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The Monument of Russian Heroes, OltenițaCod 1272

It isn’t much known about the fact that the first fight from the Crimea War was held in Romania, in the proximity of the city of Oltenița, founded in the spring of the year 1853. In the summer of the same year, it arrived in Oltenița an infantry Russian brigade and six cavalry troops ordered by the general Pavlov. Near the Danube, in the place of the Quarantine (at the confluence of Argeș with the Danube) there was installed a post of Cossacks.

On the 22nd of October 1853, after the Turks occupied the Kusui oasis on the Danube, they attacked and conquered the quarantine. As a result, the second day, the Russians attacked the quarantine. The attack of the Russians managed to chase away the Turks. As a sign of devoutness and appreciation, after this battle, the Russians built up a monument in the memory of the Russians soldiers who fell in this battle. They have strengthened the place with a rock wall and they have surrounded it with heavy chains and heavy made of steel (this is how these surroundings were once upon a time), they built up a grand cross and they have placed a funerary stone.

At this monument, we find inscriptions in Russian, which refer to data about the war back then, more exact data then the ones kept by tradition and which were communicated vocally, from generation to generation. The two crosses which are found on the vertical piers of the monument weren’t built and built up at the same time. Therefore in the year 1877, near the old cross built up in the year 1853, there was added another cross – the one near it – different as model, but having the same height and ending also in a cross. In the proximity there is found Saint Nicholas church (today a cathedral). The priests which served at this church performed periodically a memorial mass in the memory of the Russian solders that fell in the battle of 1853. Together with the passing of the time, the monument was deteriorated. During the communist period, the terminal crosses from the monument were removed.

The first initiative of redoing the monument was taken by the local authorities of the mandate 2004 – 2008, when the crosses were put at their place. Also, the inscriptions in Russian situated on the crosses and on the funerary wall were translated in Romanian.

The last intervention on the monument was executed in the period 2012 – 2013 at the initiative of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Romania.

The war from Crimea lasted from the 28th of March 1853 until 1856 and it was an armed conflict between the Russian Empire, on one hand, and an alliance of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, of the second French Empire, of the Kingdom of Sardinia and of the Ottoman Empire, on the other hand. It is considered to have been one of the last religious wars on the continent, the first conflict at whose triggering the press and the occidental public opinion played a significant role, and which, at the same time, it was reported promptly to the occidental public opinion by the new means of communication. In the same mark of the premieres, the Crimea war is considered to be the first total war, which affected tragically the civil population exposed to the ethnic cleaning and to abuses of the type of viol. At the same time, it is the war which influences in a durable way the perception of the Russians with regards to the Occident, the alloying of the occidentals with the Moslem Turks being considered a betrayal, comparable maybe only to the invasion and to the plunder of the Byzantine capital by the occidentals during the IVth crusade.


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