In the shape of a diamond this quite small peninsula lays on the northern coast of the Black Sea just off Ukraine. Like many other European peninsulas and islands, Crimea has seen its fair share of change. Between them the Romans, Greeks, Huns, Tatars, and Russians they have all fought for control of this sliver of land, and it still is being fought over today. Perhaps one of the reasons so many people want control of Crimea is because of its strategic position. However, it would not surprise if the real reason was because the Crimea is so beautiful, with magnificent towns and wonderful things to see. In this blog we take a look at some of the exciting places that the Crimea has to offer.
The Swallows Nest
Most people travelling to the Crimea try to take in Yalta, and not far away is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the whole of the Crimea. The Swallows Nest is precariously perched a hundred and thirty-foot up Aurora Cliff. Built around 1912 it is a magnificent picture perfect neo-gothic castle, that has seen many changes during its long life. It has been an ancestral home, a library, a restaurant and recently it has become a museum.
Royal palaces are always good fun to explore and the Livadia palace is no exception. This was the summer palace of Nicholas II who was the last ever Russian Emperor. Again, situated close to Yalta this palace has breathtaking architecture with influences from Arabia and Florence. Perhaps Livadia Palace is most famous for what happened in 1945, it was at the palace that the historic Yalta Conference was held by the Allied forces. It was no coincidence that the American president Teddy Roosevelt used Livadia as his residence.
The church of Christ’s Resurrection is located at Foros, it is a beautiful building and architecturally quite simple, but because of that simplicity it is most endearing. Built around the turn of the century in 1900, it dominates the Black Sea high up on a 400 meter stunningly beautiful red cliff. It was abandoned for long periods during the Soviet rule, but in 2002 it reopened as a church once again. It is a very popular wedding destination for locals and adventurous tourists.
One of the must-see attractions in the Crimea is Little Jerusalem, situated in the historic heart of Yevpatoria. As you would expect there is quite a religious theme happening here as well as cultural and historical representations of the former days of the Crimea. Gathered together in this small district is: an Armenian church, a Russian Orthodox church, several Crimean-Tatar mosques, a couple of synagogues, and a Karaim temple. During the summer months Little Jerusalem bursts into life with traditional fetes, fairs and festivals where visitors can immerse themselves in the diverse past cultures whilst sampling fine food and drink.
The Crimea is certainly a diamond, and not for one minute in the rough. It has so many things to endear it to any visitor, fantastic beaches and countryside, marvellous palaces and architectural masterpieces, wonderful food and drink, and last but not least, friendly and hospitable locals.