Medzhidi Tabiya Fortress – Town of Silistra
- Posted on in Cultural - Region Dunav
The Turkish fort “Abdul Medzhidi” or the so-called Medzhidi Tabiya fortress is located south of Silistra and is the best preserved of the six defensive points of the Turkish fortification system, which played an important role during the Crimean war (1853 – 1856) and the wars between Russia and Turkey (1853 – 1856 and 1877 – 1878).
It was built because of the need to further strengthen the Danube cities, when the Danube river was established as a natural border of the Ottoman Empire.
The idea of building this fortification system was work of the German military engineer Helmut Von Moltke (1800 – 1891), who visited the town in 1837.
The fortress was built during the period 1841 – 1853 with the free labor of 300 forcefully gathered Bulgarians. The main builders were from the village of Dryanovo, and the masons were from the region of Silistra. During the building of the fortress, they also built the first Renaissance temples in the area of Silistra – Alfatar (1846) and Kalipetrovo (1847).
The building of the fortress attracted the attention of the Ottoman sultan Abdul Medzhid, who arrived in 1847 to see the construction. The name of the fortress – Medzhidi – was given then.
The building was finished during the ruling of the local governor Said Pasha on the eve of the Crimean War. The fortress played a major role during the Crimean war, which started in 1853 with the battle for Silistra. The genius Russian writer Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy (1828 – 1910) took part in that battle. The facility was actively used during the war between Russia and Turkey for the liberation of Bulgaria in 1877 – 1878.
The fortress has the shape of a hexagon and reaches 8 meters height. A ditch was dug next to it, which served for both obstruction and concealment.
Medzhidi Tabiya is the only fortress with completely preserved interior and exterior belonging to the Ottoman period in Bulgaria.