Enisala- Dobrogea Fortress

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

Grab my hand, and let’s enjoy the walk. The fortress is called Enisala, but this fortress was called Yeni Sale long ago, which means the new news in Turkish. Besides this name, the fortress was also known by the name Heracleea or Heraclea. 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 make. Imagine how it was from the fortress. You have a view of the whole area, so no wonder 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: a bunch of coins dating from different periods. They found 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. We have just two coins from the XV century: one silver denarius issued by Mircea cel Batran and a half gros from Alexandru cel Bun(1400-1432).

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

As you can see, the fortress has impressive walls. Long ago, they were even more impressive. They were around 3 meters wide and approximately 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 lovely is the double arcade finished with another arch. The origin of this seems to be oriental. Such still can also be found in other construction from Balcanic Peninsula and Romanian countries like on Neamtului fortress.

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

The first discoveries were made by Grigore Avakian in 1939. The following research 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 iron period. A few medieval complexes and the cemetery of the fortress were also found. Later, in 1976 the research will be done again. The existence of the first level of inhabitancy from the first period of the Iron age( Babadag culture) and two medieval groups will be confirmed. The research will be continued for ten years, but unfortunately, most of the research information remains 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, where the lakes Razim and Babadag meet, researchers found 402 archeological complexes. One of them 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 are 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 fortress area was long before the fortress had been made, inhabited.

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

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