Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Location of Akkerman (written description)

Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi (Ukrainian: Білгород-Дністровський, transliteration: Bilhorod-Dnistrovs’kyi) is a city situated on the right bank of the Dniester Liman (on the Dniester estuary leading to the Black Sea) in the Odessa Oblast (province) of southwestern Ukraine, in the historical region of Bessarabia.

The city of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi is also referred to by alternative transliterations from Ukrainian as Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky or Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyy.

Previous settlements on the current site of the city were called Ophiusa (Οφιούσα) or Tyras (Τύρας) , also the name for the Dniester) by the ancient Greeks and Album Castrum ("White Castle") by the Romans.

The Byzantine fortress was first noted as Asperon, a name deriving from the local Turkic Pecheneg word for "white," after the appearance of the shoreline with its high content of white animal shells. The word "white" as a basis for the name of the city has persisted ever since.

Greek forms of the name were Leukopolis (Λευκόπολης), meaning "white city", Asprokastron (Ασπρόκαστρον) from Asperon, and Maurokastron (Μαύροκαστρον), ironically meaning "black castle". The latter was modified to Latin Maurocastrum and Moncastrum and, later, became Italian Moncastro or Maurocastro.

From 1503 to 1918 and 1940 to 1941, the city was known as Akkerman (Russian: Аккерман), Turkish for "white rock". From 1918 to 1940 and 1941 to 1944, the city was known by its Romanian name of Cetatea Albă, literally "white citadel" (Четатя Албэ in the Moldovan alphabet, which is no longer official). From 1944 to 1991, the city was most commomly known by its Russian name of Belgorod-Dnestrovskiy (Бе́лгород-Днестро́вский), literally "white city on the Dniester". Currently, the city is most commonly referred to by the Ukrainian version of the same name Bilhorod-Dnistrovs’kyi (Білгород-Дністровський).

The city is known by translations of "white city" or "white rock" in a number of languages including Белгород Днестровски (Belgorod-Dnestrovski) in Bulgarian, Akerman (Акерман) in Gagauz, Białogród nad Dniestrem in Polish, Dnyeszterfehérvár in Hungarian, עיר לבן (Ir Lavan) in Hebrew, and Walachisch Weißenburg by local German speakers (although Akkerman was usually used).

In western European languages, including English, the city has typically been known by the official name of the time or a transliteration derived from it.

Belgorod-Dnestrovsky acquired its status as a city in 1944.

It is situated in southwestern part of Odessa Region (Ukraine), on the right shore of Dniester Estuary, some 90 km from Odessa.

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