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Тамбовская область
The Blossom of the Great Russian Wall

The Great Zasechnaya line (Russian analog of the Great Wall of China) was built in the 1630s to repel the raids of Crimean Tatars and Nogays. Initially, military units were based here. Their job was to guard the area of Dikoye Polye. Later they began the construction of the regular fortification line in the form of a rampart with a picket fence on top. The rampart consisted of several areas of large and small earthfills connected with each other and of different height and width.            

One of the most well-preserved parts of the rampart is located in the western outskirts of Tambov. Tambovians call these fortifications The Tatar Rampart. Right underneath the earthfill there is the soil of virgin steppes while the flora of the ancient fortification gives an idea of the cover of the former steppes.     

The rampart is covered with forb, cereal and shrubby associations of plants. Here you will find feather grass, narrow-leaved bluegrass, sea wormwood, dragonhead, thyme, Russian almond, etc. Cord-rooted sedge is one of the rare species indicating that not all Tambov lands were covered with a glacier. Besides the cord-rooted sedge the rampart is also rich in bulbocodium, Bieberstein tulip, white hyacinth, spring Adonis and jurinea arachnoidea.       

Every spring this historic and natural attraction is transformed. The tops of the rampart got covered with primroses gradually turning green and blooming in bright colors in summer. Blooming melliferous plants produce sweet aroma that spreads for hundreds of meters attracting bees. It is an amazing place!     

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Tatar Rampart, Tambov district, Tambov region
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