CrimeaThe Crimea (Krym in Ukrainian) is a wonderful part of Ukraine. Some scientists call it "the Earth in the miniature". Vast wild steppes and high cliffs, the orchards and dead saline soils, plantations of roses and snow in the mountains - one can find everything here. The history of this land is even more rich that its nature and the whole Crimea happens to be a unique historical-cultural preserve.

This peninsula was populated from time immemorial. Its earliest settlers - the Cimmerians - lived here in the 15th-7th cc B.C. The coastal and mountainous regions were inhabited by the Taurians after whom the peninsula was named Taurica. In the 4 c. B.C. the Crimea became the land of the Scythian kingdom. Here main civilisations of antiquity (Ancient Greek and Roman, Persian and Judaic) and of the Middle Ages (Byzantine, Moslem, Italian, Kyiv Rus and Armenian) met and came into contact with traditions of indigenous people.

And it is quite natural that the Crimea boasts many historical and architectural monuments: cave towns and monasteries in the mountains, remnants of the Greek colonies and Roman settlements in Sevastopol and Kerch, Livadia architectural ensemble with its Great Palace, the Vorontsov Palace in Alupka, the Swallow's Nest which became a symbol of the Crimea, etc. The Crimean landscapes attracted and inspired Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoi, Chekov, and Shalyapin. The tourists can visit many places connected with these famous men.

CrimeaThe nature-lovers will enjoy such unique places as: the Grand Crimean Canyon, the Uchan-Sou and Jur-Jur water falls, the "Ghosts" Valley and a stone "chaos" on the Demergi slope.
The Crimea is the largest ukrainian resort centre concentrating numerous climatic resorts such as Yalta, Alupka, Gurzuf, Livadia, Oreanda, Gaspra, Miskhor, Simeyiz, Foros and others. They are located amidst its Mediterranean green belt. In this corner of nature a human soul can get some rest from the vanity world troubles and accumulate new energy.
Since 1954 the Crimea is the Autonomous Republic of ukraine with the population about 2,6 mln and area of 27 thousand The capital - Simferopol, 400 000 population.


The Livadia State Palace-Museum

Livadia PalaceLivadia Palace was the former summer residence of the Russian Tsars. During the Soviet period it was a sanatorium for the collective farmers. As a museum it was opened for the public in 1974.

The museum complex consists of 60 buildings and comprises the Great Palace (1910-11, architect M.Krasnov); Exaltation of the Cross Church (1864, architect Monigetti); the Palace of Frederix (architect Bibber, 1916) and the park laid out by botanist Heckerle, gardeners Delilger and Pater in 1895-early 20th century. The Livadia Park is one of the oldest and best-laid landscape parks of Crimea. It covers the territory of more than 40 hectares.

The Great palace is constructed in the Renaissance style with Byzantine, Arab and Gothic elements. Most exquisite are the interiors revealing common artistic design of the decoration items which testifies to the high professional skills of the workers and talent of the architect.
The history of the palace is marked by an important event that occurred at the end of the W.W.II. The palace was chosen for the Yalta conference - a historic summit of three anti-Hitler coalition member states: the USSR, the USA and Great Britain. The meeting was held in the White ceremonial hall 4-11 February, 1945. The documents show the disclose of the proceedings of the conference.

The display "Romanovs in Livadia" tells about the Livadia palace as the residence of the last Russian emperor. It presents rare photos of the royal family and their relatives.

Yalta Chekhov Estate-Museum

Yalta Chekhov Estate-MuseumQuite a number of places in Yalta are connected with the name of famous Russian writer Anton Chekhov: a Chekhov district, a Chekhov Museum, a Chekhov Theatre, a monument to Chekhov, and a street, a library and a school named after him. Chekhov was very popular among local residents.

He came to Yalta for the first time in the summer of 1888 "just to satisfy his passion for travel". In 1898 on medical advice he decided to make Yalta his permanent home and he brought his mother and sister Maria with him. He bought a small plot of land and built a two-storeyed house with an attic which his contemporaries called "White Cottage". He lived here from 1899 to 1904.The dining room, the writer's bedroom and study have been preserved in their original state. One of the rooms holds a historical and literary exposition of Chekhov's life and work. During the five and a half years that Chekhov spent in Yalta the walls of this house could hear the voices of F.Chaliapin, S.Rachmaninov, K.Stanislavsky, A.Gorky, Kuprin and I.Levitan. It was in this house that Chekhov wrote his famous plays "The Three Sisters" and "The Cherry Orchard". Chekhov usually worked in his study at the little table near his bed.

