Sevastopol, Balaclava, Inkerman
Sevastopol has so much to over the tourist that one trip is not enough to appreciate and understand it. It is the city of military glory (the city's name translated from Greek means “the Majestic city”, or “the city of Glory”), a place of fishermen and shipbuilders, where despite the presence of modern technology the traditional features of antiquity can still be seen. On top of all this, it is also an excellent seaside resort.
The city's position at the centre of the Black Sea has attracted the strategic interests of many empires, including those of the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, British, and Russian.
Today it is a very popular place for excursions, from both locals and foreigners alike. People as diverse as artists and judges come here for their recreation. For many the best spots are Capes Fiolent, Aya, the Laspi and Batiliman bays.
Sevastopol heads the list of all Crimean cities for the greatest number of foreign tourists, who come first and foremost from England, France, and Italy, often to visit the heroic battlefields of the Crimean War of 1854 - 56.
The centre of Sevastopol is upon a high hill, surrounded by three well laid out streets and three squares. Twice the city has undergone terrible sieges, and was completely destroyed. White-stone buildings, whose impressive reflections can be seen in the blue bays, were built after World War II in the classical style. Monuments and exotic plants are everywhere. One of the few very old buildings is the Cathedral of St Vladimir (built in 1888), it houses the burial-vault of Russian admirals, and other heroes of Sevastopol's defence during the Crimean war of 1854-1855.
Particularly attractive is Primorski Boulevard , on which lies a famous monument to scuttled ships, Grafskaya Pier, and Admiral Nakhimov Square, on which there is another majestic monument. Always crowded is the Sevastopol aquarium run by the Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas (phone: 54-38-92). In the city centre there is also the Arts Museum and a museum detailing the History of the Black Sea Fleet .
You can still see surviving remnants of the ancient city of Chersones that existed on the same site as Sevastopol for about 2 thousand years (from the end of the 5th century BC until the first half of the 15th century AD). Still surviving are parts of its mighty fortress walls and tower, the city gate, fragments of an ancient theatre, plus some streets, yards, wells, and public buildings. Medieval buildings that can be seen include Zenon's tower, a cruciform temple with a mosaic floor, basilicas, a baptism room, and many others. The "Chersonesus of Tauris” Museum (phone: 54-31-25) still carries out archaeological digs, but is also involved in numerous cultural events.
East of the Southern Bay is the port section of Sevastopol. Famous here is the Malakhov Mound (a Museum, phone: 36-67-51), with 16 monuments and memorial signs. Here the battlements and massive naval guns of the Crimean War (1854-56) can be seen, the guns having been taken from the ships and mounted here during Sevastopol's defence in 1941.
Istoricheski Boulevard has numerous monuments to the heroes of the First Defense, whilst guns and fortifications are illustrated by the Art Panorama, created in 1905 in Munich by France Roubeau and the students of the Bavaria Arts Academy. The huge canvas shows the Russian forces repelling an attack by British and French troops mounted on June 6th 1856.
In the Gagarin district, through which runs the road to Balaclava, you can see a model of another epic battle - Mount Sapun . The diorama “ Storm of Mount Sapun on May 7, 1944 ” (phone: 54-45-93) illustrate the famous occasion leading to the liberation of Crimea from the Germans. In front of the museum where the diorama is housed, there are a collection of field and anti-aircraft guns, armoured vehicles, “ Katyusha ” rockets, plus equipment used by the ordinary infantry. There are also some captured enemy weapons.
In the ancient town of Balaclava are the remains of a fine Genoa fortress, though it was not the first building at this location, as people have lived at this site for thousands of years before it was built. Homer may even have referred to them in his “ Odyssey ” , where they are called the Lestrigons. There are also numerous legends about immeasurable treasures held in an English frigate called “ Prince ” , which sank in 1854 during the Crimean war. Many members of the aristocratic families of Great Britain perished here during the famous battle of Balaclava
In the Soviet times the town contained a rather unique factory used to repair submarines. It was located inside a rocky cliff, intended to provide defence even from a nuclear attack.
Cape Fiolent is one of the most beautiful places in Sevastopol. Here you can see fragments of fantastic rocks, tiny beaches, bays and grottoes with crystal clear water. Nearby is the ancient monastery of St George founded in 891.
The small town of Inkerman is just outside Sevastopol to the north west. It also has rich historical monuments. Fortress Calamita was constructed by the Byzantines during the fourth century on the approaches to the then, city of Chersonese. In the 15th century it belonged to the Crimean prince Theodoro, but was eventually seized by the Turks. After the Crimea became part of Russia in 1783, it lost its defensive value.
The monastery of St Clement was founded between the th and 9th centuries. It was consecrated in the name of the sacred martyr St Clement, who was one of the first Bishops of Rome, and was executed here. Also here is one of the largest cave temples in the Crimea.
The British war memorial is located on Katkart`s hill, named in honour of an English lieutenant general who was killed during the battle of Inkerman in 1854. Many of the British soldiers who died during the Crimean war are buried here.
Published on: 04/09/2005
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