Enisala Fortress, the only medieval citadel in Dobrogea
Enisala Fortress, one of the most beautiful and mysterious citadels in Dobrogea, is located 2 kilometers away from the town with the same name in Tulcea County. The name of the fortress comes from the Turkish ‘yen’ (new) and Dobrogea regionalism ‘sale’ (settlement, village), meaning new place. Apparently, the Turks took over the name of the administrative system near the city, and it was called Vicus Novus (New Village), then Novoe Selo. At the same time the city is known as Heraclia or Heracleea.
The citadel is the most important tourist attraction in the area, with great historical importance due to its location, within an archaeological complex preserving many remains from the Neolithic Age until the Middle Ages when the fortress has come to its climax, but also due to the strategic importance, as it was built on a hill which offered a clear view of Razim and Babadag lakes.
Enisala fortress was built by the Byzantine Imperial power between the 13th and 14th centuries, for military and defense reasons but also for monitoring the the roads on shore and especially by sea, in a period in which Cernet and Dunavat canals were not blocked, and Razim Lake was still a golf in the Black Sea. During this period the fortress had a military, politically and administratively role and less economic importance.
During the reign of Romanian ruler Mircea cel Batran, the citadel fell under Wallachia’s domination, being included in the defense system. At the end of his reign, in 1418, the fortress was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. Turks installed in a military garrison in Enisala as they did in Isaccea and Giurgiu.
The fortress was ruined in the following centuries and because the fortress was already abandoned, Enisala was the only fortress which was not demolished during the Russian-Ottoman wars. Nearly 200 years ago, Russian army generals ordered the destruction of all medieval fortresses in Northern Dobrogea where Ottoman garrisons operated; only one was saved – Heracleea (Enisala), no longer active at the time.
Visiting hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00, closed on Monday.
Sightseeing Fee: Adults – RON 3.