From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

Let's go on a trip to the favorite vacation spots of artists and poets

August 1, 2022

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

This part of the peninsula includes the regions of Feodosia and Sudak, the coast of the Meganom peninsula and the Karadag mountain range, indented by bays, the legendary Koktebel, capes Kiik-Atlam and Ilya, as well as Stary Krym with its surroundings.

If the brilliant South Coast has traditionally been a place of fashionable, aristocratic recreation, the South-Eastern Crimea with its romantic landscapes was chosen by artists and poets, and above all Maximilian Voloshin, who called this region Cimmeria.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

Feodosia

Feodosia is located on the coast of the Feodosia Gulf and along the slopes of the Tepe-Oba ridge, covering the city from the southwest. The historical center is located in the southern part of the city on Quarantine Hill, to which the street leads. Gorky.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea< /p>

The most famous museums — Picture Gallery. Aivazovsky, Alexander Grin House-Museumand the Museum of Local Lore – located on Galereinaya Street.

Feodosiya (“Given by God”) – the only Crimean city that has retained its ancient name. It was founded in the 6th century BC. e. Greeks from the Asia Minor city of Miletus on the site of an already existing village. In the 3rd century, the Alans who captured the city called it Ardabda – “the city of the seven gods”.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

    Genoese fortress of Kafa

    Church of St. John the Evangelist

    Armenian Church of the Archangels Gabriel and Michael

    Church of St. Sergius

    Mufti-Jami Mosque

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    Milos Cottages

    Stamboli Cottage

    A. Grin Literary and Memorial Museum 

    Picture Gallery. I.K. Aivazovsky

In the 4th century the city was destroyed by the Huns. The Mongols, having conquered the Crimea in the 13th century, allowed the Genoese to establish a trading colony of Kafa here, which became the center of all Genoese possessions. The population of Kafa was diverse: Greeks, Armenians, Karaites, Jews, Bulgarians.

In 1475, the Turks occupied the city, renamed it Keff and placed the residence of the Sultan's governor in the Crimea here. In 1783, the city, like the whole of Crimea, became part of the Russian Empire.

The Genoese fortress of Kafa(1) (1340–1352) is on Quarantine Hill. Only the Genoese lived in the citadel itself, there was a consular castle and the most important institutions. Slaves were kept behind the fortress walls in a forty-day quarantine (Kafa was one of the most important centers of the slave trade).

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

The citadel was surrounded by a wall with 12 towers, of which only fragments have survived (they can only be viewed from the outside, since the territory of the fortress is closed). Dock and Nameless towers rise at the top of the hill, and the towers of Crisco and Clement IV stand at its foot. A Genoese bridge has been preserved to the southwest of the fortress.

Other remains of the fortifications are a tower and a moat (XVI century) at the intersection of Aivazovsky and Novo-Karantinnaya streets and the Round Tower, or Giovanni di Scaffa Tower (1342), at the intersection of st. Krupskaya and Bolshevik. The Tower of St. Constantine (1382, rebuilt in 1443) stands in the Seaside Park, but in the time of the Genoese, the sea lapped right at its foot. Later, the Turks added a bastion to the tower, where discos are now held.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide on the southeastern coast of Crimea

Several Armenian temples stand at the base of the citadel. The Church of St. John the Evangelist (2) was supposedly built in the 14th-15th centuries. It is adjoined by the remains of an even more ancient temple and a patio with dilapidated columns.

Decorative elements —an ornament and a cross —are preserved only above the door of the patio. George's Church was built in the 14th century and has been used as an archive since the 19th century. This building is rectangular in plan with a semicircular ceiling.

The walls of the church are made of buta (rough stone), in some places lined with hewn limestone, the gable roof is covered with tiles.

Political prisoner Grinevsky

The first time Alexander Stepanovich Grinevsky came to Feodosia in 1905 in as a political prisoner: he was arrested in Sevastopol for revolutionary propaganda among the sailors and soldiers of the fortress artillery. Grinevsky tried to escape from prison, but failed – the rope ladder broke.

