which one is allowed to pray for the Sultan.” (Munch'-R and Nakir in Islamic tradition are angels who interrogate and punish the dead in their graves. Hamid - translated from Arabic commendable, praising, ascending).
Further, Campenhausen gives a detailed description of this mosque: “The Great Mosque [Munkar-Hamid] is the most beautiful building in Bender, it has a length of 58 steps. A verse from the Koran is inscribed in golden letters above the doors. Directly opposite the door in a niche on a chain hangs a metal washstand, which the Turks call shadrivan [schadrivan]. To his left were images of the Kaaba and the grave of Mohammed, but they were removed when the Russian troops arrived here. To the right of the shadrivan there is a small pulpit, resembling a guardhouse, in which the imam stands when he reads the Koran. Ten steps lead to it, covered with a red cloth.
The floor of the mosque is covered with beautiful carpets, and sofas are made along the walls. In the middle of the building is a dome adorned with a mahogany star and Quran verses written in gold. Under the center of the star hangs a copper chandelier, called a scherfe [scherfe], on the branches of which are suspended several hundred glass lamps of various colors, which are never lit, except on the holiday of Bairam. In this case, each person present in the mosque had to pay a few parahs [parahs]. Several ostrich eggs and artificial flowers made of tinsel or gold leaf are suspended above the sherfe. Near the pulpit, on the wall, a prayer against the plague is written, and next to it is a colored image of Aliyev's saber [the sword of the prophet Muhammad, who passed to Ali ibn Abu Talib].
The Turks use only three colors in wall painting: blue, green and yellow. I saw here a large hall, on one wall of which there was a drawing of a tree, On the slab there was an inscription in Arabic: Mashallah, also mashallah, ma sha Allah - “how beautiful it is!” letters. “what Allah willed”) is an Arabic ritual prayer exclamation, an interjection expression often used in Arab and other Muslim countries, as a sign of amazement, joy, praise and gratitude to God and a humble recognition that everything happens by the will of Allah and on the other the side was depicted something blue, similar to a ship. The minarets are tall, thin, aiming at the sky, and their tops are upholstered with tin. They are built, as a rule, of stone and stand a few steps from the mosques. I have seen only one exception to this [rule], which I have already mentioned [in Ackermann]. Inside, they have a spiral staircase that reaches the highest point of the building. There, on the outside, there is a balcony from which the imam calls to prayer or announces death. For this last service he is paid a kurush [dollar], which is equal to about four shillings.
The two galleries of the main mosque in Bendery are built with a certain taste, and the gaps [between them] are decorated with blue glass [mosaic smalt], which creates a good effect when the sun is shining.”
With a greater degree of probability, it is known what this mosque looked like. In the drawing of lapidary monuments (stone slabs with images and inscriptions) from the walls of the fortress, made by the Russian military in the summer of 1819, slabs depicting mosques are known. The two slabs have been redrawn with the explanation that they are located "On both sides of the Dniester Gates from the outside." This is apparently about the gate on the plan under No. 7 (Tabatsky, Small Water), which overlooked the Dniester and which were located not far from the Main Mosque. On the right slab we see an image of a mosque with 4 minarets. As is known, small mosques usually had and have one minaret (or do not have it at all), medium mosques - two; the large sultan mosques in Istanbul had four to six minarets. The largest number of minarets, ten, at the mosque of the prophet in Medina. So the image of the mosque with 4 minarets in the drawing is most likely a drawing of the Munkar-Hamid mosque, given that the stone carver did not distort the image of the original.
However, before Campenhausen, the Cathedral Mosque had not only the name Munkar-Hamid, but, as you know, was rebuilt again at least once.
In documents for 1778-1779 year she is known as sultan ahmed mosque. The archives contain several documents related to this mosque. From the Ottoman Archives under the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkey:
- AE. SABH.I. 21 1800 H-25-11-1193 (December 4, 1779), a brief note by the former commandant of the Vidin fortress Ali Pasha about his work on the construction of a charitable fountain-cheshme near the wall of the Sultan Ahmed Khan Mosque in the Bendery fortress, and on some other issues;
- AE.SSLM.III 214 12594 H-29-12-1212 (June 14, 1798), addition to the note of the commandant of the Bendery fortress Hassan Pasha regarding the construction of the minaret of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque;
- AE.SSLM.III 257 14872 H-29-12-1212 (June 14, 1798), a copy of the order sent to the commandant of the Bendery fortress Hussein Pasha on the basis of the petition of the viceroy in Bendery Feyzulla and some other letters, regarding the fact that he instructed the viceroy of the architect Ismail who is engaged in the construction of warehouses, to repair the minaret of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque near the Istanbul Gate of the said fortress, which (minaret) was damaged by a lightning strike;
- AE.SSLM.III 264 15277 H-29-12-1212 (June 14, 1798), a petition signed by a certain Abdullah with a request to repair the lightning-damaged minaret of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in the Bendery Fortress with the involvement of the governor of the architect named Ismail.