His disease progressed. The last time he slept in this room was on April 30, 1904. He left the following day for Moscow for a medical consultation and never returned to Yalta. From Moscow he went to Badenweiler in Germany where he died on July 2, 1904.

Alupka. Vorontsov Palace And Park

Alupka. Vorontsov Palace And ParkThe palace and the park complex (1830-1846, total territory 40 hectares) is one of the most beautiful spots in ukraine. Ai-Petri - one of the peaks in the Crimean mountains looms over the green terraces of the park and the sea. The artificial fascinating landscapes of the park are in full harmony with the palace built for the governor-general of the Novorosiyskyi Krai (a Southern administrative unit in Russian Empire) M.Vorontsov in 1828-48. The palace was designed by architect E.Blore and represents synthesis of Late English Gothic style and Moorish motifs.

There are about 150 rooms in the palace decorated by English, French and Russians masters with marvellous statues of antique gods, canvases by Italian, French, English and Russian painters.






The Nikitskyi Botanical Gardens

Nikitskyi Botanical GardensThis oasis is located near the village of Nikita some 9 km from Yalta. It was founded in 1812 by the botanist Kh.Steven.

28 000 types and species of plants occupy an area of approximately 1000 ha. The collection of roses - one of the richest in the Crimea numbers more than 2000 varieties.

The Nikitskyi Botanical Gardens are charming in all times of the year.

The Museum Of Heroic Defence And Liberation Of Sevastopol

The Museum Of Heroic Defence And Liberation Of SevastopolThe Museum was founded in 1960 and its depository amounts to about 100 000 exhibits. Its five departments consist of: Panorama "The Sevastopol Defence, 1854-1855" (painted in 1905 by Franz Roubeau who was the famous battle-painter and founder of the Russian school of panorama painting); Diorama "The Attack of Sapun Hill, May 7, 1944"; The Malakhiv Kurgan Defence Tower; The Memorial-house of the Sevastopol Underground Movement; St.Volodymyr Cathedral - the burial place of the famous admirals M.Lazarev, V.Kornilov, P.Nakhimov, V.Istomin.

The National Reserve "Chersonesos Tauric"

The National Reserve "Chersonesos Tauric" The reserve covers the territory of the ancient Greek town of Chersonesos Tauric which emerged in the 5th c. B.C. on the Black Sea coast (located on the Chersonesos cape in the South - Western part of Sevastopol). This city-state with democratic self-government was an important political and cultural centre of the Black Sea ukrion.

The city was surrounded by powerful fortification system constructed by the Greeks and then rebuilt by the Romans. Up till to-day multiple ancient structures have survived including: Acropolis and an "agora" (place of public meetings), Hellenic theatre, Roman Citadel, medieval Christian temples, dwelling quarters, streets, pottery shops, fish salting shops, water wells, etc. For about 170 years the territory has been studied by the archaeologists. More than one third of the town has been excavated. Among the archaeological finds are the objects of exceptional value: the oath of the Chersonesos citizens, decrees, wall paintings, slate icons from the Christian churches, inscriptions, numerous house utensils.

The Reserve also includes Genoese "Cembalo Fortress" in Balaklava and the ruins of "Kalamyta Fortress" (stronghold) that was founded by the Byzantines in the 5th - 6th cc. In the 15th c. a new fortress was built on the site of the old one. It was destroyed by the Genoeses in 1433 and captured by the Turks in 1475 who renamed it Inkerman.


EvpatoriyaThe city is located on the shores of Kalamyta Bay, 78 km from Simferopol, population 90 000. It is one of the most famous health resorts of the Crimea - more than 70 therapeutic establishments are located here.