He again came to Feodosia in 1924 and lived here until November 1928: first at house number 10 on the street. Gallery, then in the house number 39 on the street. Kuibyshev. It was here that, under the pseudonym Alexander Green, he created Wave Runner, The Golden Chain, Jesse and Morgiana, Road to Nowhere, and began The Autobiographical Tale.

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The Church of John the Baptist (XIII-XIV centuries) is considered one of the oldest temples in Crimea. The building, square in plan, is crowned with a dome on an octagonal drum with loophole windows. Fragments of frescoes that are attributed to Theophanes the Greek have been preserved.

With the arrival of the Turks in Feodosia, the church was abandoned and only in 1875 it was restored and re-consecrated in the name of the Iberian Icon of the Mother of God. In the 1990s, the temple was restored and transferred to the Orthodox Church. At the intersection of st. Marine and Aivazovsky preserved medieval fountains.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

Two more old Armenian temples are located on the street. Timiryazev. Armenian Church of Archangels Gabriel and Michael(3) (1408) with a hexagonal carved belfry, the architecture resembles the buildings in Ptghni, near Yerevan. And in the Temple of St. Sergius (4) (Surb-Sarkiz, XIV-XV centuries, rebuilt in 1888), built of limestone blocks and marble khachkars (carved crosses), baptized, crowned, and then and the funeral of the artist I. K. Aivazovsky.

Not far from the temple is his grave. The following words are carved on the marble monument in Armenian and Russian: “Born as a mortal, he left behind an immortal memory.”

The current Mufti-Jami Mosque(5) (1623–1637, at the end of the 18th – beginning of the 20th century the Catholic Church of the Assumption) is open for inspection. Sometimes tourists are allowed to climb the minaret.

The oldest church in Feodosia is Vvedenskaya (VII-IX centuries). In Soviet times, it housed a gym. Now the temple is functioning.

In the coastal strip on Lenin Avenue, there are architecturally interesting buildings of former dachas. The estates “Milos” (1911) and “Joy” (1914, N.P. Krasnov) belonged to representatives of the famous Karaite family of Krymov.

The richly decorated building of the dacha “Otrada”, made in the Spanish-Moorish style, has a second name – “Victoria”. The neoclassical building dacha “Milos” (6) is interesting with a terrace with caryatid columns and facade decoration in the style of ancient Greek architecture. The manor is decorated with copies of ancient statues, including the Venus de Milo, which gave the building its name.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

The Stamboli Dacha (7) (1914) was supposedly built according to the project of Otto Wagner, an Austrian architect, a representative of the Viennese Art Nouveau.

A. Grin Literary and Memorial Museum(8) & nbsp; – the main literary attraction of Feodosia. The facade of the house is designed in the form of a ship, and the rooms of the museum are stylized as cabins. Here are collected the works of the writer, published in different languages, as well as personal belongings, photographs and manuscripts of the creator of the romantic love story “Scarlet Sails”.

Art Gallery. I.K. Aivazovsky (9) is located in a house built according to the project of the artist himself. The gallery is divided into halls, the entrance to each of them is paid separately.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

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From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

The most important marine painter

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (1817–1900) was born into the family of an impoverished Armenian merchant, but under the patronage of the mayor Kaznacheev, who noticed the talent of the young man, he entered the Simferopol gymnasium, and then the Academy of Arts, from which he graduated with a gold medal.

After an internship in Italy, he returned to Russia (1844) as an already famous artist.

Aivazovsky painted more than 6,000 paintings, and, as he himself admitted, he worked very little from nature – he made a sketch, and the rest of the landscape “thought out » in the workshop:

“The movements of the elements are elusive for a brush: writing lightning, a gust of wind, a splash of water is unthinkable from nature … They are written in my memory as if with some kind of sympathetic ink, which shows through very clearly from time or a warm ray of inspiration.”

