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Yeni-Kale was built by Ottoman Turks in 1699–1706 on the Kerch peninsula that belonged to the Crimean Khanate. The name Yenikale means New Fortress in Turkish (yeni - new, kale - fortress). The fortress was built under the guidance of Goloppo, who was an Italian convert to Islam. Several French engineers also took part in the construction.
Yeni-Kale was armed with powerful cannons and took an important strategical place on the coast of Kerch Strait. The fortress occupied area of 25,000 m² and had two powder-magazines, arsenal, water reservoir, living houses, bath-house and mosque. About 800 Turkish and 300 Crimean Tatar soldiers were garrisoned in Yeni-Kale. The weak spot of the fortress was a lack of drinking water in the area, so an underground water-pipe was made to bring water from a source located several kilometres away from the fortress. Yeni-Kale also served as a residence of the pasha.
During the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 the Russian Army invaded Crimea in the summer of 1771. Though reinforcements from the Ottoman Empire had arrived beforehand, the Turks decided to abandon Yeni-Kale. Russian units under command of general Nikolay Borzov entered the fortress on 21 June 1771. Abaza Muhammad Pasha who was a commandant of Yeni-Kale fled to Sinop and the sultan sentenced him to death for the number of military failures.
In the 19th century the fortress was used by Russians as a military hospital. Since the 1880s Yeni-Kale was completely deserted.
Today ruins of Yeni-Kale is often visited by tourists. The neighboring district of Kerch also is named Yeni-Kale.
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