She is Mosque of Sultan Abdulhamid I (dated 1194 AH /1780-81/). From the inscription on the commemorative plate copied by the Russians in 1819 year, it follows that after the destruction of the mosque built by Sultan Ahmed, it was recreated in the same place by Sultan Abdulhamid I.
- Glorious conqueror, warrior of Allah, Sultan Abdulhamid Khan, may the Almighty prepare a place for him in heaven,
- He revived the noble mosque, which needed renovation because time had passed over it,
- The just, omnipotent, most prophetic Sultan Abdulhamid Khan ...
- ... by His Majesty again ... restored ... once built ...
- Blessing to this great padishah… his soul (?). Written (?) in the year 1194.
The Ottoman archives turned out to have two documents related to this repair during this period:
- (C.EV. 645/32553 08-07-1994), on sending instructions to the local authorities of Bender regarding the purchase of necessary materials for the repair of the mosque built by Sultan Ahmed at the Bender crossing (sic);
- An archival document (C. ML. /175-7440-0), dating from the beginning of 1781, mentions the allocation of money for the construction of some buildings (warehouses, dam walls (?), etc.) and for the restoration Sultan Ahmet Mosque and Sultan Murad Mosque.
Mosque on the plan No. 5
Mosque with an unknown name. As can be seen from the configuration of the mosque on the plan of 1790, it is the smallest of all presented on the plan.
Mosque on the plan No. 6
The mosque with an unknown name is interesting in that it is displayed only on one map of 1770, compiled during the siege of the Bendery fortress by the troops of the Second Army of P.I. Panina, in French. The mosque is marked with the letter J, while there are no other mosques on this map. The mosque is marked on the map in red, apparently it had some special meaning for the military. Or as a guide for artillerymen, or as a guide for the explosion of one of the siege mines. In the description of the object, it is indicated as a stone mosque (fr. Mosquée de pierre)
Mosque on the plan number 7
ABOUTon the Greek Church, located at the Horde (Military) gates, they are also St. George's gates. Name unknown. According to the configuration on the plan of small size. On the map 1789 year, it is designated as a Greek church, although on the plan 1790 year is shown as a mosque. In the papers of the office of G.A. Potemkin, there is no information about the conversion of one of the mosques into a church of the Greek confession. Although other changes in the status of mosques are described in detail in his office. In his description of Campenhausen in the same period of time, the Greek church is not mentioned. In tsarist and Soviet times, the territory of deployment of military units. After the Second World War until 1994, the place of deployment of the Second Heavy Combined Pontoon-Bridge Regiment.
It can be assumed that the Greek Church existed during the Ottoman period in the history of the Bendery fortress, if we take into account another lithograph, which I.V. Sapozhnikov dates 1730-1740 on which this church is marked as “Grichische Kirch” (Old German, der Griechischen Kirche) – Greek Church. Moreover, the lithograph shows the location of the church quite accurately, as well as the location of other religious objects.
After the transition in 1711 of D. Kantemir to the side of Russia, the Phanariots (wealthy Greek merchants and usurers from the Phanar, a district of Istanbul), acquired a monopoly right to the throne. Moldavian rulers began to be most often appointed from several dynasties (Mavrokordat, Rakovits, etc.), constantly replacing each other. The new system of government was called Turkish-Phanariot in the literature. In the supreme governing body of the Moldavian Principality - the Gospodar Council (sofa) - the Phanariot boyars occupied the dominant position. The activities of the sofa began to observe the representative of the Porte - effendi at the sofa.
So the presence of Greek churches in the Ottoman fortresses at the beginning of the 18th century becomes natural.
