The small resort town of Balaklava, located near Sevastopol, has a long rich history and boasts architectural monuments from different periods. Since ancient times, its unique location has attracted settlers who could safely hide their ships in a bay that has a bizarre and winding shape.
First of all, tourists go to look at the medieval Genoese fortress Cembalo, which was once a powerful bastion and protected the entire stretch of the coast. Then they go on a boat trip along the bay or get by water transport to one of the surrounding beaches. The third point is visiting memorable places, among which are monuments, temples, military installations of the Soviet era and museums.
What to see and where to go in Balaklava?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
Balaklava or as it is often called - "Secret Bay" was formed as a result of a tectonic fault. It cuts deep into the coast for 1.5 km, expanding and narrowing in different places (the width of the narrowest passage is about 50 meters). Due to this shape, the bay is practically invisible from the Black Sea, which in the past was very convenient for ships hiding in the bay.
Ensemble of structures on the Fortress Hill, built during the time of the Republic of Genoa in the XIV-XVIII centuries. Previously, behind the ring of walls there was a whole city, reliably fortified and guarded by a garrison. In the second half of the 15th century, Cembalo was captured by the Turks, and in the 18th century military units of the Russian Empire were stationed on its territory. In subsequent years, the complex gradually fell into disrepair until only ruins remained of it.
A secret base during the Cold War, which was intended for the parking and repair of nuclear submarines, as well as for the storage of ammunition. In 1993, the facility was closed and in the next 10 years it was actually destroyed and looted, as its structures contained rare non-ferrous metals. In the 2000s, a museum dedicated to the history of Balaklava and milestones in the development of the submarine and surface fleets was created on the territory of the former base, with an exhibition of antique weapons.
Walking embankment of Balaklava, where there is a diving center, a yacht club, a cinema, restaurants, bars and berths for ships. From the shore you can see the Balaklava bay and the mountain with the ruins of the Chembalo fortress. Along the embankment there are houses of the late 19th - early 20th centuries - former private dachas and hotels. From here you can go on a boat trip around the bay.
Museum of the History of Balaklava
The museum building is located on the Nazukin embankment. Visitors are offered not only viewing the exposition with a guided tour, but also walking along the bay with access to the sea, tasting local dishes, as well as a street route that includes a visit to the Chembalo fortress. The permanent collection of the museum is dedicated to the history of Balaklava during the Crimean War. A visit to the institution is possible as part of an excursion group.
Monument to Lesya Ukrainka
Writer Lesya Ukrainka was in Balaklava twice - in her early youth with her parents and at a more mature age with her husband. During the last visit, the couple lived in the city for two months in a house on the Nazukin embankment. In 2004, a monument was erected in honor of the poetess on the central square. It is made in the form of a half-figure, mounted on a pedestal (initially, the sculptor planned to sculpt a bust, but in the process he became very carried away).
Monument to Kuprin
AI Kuprin lived in Balaklava in 1904 - 1906, where he was caught by the First Russian Revolution. The writer was so shocked by what was happening that he wrote an essay "Events in Sevastopol", published in a St. Petersburg newspaper. Because of this material, he was forced to leave Balaklava. A monument in his honor adorned the city embankment in 2009. The sculpture depicts a writer leaning against a fence and looking thoughtfully into the distance.
Southern and Northern forts
Defensive structures of the beginning of the 20th century, which were erected to protect the Sevastopol fortress from the south side. The fortifications are a system of ditches, roads, engineering networks and concrete structures carved into the rock, where it was possible to securely hide and store ammunition. It was also planned to install artillery pieces, but because of the October Revolution, work stopped.
barrel of death
On the territory of the Southern Fort there is a very strange object - an iron "barrel" suspended over an abyss. At one time, it played the role of an observation post and was equipped with optical instruments. In the 1960s, a legend spread that the Germans threw prisoners of war into the sea from this structure during the Great Patriotic War, so it began to be called the “barrel of death”.
