Chernivtsi Attractions: The Square of Turkish Well

Chernivtsi attractions map: area С

GPS: 48°17'38.9''N, 25°56'21.8''E

 

One can have a good idea of Chernivtsi 200 years ago before the city became the capital of the Austro-Hungarian duchy, in Turetska (Turkish) Street.

In Turetska Street, you can see the renovated Turkish well and still operating Turkish bathhouse.

The expressive eastern flavour of toponymy of Chernivtsi goes well together with the bridge roadway and humble facades of the old houses.

The name of the square comes from the ancient well situated near the Turkish bridge in the southern part of the square. The well stands on the full spring.

 

The main attraction of the square is the Turkish well (Turetska kernytsia, as people in Bukovyna call it), the steeple of which is decorated with the crescent. Perhaps this crescent gave the name to this old well, which used to be the Kniazivskyi well at that time.

 

 

 

In the XIX century, a lot of people headed by a metropolitan gathered here on Epiphany.

The stone masonry on the well indicates that it was dug during the supremacy of Ottoman Turks.

Beginning from the 16th century and during more than two and a half centuries Bukovyna was over the supremacy of the Ottoman Empire. Although our land was still a part of the Moldavian State, in fact, Turks ruled it.

Bukovyna was considered to be the northern province of the Ottoman Empire. The neighbourhood with Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian State led to constant wars at the border territories, Bukovyna as a part of them. Particularly great military value had the Khotyn fortress, situated not far from Chernivtsi.

From the beginning of the 18th century, the Turkish garrison was located on the territory of the city.

 

 

 

Turks built a stone water tank nearby. The descendants of the nomads, janissaries, treated drinking water with special piety. People of our land used to build wooden wells. Turks were the first to build different wells. The Turkish well in Chernivtsi has dozens of similar “stone sisters” in Bukovyna.

Public memory has a strange ability: it preserves events but forgets when they have happened. That is the reason for the Podil expression “in days of Turks”, which marks the historical period just after the rule of Moldavian tsar Tymko.

At that time the Turkish bridge hanged over the water – a small rivulet used to run in the deep ravine. Nowadays roaring cars and preoccupied pedestrians hurry up crossing this bridge. The bridge became Turkish probably together with the well, as it appeared only in the XIX century.

 

 

 

Approximately at that time, the Turkish bathhouse was built. Later on, city bathhouses have always worked at this very place.

During centuries, the Turkish well was the main city source, which provided the population with drinking water of high quality.