Mosque on the plan No. 8
It was located in the area of the northern bastion No. 7. Name unknown. According to the configuration on the plan of medium size. Currently, the territory of CJSC "Bendery Automobile Assembly Plant" (former military car repair plant).
Mosque on the plan №9
It was located in the region of the northern Varnitsky (Yassky) gates, on the cut of the coastal plateau, on which, as a result of the reconstruction of the fortress in 1793-95. a fortified wall will be built. Name unknown. According to the configuration on the plan of small size. Also currently the territory of the plant.
Mosque on plan No. 10
It was located northwest of the citadel. Based on the engraving above, as well as the configuration on the 1790 plan, the building is relatively large. Confused by the presence of four minarets in this mosque. It can be assumed that this is Selim Mosque. Mentioned by Campenhausen as "Selim Mosque". Most likely, the Selim Mosque was the name of the mosque built Sultan Selim III. During his reign, the restoration of the ramparts was carried out in Bendery. An inscription copied by the Russians confirms that in 1209 AH (1794 from RH) the fortress was reconstructed. It is very possible that the mosque was built at the same time.
She later Armenian church, which is noted on the plan of 1789 under the letter N. This mosque, like 2 others, in 1789 came under the conversion of stone mosques into Orthodox churches and churches of other non-Muslim confessions. From a letter from G.A. Potemkin to the Armenian Archbishop Joseph dated November 7, 1789 (No. 1586):” I entrust all the Armenians who are in the lands now acquired by the victorious weapons of Her Imperial Majesty to your flock. Your Eminence, do not leave to make an order for a better organization of this people and for the suppression of various abuses that took root between them during the reign of the Turkish. I ordered one of the mosques located here to be turned into a church for the Armenian confession, about which I am notifying you with special respect.”
It is assumed that this was previously the mosque of Sultan Selim, since G.A. Potemkin, when selecting mosques, was guided by their condition, size and material from which they were built. Preference was given to stone. As the largest, these were the Cathedral at the Main Istanbul Gate, the Dagestan and the Selim Mosque.
Campenhausen also writes about the Armenian church in Bendery: “150 Armenian families [live] here. Their church is a miserable building.”. We are probably talking about the settlement (suburb) of the fortress.
It is known that for the compact residence of Armenian settlers on the left bank of the Dniester, the city of Grigoriopol (the second predominantly Armenian city of the Russian Empire) was founded. His Serene Highness Prince Potemkin made a lot of efforts for the most painless resettlement of the colonists, personally choosing the location of the future city. Despite the fact that the Most Serene Prince did not live to see the day of the official establishment of Grigoriopol in February 1792, his will in choosing the name of the city was fulfilled. Currently, the city of Grigoriopol and the Grigoriopol region are part of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic.
In the aforementioned order (No. 1592) G.A. Potemkin writes: “In addition to the two mosques described above (which were converted into Orthodox churches. approx. G. Vilkov), two more are appointed for churches, one for the Roman Catholic confession, the other for the Armenian, which are entrusted for this: the Armenian one - to Archbishop Joseph, and the Roman confession - to the priest Skirnevsky.
Which mosque was given to the Catholics is unknown, as I.V. Sapozhnikov, apparently this plan was not implemented due to the small number of the Catholic flock in the city.
From one archival document, the name of one of the above-mentioned unidentified mosques is known. She was called Ibrahim Mosque. In document (AE. SABH. I\27-2068-0) dated 1786 stated that the restoration work in the fortress and directly in the mosque Ibrahima Aghathat was damaged are completed. The internal parts of the fortress, damaged as a result of the attack (?), were also repaired. The mosque is apparently named after the architect Hafiz Ibrahim aga, which is mentioned in the Sultan's firman dated 1783, When he carried out the reconstruction of the mosque in the citadel of the fortress. Where exactly it was located, unfortunately, is unknown.
Thanks to sources and especially newly revealed archival documents for the period from 1657 to 1790 years we know about the availability in Bendery 12 mosques, 10 of which, according to the localization described above, were located in the fortress itself, 2 of them were in the suburbs. One of the mosques in the fortress, as it turned out, was Greek church, at least for the period from the first half to the end of the XVIII century.
From the warrant G.A. Potemkin to Lieutenant General Krechetov dated November 12, 1789 (No. 1642): “...Huts, shops and mosques in the suburbs should be turned into residential…” . Those. the two remaining Muslim mosques in the city were converted into housing.
