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EU and UNDP announce the completion of the first stage of restoration works at Tighina/Bender Fortress

EU and UNDP announce the completion of the first stage of restoration works at Tighina/Bender Fortress

The first stage of conservation works carried out between 2021 and 2023 at Tighina/Bender Fortress have been completed. Total amount of investment for conservation was over 1.4 million euros from the European Union through the Confidence Building Measures Programme implemented by UNDP.

“Over the past few years, we have witnessed a remarkable journey of intense work here. Despite all the obstacles, such as the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine, today we see these efforts materialized. By restoring the Tighina/Bender Fortress, we preserve its physical structure. At the same time, we revitalize its historical significance and cultural value. This monument will become a living testament to the rich traditions, history, and experiences that have shaped the communities on both banks of the Nistru River,” mentioned Janis Mažeiks, the Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.

The technologies used for the conservation works in the first stage, including the reinforcement of the most critical areas of the Upper and Lower Citadel, comply with international standards and practices. For example, chemical and petrographic tests were conducted in Istanbul, Turkey, to determine the historical mortar, as such tests cannot be carried out in the Republic of Moldova. Over 127.2 cubic meters of historical mortar, manufactured according to historical recipes, were used for the restoration and reinforcement works.

The works carried out in the first stage included:

  • Consolidation of all construction areas/elements at risk of collapse in both the Upper Citadel and the Lower Citadel;
  • Complete conservation of the Eastern wall of Tighina/Bender Fortress;
  • Full restoration of the three wall towers in the eastern area of the fortress, including the roofs, which were reproduced exactly as per the original version;
  • Modernization of the rainwater drainage system;
  • Securing the stairs and passages in accordance with international standards.

The restoration of Tighina/Bender Fortress, dating back to the 15th century, will increase the tourism potential of this historical site, which will further benefit the local economy.

During the event dedicated to the completion of the restoration works at Tighina/Bender Fortress, Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova, said: “The restoration of the fortress holds immense promise and potential. We are already witnessing how this historical landmark becomes a captivating and sought-after destination for tourists. The economic, social, and cultural benefits that will emanate from its renovation are expected to be far-reaching, advancing prosperity in the entire region.”

During 2019-2021, the technical expertise and detailed design of the fortress were conducted, serving as a roadmap for the launch of the conservation works in the first stage. Additionally, a detailed plan was developed for future stages of work, as well as ensuring the financial sustainability of the historical monument through the organization of various events such as fairs, concerts, or sports activities for visitors from both banks of the Nistru River and abroad.

The conservation and restoration of Tighina/Bender Fortress, along with the Chisinau Circus, are two emblematic cultural heritage sites restored with the support of the EU Confidence Building Measures Programme.

The Confidence Building Measures Programme, financed by the European Union and implemented by UNDP, contributes to the strengthening of trust between the inhabitants of both banks of the Nistru River, by involving them in joint development projects.