Enisala- Dobrogea Fortress

Today I shall take you on a new trip. We will go to Dobrogea, near the lakes Babadag and Razim to see an old fortress.

Grab my hand and let’s enjoy the walk. The fortress is called Enisala but long ago this fortress was called Yeni Sale- which in Turkish means the new news. Besides this name, the fortress was known also by the name Heracleea or Heraclia. As you will see the fortress is on a limestone hill which some call the Fat hill. From the fortress, you can have a great view, as you will see.

It is easy to spot the fortress. We will have to walk a bit until there, climb some stairs. When we get on top we will have a beautiful view. We can see all the plains around it and also a lake.

Let’s go back in time it seems the fortress was most probably built by the Genovese merchants around the XIV century, as they had the shipping monopoly of the Black Sea and enough money to build. Imagine how it was at that time from the fortress you have a view of the hole area so no wonder why they chose it.

Other hypotheses say that the fortress could have been built by a Tartar price, considering that this area was at that time under the control of the Golden Horde.

What is for sure is what they have been discovering here and that is a bunch of coins dating from different periods. They discovered coins from Roman time until 18 century. The 14 century is best represented than another period. So we have six Genovese-Tartar coins, a golden Horde bronze coin issued by Abd- Ullah, a silver denarius from Vladislav I Vlaicu (1364-1377), seven silver ducats issued during Mircea cel Batran(1386-1418) reign, a silver gros from Petru I Musat( 1375-1391), a Bulgarian bronze coin and seven Turkish coins. From the XV century, we have just two coins: one silver denarius issued by Mircea cel Batran and a half gros from Alexandru cel Bun(1400-1432).

Besides the coins there were discovered also some ceramic glazed with monograms, they are assigned to the 14 century.

As you can see the fortress has impressive walls, long ago they even more impressive, they were around 3 meters wide and around 6-7 meters long.

One of the things that drew the attention is one of the bastions of the principal gate of the fortress. What makes it so nice is the double arcade finished with another arch. The origin of this seems to be oriental. Such still can be also found in other construction from Balcanic Peninsula and also in the Romanian countries like on Neamtului fortress.

The fortress belonged to Mircea cel Batran from 1397 to 1418, then is conquered by the Turks, until the fortress won’t be good enough for the Turkish interests. When that will happen the fortress will be left.

The first discoveries were made by Grigore Avakian in 1939. The next researches that will come will be between 1963-1964. At this time were discovered that the fortress area was inhabited from the time of the first period of iron, there were discovered also a few medieval complexes and also the cemetery of the fortress. Later the in 1976 the research will be made again, there will be confirmed the existence of the first level of inhabitancy from the first period of the Iron age( Babadag culture) and two medieval levels. The research will be continued for ten years but unfortunately most of the information of the research remaining at the level of site notes.

Other information will be gathered between 1991-1999, which will give a better knowledge of the fortress and also about the area around it.

Nearby the fortress at 1,5 km, in the area of contact of the lakes Razim and Babadag, there found and researched402 archeological complex, one that was assigned to the culture Gumelnita, from the Eneolithic period, 183 from the first Iron Age( Babadagculture, 210 complexes can be assigned to the medieval time, 8 of the cases was found any archeological material. There 116 medieval tombs, 22 houses( 10from the first iron age, 12 medieval), 264 holes( 1 Eneolithic, 183 from the iron age, 82 medievals, and 8 without any archeological material.

So all of this means that the area of the fortress was long before the fortress have been made, inhabited.

I hope you enjoyed the view and the little history of the fortress.

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