A secret underground battery from the 1950s that was intended to destroy naval targets. After the collapse of the USSR, all structures containing non-ferrous metal were dismantled, and the facility itself was mothballed. It aroused interest only among those who like to wander through abandoned concrete labyrinths. In 2016, there was a message that the military was going to restore the complex, so its further fate is unknown.
19th gun battery
The construction of the battery began in 1914 under the tsar, but the work was completed in the Soviet period. It was equipped with powerful weapons that were supposed to hit enemy ships from a distance of 20 km, but in 1941 the battery could not protect Sevastopol from the German army. After 1991, the need for it disappeared. Today, only the concrete frame has been preserved from the object, since all the metal structures were taken out.
The aqueduct is part of the plumbing system of the mid-19th century. It was built in imitation of the ancient style of Inkerman stone and today looks like it was actually built by the ancient Romans. The water pipeline was not destined to exist for a long time - it was destroyed during the Crimean War. After the end of hostilities, it was decided not to restore it. The Chorgun aqueduct bridge is the best preserved part of the system.
Previously, limestone was mined in a quarry. After the rock reserves were exhausted, the pit was abandoned and gradually it filled with water. From the side, it looks like the crater of an extinct volcano with a lake at the bottom and stepped walls of red rock. You can go down the spiral road, but you need to move very carefully, as from time to time the unsteady slopes collapse.
Temple of the Twelve Apostles
Initially, the church was built by the Genoese in the middle of the XIV century, but this building has not reached us. What tourists can see today is the construction of 1794, reconstructed in 1875 after the Crimean War. Until the middle of the 20th century, the temple was used for its intended purpose, in the 1990s it was re-consecrated. The relics of St. Basil the Blessed and Sergius of Radonezh are kept inside. In architectural terms, the building is a cross-domed limestone structure, decorated with Doric columns.
An Orthodox monastery located near Cape Fiolent on the Black Sea coast. According to legend, it was founded in the 9th century by Greek navigators-settlers, who suffered a sudden storm off the coast of Crimea, but thanks to the prayers of St. George they managed to survive. The first written evidence of the existence of the monastery dates back to the 16th century. The monastery prospered both in the Middle Ages and during the time of the Crimean Khanate, but was seriously damaged in the Soviet era. The rediscovery took place in 1994.
Georgievskaya Rock and Jasper Beach
George rock is a small cliff in the sea, located at a distance of 140 meters from the coast. It was on this rock that St. George. At the end of the 19th century, a marble cross was installed on the stone, which was removed in Soviet times (a new one was installed in 1991). The rock is clearly visible from Yashmovy beach - one of the best areas for swimming in the Crimea. This place is distinguished by picturesque landscapes and clear water.
The beach is located next to Vasilyevskaya beam. Its territory is fenced on all sides by almost sheer cliffs 150 meters high. Vasili is considered one of the best sections of the coast in the vicinity of Sevastopol, intended for swimming. It has clear water and breathtaking views. For the convenience of tourists, some infrastructure has been organized - there are awnings and sun loungers.
Silver and Golden Beaches
Serebryany or Near Beach is a 15-minute drive from Balaklava by sea. If you get there on foot, then you need to overcome 4 km through mountainous terrain. You will have to swim 25-30 minutes to the Golden Beach or walk 6 km. Both parts of the coast are very picturesque, and swimming there is a real pleasure. To get to the beaches, you need to take a boat on the Nazukin embankment.
Today, Cape Fiolent is part of the city limits of Sevastopol, and once it was a place untouched by man, where one could find solitude. This area is considered one of the most beautiful in the Western Crimea, although the chaotic development slightly spoils the view and does not allow you to fully enjoy the restless sea surface and the charm of sheer cliffs that stretch for many kilometers on both sides.
Cape Aya is located on the territory of the landscape reserve of the same name, in which rare species of plants grow and animals listed in the Red Book live. The climate in this natural area is similar to the Mediterranean. The Ayazma tract stretches from the cape, at the top there is a giant funnel filled with multi-colored boulders, at the base there are small grottoes with lapis lazuli-colored water.