International Architectural Workshop
"Rehabilitation of Akkerman Fortress in Belgorod-Dnestrovsky (Southwestern Ukraine), and Its Integration into the Network of International Tourism"
June 26 - July 2, 2005, Belgorod-Dnestrovsky, Odessa, Ukraine

  Call for participation to International No-Competition Workshop

  Promoted by:
Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation
Committee for Preservation of Cultural Heritage of Odessa Region
Odessa State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture

  Goals of Project

  • Preservation and popularisation of the unique historic environment of Akkerman fortress

  • Rehabilitation of the site and surroundings, creation of the modern cultural and turist center

  • Development of cultural activities and infrastructure for involvement of the site and the city of Belgorod - Dnestrovsky in the international tourism

 Workshop Leaders:

Natalia Shterbul
Head of the Committee for Preservation of Cultural Heritage, (Odessa, Ukraine)
Nadezhda Eksareva
Associate Professor, State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture (Odessa, Ukraine)

  Brief Introduction

Historic Background
The site is a complex of buildings and fortifications that have survived from the ancient Greek city of Tyras (6th c BC-4th c AD), early medieval town of Belgorod (6th-10th cc) and Akkerman Fortress (12th-19th cc) located on the Dniester Estuary in the present-day city of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky (Odessa Region, Ukraine).
Tyras founded by Greek colonists from Miletus and mentioned by Strabo, Ptolemy and Plinius has preserved the remains of houses, stone-paved streets, water-runnels, headquarters of a Roman garrison (building of vexillatio) and fortifications built of massive limestone plates unknown anywhere else in the ancient Greek world. There are also remains of a single known in southwestern Ukraine Early Christian temple (5th-7th cc AD).
The fortress is the only example of medieval military that has survived in southwestern Ukraine. Originally it had 3 gates, 20 towers, a defensive wall, a defense entrenchment and the earliest in Ukraine remains of Turkish architecture such as baths and a minaret.
The architectural ensemble of Tyras-Belgorod is best comparable to the world-famous Chersonessos in the Crimea. In contrast to it, however, Greek and Roman structures from Tyras were neither dismantled nor built over during the Middle Ages and have preserved their authentic appearance and layout. Furthermore, while other similar sites in Ukraine have only foundations of Hellenic fortifications, Tyras offers a unique opportunity to observe the original defensive walls and towers up to 5 m in height.
In addition to Tyras-Belgorod complex the modern-day city of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky also features quite a few historic monuments concentrated mainly along the shore of the estuary in the northeast part of the city. These include Greek Church (15th-16th cc), Armenian Church (16th c) and the complex of Alexander's Military Headquarters (19th c).

Current State of the Site
Tyras has preserved most of its original fortifications (walls, two towers, several cellars), remains of civil and residential structures of the 5th c BC - 5th c AD in the western part of the town as well as some medieval houses of the 13th - 15th cc.
Of the fortress proper there have remained a twelfth-century citadel, 20 towers, 3 gates, some 70% of defensive walls, an entrenchment and a minaret of the Turkish mosque. Inside the citadel there are remains of a ceramic water-pipe, a stone water pool, a heating furnace and underground galleries. The fortress and its structures have preserved authentic masonry made of locally quarried limestone blocks and mortar with a touch of sand and a small portion of pounded bricks. The walls have retained the original elements of Moldavian architecture of the 15th-16th cc such as alternating layers of bricks and limestone blocks. Some of the walls and towers still have ancient reinforcing timbers and decorative details such as complex machicolations and engraved network and floral ornamentation.
Throughout the Middle Ages some original parts of the fortress undergone rebuilding. In the nineteenth century the majority of structures inside it were taken down for stones and the drawbridge at the main gates was replaced with a stationary stone bridge across the entrenchment.
Today degradation of the shoreline causes crumbling of bedrock that is threatening the northern wall and northeastern tower of the citadel with collapse and has already lead to deformations of structures and development of fissures up to 9 m in length and 30 cm in width. Weathering of the limestone blocks causes collapsing of vaulted structures and crumbling of masonry from walls and revetment of the entrenchment to the depth of 50 cm over the areas of 20-150 mē. None of the applied protective measures has proven to be effective for the long-term conservation of the entire complex because they have always focused on preservation of individual structures and architectural details rather than followed a comprehensive plan for preservation and further maintenance of the entire site. Realization of more elaborate projects has always stumbled against insufficiency of funds because of a low level of financing the preservation of cultural heritage from the state budget as well as underdevelopment of the private sector of economy and low living standard inhibiting the emergence of local patrons and charities capable of and willing to provide financial assistance for saving the monuments.
In order to provide funds sufficient for restoration and rehabilitation of Tyras-Belgorod in January of 2004 the Ukrainian Government adopted the "Comprehensive Program for Restoration and Use of Akkerman Fortress in the City of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky" scheduled for realization from 2004 to 2011.

