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Tambov Oblast

The Tatar Rampart

In olden times, the Tatar rampart was an impressive fortification. It was as high as five meters, and sloped at 30 degrees. On the external side, it was fortified with a two-meter fosse, and on the ridge of the rampart there was a stockade. Guard towers and quarters were arranged every 300 — 700 meters.  This special construction technique allowed the rampart to stand the test of time.  When constructing the rampart, each subsequent soil layer was banked only after the previous one has been strengthened with fresh turf, which rooted and held the ground together and created safe natural protection against crumbling and erosion. The flanks of the rampart abutted impassable natural obstacles such as rivers, swamps, and dense forests. Riverbeds crossing the rampart were fortified with rubble and vertical posts.  It was impossible to go around the Tatar rampart.

The system of fortifications of the Abatis line, including the Tatar Rampart, played a major role in the defense and development of steppe-frontier territories.  The example of the Tatar raid on Tambov in 1655 is illustrative. A large cavalry detachment could not overcome the rampart without a long stop.  In order to lead horses across the rampart the Tatars had to dig through the rampart, which resulted in a delay and a heavy losses, allowing the town's defenders to organize and successfully repel the attack.

The most well-preserved sections of the Tatar Rampart in the vicinity of Tambov run parallel to the Tsna river along the line from Lysye Gory village to Kuzmina Gat village.  The most easily accessible well-preserved fragment of the rampart is located in the vicinity of Arapovo village near the Tambov-Voronezh highway.  There are also sections of the rampart near highway crossings in the villages of Streltsy and Pushkari.

Tourism Information Portal of Tambovskaya oblast / www.turtmb.ru


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