Often, while I walk along the seaside I imagine, what happened here, in Taganrog, more than 300 years ago. Who were the people who built this great fortress and harbour of Troitsk on Taganrog?
Many names are lost, few names are known. And many names await to be spoken of with pride again…
At the end of the 17 century, because of Peter’s preparations for the war against the Osman empire appeared a need for building a regular navy.
There was only one problem: Asov could not be used as a marine port.
But Peter was not discouraged. He said: “If only there be a fleet, the harbor will find itself”. And so it did.
Peter the Tsar even intended to transfer the capital of Russia to Taganrog. So to build it, people from all over Russia were driven to hard labor. In charge of the fortress construction was a Russian architect Osip Startcev, of the fortifications was a Swede Reingold Trusin, and of the harbour itself was a Venetian captain – engineer Matthew Simont (or Simontov).
Perhaps Simont was one of the talented engineers. He produced a sketch of the new harbour and Peter ordered him to appear himself in Taganrog at once.
Simont came up with a revolutionary idea. He decided to build an artificial island on a bank. He ordered to put boxes filled with stones between wooden poles to make the foundation of the fortress. The island had to defend Taganrog and the fleet. It had over 37 cannons and it appeared to be the first artificial island with a fort on it. Perhaps because of a lot of turtles on it the island was called the Cherepakha (the Turtle) island.