Bendery Fortress


This impressive Ottoman fortress, outside the centre near the Bendery–Tiraspol bridge, was built in the 16th century and saw keen fighting between Turkish and Russian forces before falling to Tsarist Russia permanently in the early 19th century. You can walk along the ramparts taking in the fine views of the Dniestr River, have a picnic on the grounds, and visit several museums on-site that document the fort's long and rich history.

For years this was a functioning Russian army base and off limits to the public. With the recent thaw between Chisiņau and Tiraspol, the castle complex has been given completely over to tourism.

A new hotel marks the entrance to the complex near the bridge, about a 15-minute walk from the centre of town. From the entrance it's a five-minute walk to the fort past the glistening domes of the restored Alexander Nevsky Church. If arriving by bus from Tiraspol, alight at the first stop after the bridge and backtrack to entrance.