It must be understood that the plans of G.A. Potemkin to eradicate objects of the Muslim confession in Bendery at that time was not destined to come true. Based on the Peace of Jassy 1791/92. according to which the Ottoman Empire ceded to Russia the interfluve of the South. Bug and Dniester with the fortress of Ochakov and the village of Khadzhibey, and in return Russia returned Bessarabia with fortresses to Turkey Bendery, Ackerman, Kiliya and Ishmael. Those. The Bendery fortress was abandoned by Russian troops in 1792, all the mosques returned their status until 1806, when, according to the Bucharest peace treaty of 1812, Russian troops returned to the fortress on a permanent basis.
Mosques are mentioned by P. Svinin in his description of the Bessarabia region, in particular Bender in 1816, saying that two mosques "turned into shops" (warehouses), as well as a remark: “Inside the fortress, under the Turks, there were many buildings, both houses and shops, enclosed in cramped streets, but at the exit of them almost all the buildings were broken, and the pasha’s magnificent palace was also destroyed.”
The history of the Bendery fortress began to be studied on the basis of already new archival data, as well as “on the spot” in the fortress itself not so long ago, no more than 10 years. Every day more and more new data is introduced into scientific circulation, different versions are put forward, studied, accepted and refuted. The cartographic material is being replenished. Directly on the mosques, the material of the French engineer Francois Kauffer, who reconstructed the fortress after G.A. Potemkin in the period 1793/95, which contains a large number of sketches sketched by him with his own hand. For other fortresses in our region, it is stored in the bulk in the Russian State Military Historical Archive (RGVIA) in Moscow. According to Bender, he is absent there. Currently, there is only one sketch in scientific circulation. We hope that data on this topic will be replenished and the topic of mosques and other church objects in the fortress will be fully worked out.
At present, by order of the UNDP, more than 1000 documents have been found in the archives of Turkey, in which the Bendery Fortress is mentioned in one way or another, today it has been possible to work out 100 documents and translate them from the Old Ottoman. These are mainly estimates, reports, correspondence, etc., which contain invaluable information on different periods of construction and reconstruction of the fortress. Currently, they are being translated into Russian, as well as being systematized and registered in the scientific department of the State Unitary Enterprise IVMK “Bendery Fortress”.
Image of mosques on lapidary monuments (stone slabs)
Used literature and sources:
- Mehmet Tütüncü, Bender Mosques, published Turkish Journal tarih ve Dusunce (July 2018);
- Mehmet Tütüncü, Unutulan Serhad şehrimiz Bender camileri Bir Canlandırma (Rekonstrüksiyon) , Düşünce ve Tarih Dergisi Temmuz, 2018;
- Report on repair work in the Bendery fortress based on archival documents. Archaeologist and Art Historien Murat Sav, 01/27/2020. Library of the Scientific Department of the State Unitary Enterprise IVMK “Bendery Fortress”, section No. 67/20
- I. Sapozhnikov. “Mosques and churches of Bendery until the middle of the 19th century”, scientific quarterly journal “Eminak” No. 4 (20) October-December. Kyiv-Nikolaev, 2017;
- A.V. Krasnozhon. Report on the measurement and architectural work in the Bendery fortress (April-May 2010). Odessa, 2010. Library of the Scientific Department of the State Unitary Enterprise IVMK “Bendery Fortress”, ac. No. 34/10;
- Vilkov G. Military temples of Transnistria: Bendery // Historical almanac of Transnistria. 2011. No. 12, as amended. for 2018
- Papers of Prince Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin-Tauride / Military. scientist com. the main headquarters; [ed. N. F. Dubrovina]. - St. Petersburg, 1893-1895. - 3 tons - (Collection of military-historical materials; Issue 6-8);
- I. Ivanenko, Ph.D. Grigory Potemkin - Benefactor of the Armenian people. Electronic journal "Historian". Permanent address of the article https://historian.rf/special_posts/grigory-potemkin-well-wisher-ar/;
- Iasi peace treaty. 12/29/1791 (01/09/1792). Project of the Russian Military Historical Society "100 main documents of Russian history";
- History of the MSSR. Chisinau, 1984;
- cartographic material. Archive of the Scientific Department of the State Unitary Enterprise IVMK “Bendery Fortress”, accounting of the library “K”.
- RSL, department of cartography, code hr. Ko 110/IX-36 (plan of 1789).