During the period of Greek colonisation in 6th -5th cc. B.C. the ancient city of Kyrkynytyda was founded here. In the 14th - 15th cc it was one of the biggest slave markets. The Turks ruled here in the 15th c. Among the places of interest the tourists can see the Ethnographic Museum (11 Sverdlov St., tel. 380(6569) 3-1280) , Ensemble of Karaim Kenasses (temples) of 19th c. and Dzuma-Dzami mosque (1552-1564).

The Bakhchisarai State Historical And Cultural Reserve

In the 15th c. Bakchisarai became the capital of the Crimean Khanate and got the features of a rich oriental town.

khans-palaceThe Khan palace is a remarkable ensemble including the main buildings, Sokolyna Tower (Falcon Tower), a garden with a harem building, the Khan's mosque (1740), a cemetery, rotunda, tombs (dyurbe) - all of them are the most prevalent architectural monuments in the Crimea, covering the area of 4 hectares. All these masterpieces were created by the Italian, Iranian, Turkish, ukrainian and Russian masters.

The Museum of Archaeology and The Literature and Art museum and Cave Towns are included into the Reserve.

The cave towns Mangup-Kale (6th -15th cc.) and Chufut-Kale (5th -19th cc), were built in the rocky Crimean Mountains not far from Bakhchysarai. The archaeologists and nature-lovers after covering rather hard but unforgettable path to these towns will be really delighted with the unique stone structures over the precipices. What panoramic views of this fantastic land! Karaim Kenasses (14th-18th cc), Assumption Cave Monastery (7th-19th cc) where the monks live in the cells sticking to the cliffs, the fortification systems, underground premises impress the visitors with their asceticism and eternal beauty.

Sudak. Genoese Fortress

Sudak. Genoese Fortress The city of Sudak (15000 population, 125 km from Yalta) was founded in the 3rd c. A.D. It was an important commercial centre and a part of the Great Silk Road that connected the West with the East. A big fortress was built on the rocky unassailable cliff for the Venetian consuls in 14th - 15th c.c. (150m high, total territory of 29,5 ha). The fortress is towering over the city and the sea. Its military and civil buildings, towers and underground structures impress the visitors with the high construction technique and fine forms. From the top of the fortress-mountain the view is really fantastic.


Feodosiya The city is located on the shores of Feodosiya Bay (160 km from Yalta, a railroad terminal, the population over 70 000). It is one of the oldest cities not only of ukraine but of Europe. It was founded in the 6th c B.C. as a sea-port fortress and a trade centre on the Black sea. The city was destroyed by the Huns in the 4th c. and by the Allans in the 5th - 6th cc. In the medieval period it was known as a Turkish town-fortress Kafa and was the main slave market in this area. At the end of the 19th c. Feodosiya became the resort place due to its curing spas and healthy climate.

To-day the tourists can visit the remnants of the Genoese fortress with one of the oldest Armenian churches (1348) and a number of towers dating back to the 14th c. In the city they can admire the works of the famous marine-painter I. Aivasovsky in his museum, sea his grave near the Armenian church of Archangels Michael and Gabriel (1408) and visit one of the richest Ethnographic Museum with a good archaeological exposition.


KerchThe city is situated on the shores of Kerchenska Strait in the far East of the Crimean peninsula. To-day it is an important rail-road junction and the sea-port. Population is over 150 000.

The unique geographical location (the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov meet here) explains considerably the history of this ancient city. On this site in the 6th c. B.C. the Greeks founded the city of Panticapaeum which later became the capital of the Bosporus Kingdom. It ceased to exist after the invasion of the Huns in the 5th c.

In the 8th c it was known in the chronicles like "Krch" and was part of the Slavic principality of Tmutorokan. For 150 years under the name of Cerccio it was one of the Genoese colonies. Among the highlights of the city-tour: the territory of the antique town of Panticapeum, Melec-Chesmenskyi Kurgan (grave mound) of the 4th c B.C. and the Tsarskyi Kurgan (Tsar's grave mound) of the 4th c. B.C., the Church of St.Joan the Baptist dating back to the 8th c. Of special interest is the Turkish fortress of Eni-Kale, 1703. The archaeologists will be really impressed by the lapidary collection with almost 2000 items dating from the 3d millennium B.C. to the 18th c.A.D.