  The City of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky

Belgorod-Dnestrovsky acquired its status as a city in 1944. It is situated in southwestern part of Odessa Region (Ukraine), on the right shore of Dniester Estuary, some 90 km from Odessa. Today 50,000 people reside in the city. The city has a few factories, 17 high schools, 11 kindergartens and 4 colleges.
The city is conveniently located at the intersection of highways, railroads and waterways. It has an airport located just 8 km from downtown and a large seaport on the estuary.
Some 20-30 km from the city is the Black Sea coast with a number of countrywide known resort areas, where many people from Ukraine, Russia, Belorus and Moldova prefer to spend their summer vacations.

  Workshop information

Purposes of the Workshop
● preservation and popularization of the unique historic environment of Akkerman Fortress
● rehabilitation of the fortress and the adjacent part of the city with the development of a modern center of cultural tourism in the northeast part of the city along the shores of the estuary where most of historic monuments are found (see nos. I-V on Map)
● rise of cultural activities and development of tourist infrastructure aimed at integration of the city of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky into the international tourist network

The proposals for rehabilitation of Akkerman fortress shall enable:
● to receive conceptual propositions for preservation and effective use of the historic site
● to integrate the city and its cultural heritage in the network of tourist routs across the region
● to draw international public interest and investments in preservation of cultural heritage as well as local and regional economy
● to prepare proposals to international institutions for receiving grants for research and restoration of the site

We invite your college to take part in the workshop and ask you to inform us about your participation (please fill out the enclosed application form and send it to us before October 15, 2004). The complete information on the workshop will be sent to you by November 15, 2004.

  Application Procedure

To apply for participation in the workshop please fill out the enclosed form and send it to one of the following addresses:

Committee for Preservation of Cultural Heritage
43 Troitskaya Street
65045 Odessa, Ukraine
Tel. +38 048 2345931, Fax: +38 048 2345262
Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation
Via del Giglio no. 10
50123 Florence, Italy
Tel. +39 055 238276, Fax: +39 055 283260

  Requirements for Participation and Proposals:

● up to 2 persons from one college
● up to 2 proposals from one college
● language: English
● Presentations shall consist of max. 2 sheets of A0 format and 2 sheets of A4 format.
● Presentations shall include locator maps, concepts of a master plan of the site and its surroundings, views of the site from the estuary and from the city, other maps, cross-sections, profiles, viewpoints and drawings explaining structural details, materials, lighting and other aspects related to the proposal as well as general explanatory texts.
● Submitted proposals and their electronic versions will not be returned.
● Electronic version a proposal shall not exceed 10 MB
● All proposal must indicate student's and advisor's names, college, town and country


● preliminary request for participation due November 15, 2004
● final on-line registration (with electronic versions of proposals) deadline May 15, 2005

Workshop Dates: June 26 - July 2, 2005
Room and board, visits to museums in Belgorod-Dnestrovsky and Odessa will be provided by organizers free of charge.

Upon completion of the workshop the submitted proposals will be exhibited in Belgorod-Dnestrovsky (one month) and Odessa (two months) and for six month posted on a web-site for public observance and feedback.

  Get your CD

To get the compete version of the rehabilitation project of the "Akkerman fortress" (photos, maps, historical and technical surveys, description text)  contact us:

Tentative Program of the International workshop

June 26, Sunday

Arrival of participants to Odessa and transfer to camping area on the seashore near Belgorod-Dnestrovsky.

June 27, Monday

Bus - Tour to Odessa

June 28, Tuesday

Preparation of workshop materials for exposition
Tour of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky

June 29, Wednesday

Workshop opening ceremony
Presentation of workshop materials

June 30, Thursday

Presentation of workshop materials
Discussion of presentations

July 1, Friday

Discussion of presentations
Closing of the workshop

July 2, Saturday

Departure of participants


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