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Fortress Karagan.

Fortresses of Mangystau.

"The more extensive the conquests, the more convenient it is to preserve them through the establishment of colonies"


Historical sights of Mangystau.

The Karagan fortress is located in the middle, western part of the Tamshaly ravine in the northern part of the Tupkaragan peninsula, 5.6 kilometers south of Cape Bagarshyk, 27 kilometers northeast of the city of Fort Shevchenko in the Tupkaragan district of the Mangistau region.
Tamshaly canyon stretches for 3 kilometers from southwest to northeast, in the northeastern part it adjoins the Meretsay canyon, here are the remains of the Karagan fortress, not far from the Tamshaly grotto. The bulk of the Mangystau fortresses are shelters fortified on rocky promontories, as a rule, permanently uninhabited.
They were built for periods of any dangerous situations. The promontory ledge of the plateau with steep sides was partitioned off by a massive wall, reinforced with several semicircular towers. The walls were built from natural stone without mortar.
The height of the walls could reach three meters and were supplied from the inside with flights of stairs. Entrances were narrow. Archaeologically, refuge fortresses are divided into two types: caravan and nomad fortresses.
The first were erected on caravan paths at wells, where a small settlement arose; the second - settled in places of permanent residence of a large family. In both cases, the essence of fortresses was reduced to short-term protection of valuable goods or the main wealth of nomads - livestock from attacks by enemies or robbers and water sources.
The Karagan fortress blocks a large rocky promontory for 200 meters and is fortified with five towers. The wall is not high, only 1.5 meters, but in ancient times its inaccessibility was strengthened by a ditch and a rampart from the floor side.
It is likely that the fortress was erected in the late Middle Ages and covered a convenient descent from the plateau to the water source and the sea coast.
Geographic coordinates of the Karagan fortress: N44 ° 35'03.41 E50 ° 34'54.95 " 

Andrey Astafyev, Aktau town, Alexander Petrov.

Photos by
Alexander Petrov.