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Swallow’s Nest (Gaspra, near Yalta)
Swallow’s Nest was built in 1911-1912 to the design of the architect Sherwood. The structure resembles a miniature medieval castle perched on the very brink of the 40-m Aurora cliff on the Ai-Todor Cape. Elegant and graceful, it has become one of the symbols of the Crimea.
The romantic Swallow's Nest
The city is the home of a naval base, which is mutually used by the Russian Black Sea Fleet and the Ukrainian Navy. Numerous sights of this hero-city include the Defense of Sevastopol (1854-55) Panorama, the Storm of the Sapun Hill (May 7, 1944) Diorama, the monument to the scuttled ships, the famous Marine Boulevard, and others.
The monument to the scuttled ships
A former Soviet nuclear submarine base is located in the town of Balaklava (now incorporated in the municipal borders of Sevastopol). The base is open to public for guided tours around the canal system and the base facilities deep inside the hillside.
The rear entrance to the base
To the west of Sevastopol there are well-preserved ruins of the ancient Greek city of Chersonesos founded in the 5th century B.C. Chersonesos is a monument of world importance. In 1996 it was entered into the UNESCO World Heritage List.
An early Christian church in Chersonesos
Bakhchisarai is the former capital of the Crimean Khanate. Its main attraction is Hansarai, the only extent palace of the Crimean Khans, who ruled for almost 340 years, from 1443 to 1783. Currently it is a museum frequently visited by tourists from all over the world. The surviving monuments include the Falcon Tower, the Great Khan Mosque, and a covered fountain courtyard with the Golden Fountain and the Fountain of Tears.
On the edge of the town, among cliffs and canyons, you will find the active Holy Assumption Cave Monastery, founded by Greeks in the 8th century.
Chufut-Kaleh (near Bakhchisarai)
Chufut-Kaleh is the best preserved of the so-called cave towns in the Crimea, which supposedly appeared in the 6th century A.D. Its name is Crimean Tartar for the “Jewish Fortress”. Historically it was the center of the Karaim community, who were ethnic Turkic adherents of Karaite Judaism in Eastern Europe. There are stunning views of the surrounding area from the top of the hill on which Chufut-Kaleh is located.
A view from Chufut-Kaleh
The Sudak Fortress
The fortress was built by the Genoese on a massive seaside cliff in the 14th and the 15th centuries. It is located in close proximity to Sudak, a popular sea resort which boasts one of the best beaches on the peninsula. The Sudak fortress is the best preserved fortress of the period on the north Black Sea coast. There are other, smaller, fortresses built by the Genoese in the Crimea - in Feodosia (Kaffa) and Balaklava (Chembalo).
The Sudak fortress
Novy Svet (near Sudak)
The hamlet of Novy Svet is located 7 kms west of Sudak. The unique natural reserve of treelike juniper and Sudak pine, picturesque coves, beautiful beaches, wild cliffs and mysterious grottoes create an unforgettable picture of the area. Here, in 1878, Prince L. Golitzin established the first sparkling wine business in Russia. Currently the ‘Novy Svet’ winery produces 11 varieties of local champagne.
Karaul-Aba (close to Novy Svet)
Kara-Dag Reserve (between the village of Kurortnoye and Koktebel)
The Kara-Dag geological formation is the result of the eruption of a volcano, which was active some 150 million years ago. Volcanic rocks hardened into fantastic shapes and forms which produced the Jurassic-like landscape of this ‘Black Mountain’. Tours of this monument of nature, which is protected by the state, are organized by the local biological station.
Golden Gate in Kara-Dag
The Livadia Palace (Yalta)
The Great Livadia Palace is one of the most frequently visited attractions in the Crimea. This magnificent monument of architecture was built of white Crimean granite in the neo-Renaissance style in 1911. The Palace used to be the summer residence of the Russian Imperial family. The White Hall of the Palace will be of special interest for history lovers. Here, in February 1945, just before the end of the WWII, the leads of the USSR, the USA and Great Britain held the Yalta Peace Conference.
Massandra (near Yalta)
Massandra is a hamlet occupying the spot of an ancient Greek settlement. The famous Massandra winery was built by Prince Golitzin here in the late 19th century with the aim of supplying wines for the table of the Royal family at the Livadia Palace. The winery is still very famous for its distinctive full-flavor fortified and dessert wines made from Muscat, Tokay and Pinot Gris.
The Massandra Palace (near Yalta)
The Massandra Palace of Emperor Alexander III is one of the architectural wonders of the southern coast of the Crimea. It was designed by a group of French architects as a chateau in the Louis XIII style. During the Soviet period the palace was used as a holiday residence by high-ranking members of the Politburo. The Palace is located in upper Massandra, in a splendid park turning into forest.
Palace of Prince Vorontsov (Alupka)
The design of the palace was developed by Edward Blore, court architect of William IV and Queen Victoria. The palace was constructed from 1830 to 1848 to be used as a summer residence of the governor-general of the Novorossiysky Krai, prince Vorontsov. The landscape park around the palace is one of the finest in the Crimea.
All photos are the original work of
Jonathan Halcovage and Oleksandr Olesnevych