Hailed as the mountain of mysteries, Mount Demerdzhi is one of the most valuable regions of the Peninsula. The local residents regard the mountain to be one of the most beautiful and mysterious mountains in all of Crimea and treasure it. The mystery behind the mountain comes from the colours that it changes through the year. The colour changing is likened to that of a gipsy or a chameleon. However, the Demerdzhi mountain was not always called as such. Earlier during the middle ages, the mountain was called Funa; another word for ‘fuming.’ Today, the literal meaning of ‘Demerdzhi’ is Blacksmith. The name and the mountain has a fascinating story/legend attached to it.
The Legend Behind Demerdzhi Mountain
According to the legend popularly circulated in Crimea, the lands of Crimea were attacked by a vast number of nomads at a time. The leader of the nomads was a blacksmith who was obsessed with his trade and skill and decided to build a massive smith atop the mountain of Demerdzhi, which was a fuming one at the time. The smith was intended to forge deadly weapons to help with the army of the nomads. Very soon, people from the villages that surrounded the mountain were brought in to help at the smith. The people toiled and worked very hard but were not treated very well, resulting in the death of many and hunger becoming a universal calamity.
During the time, there was also a girl by the name Maria who decided to put an end to the hunger and deaths. She was brave enough to approach the blacksmith directly and demand that he close down the smith that caused so much of hardship. The hard-hearted blacksmith killed Maria and the act was frowned upon by the locals, and as legend has it, the mountain itself opened up and swallowed the blacksmith into its abyss. Ever since then, Funa mountain was renamed as Demerdzhi Mountain. There is also a popular myth that the contours of Maria’s face have appeared atop the mountain. Many people who don’t know the legend claim that the visage that they see is that of Catherine the Great.
The Beauty of Demerdzhi to Behold
While stories and legends are interesting to hear and witness on the mountain, other aspects of the mountain can impress the visitor. The ruins of the Funa fortress is one that visitors can experience at the foot of the mountain. The most attractive and capturing Valley of Ghosts also lies at the foothills. The Valley of Ghosts gets its name from the beautiful stone sculptures that have been frozen through time here. These stones resemble fantastical creatures and mystery portraits. They also change in shape according to the way the light falls, and new images show up. The sight is one that visitors truly cherish the most and leaves them spellbound. The mysterious haze that envelops the entire mountain only accentuates the beauty and mystery of the figures in the Valley of Ghosts. Tourists who are willing to take a taxi from Alushta’s station to Luchistoye village would be happy they did, to witness Demerdzhi in all its beauty and mystery.