< p>Aivazovsky did a lot for Feodosia: he gave the city, where there was always a lack of drinking water, a source on his estate, with the participation of Aivazovsky, a water supply system, a commercial port, a railway, an archaeological museum and a gymnasium were built.

Feodosia Museum of Local Lore – the oldest (founded in 1811) museum of local lore of Crimea. The initiator of its creation was the mayor, historian and writer S.M. Bronevsky.

The first building has not been preserved, the museum is housed in an old mansion of the 19th century. At the entrance there are antique marble lions (V century BC), raised from the bottom of the sea in the Kerch Strait. Nearby is a monument to Aivazovsky.

Koktebel

Koktebel is an urban-type settlement located on the shores of the Koktebel Bay. In the past, it was a place of solitude for writers and a center for gliding, now it is one of the most popular resorts in Crimea.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

People come here for in order to feel the spirit of the Crimean Silver Age, try the local cognac, admire the bizarre landscapes from the tops of Karadag or take a sea excursion to the Golden Gate.

And more recently, Koktebel has also been a large concert venue: the Jazz Koktebel festival has been held here for several years.

There is still no consensus about the origin of the name of the village: the poetic version claims that in Crimean In Tatar, this word means “Land of the Blue Hills”, however, there is an opinion that “Koktebel” is the name of one of the Kypchak (Polovtsian) clans that once roamed the steppes of the South-Eastern Crimea.

In the Middle Ages, there was a large seaport on the site of Koktebel, and at the end of the 19th century, the famous St. village a good road, break vineyards and build cottages. The professor failed to fully implement this plan, but Junge's children already began to sell Koktebel lands to summer residents, fascinated by the wild beauty of the region.

So the main Black Sea resort of the Russian intelligentsia was founded. Among those who bought the plot from Junge was Elena Voloshina, the mother of Maximilian Voloshin, the poet and later the main popularizer of Koktebel.

called Planersky. Now in the village you can meet not only writers and athletes – for almost the entire season (from May to September) Koktebel turns into a bustling city.

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The constant wind on the Uzun-Syrte mountain creates updrafts: this is an excellent place for glider and paragliding flights

The M.A. Voloshin

A walk around Koktebel will not take much time and will be entirely associated with the name of the most famous inhabitant of these places – Maximilian Voloshin. His house-museum is located right on the embankment, in the very center of Koktebel life.

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From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

Before the revolution in In this house, the poet arranged a semblance of literary communes: he received a variety of people, including famous writers and artists.

During the Civil War, Voloshin hid here either whites or reds, and under Soviet rule, in order to preserve the estate, the poet created a rest home for the creative intelligentsia in it. After Voloshin's death, the house passed to the Union of Writers.

During the German occupation, the building was saved by the poet's widow Marya Stepanovna. She did not let the Nazis into Voloshin's workshop and forced them to climb the turret, where they set up an observation post, using a ladder.

Now in the museum you can see the preserved workshop, memorial rooms with restored interiors, photographs, letters, watercolors with views of the surroundings of Koktebel, personal belongings and Voloshin's library.

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If you continue from the poet’s house along the embankment towards Feodosia and go uphill behind the nudist beach along the Voloshin trail, you can climb Mount Kuchuk-Yenisharwhere the poet's grave is located. It is not customary to bring flowers to the poet's grave. It has become a tradition to lay out the tombstone with Koktebel pebbles taken from the embankment, which the poet loved more than flowers.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel : the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

An excellent view opens up from the top, which immediately makes it clear where the fantastic “Martian” landscapes in Voloshin's watercolors come from. It is generally accepted that on Mount Kok-Kaya —a coastal spur of Karadag on the other side of the bay —Voloshin's profile can be discerned.

In the north of the village there is the Uzun-Syrt ridge(mountain Klementieva) & nbsp; – the cradle of Russian aeronautics. Aivazovsky's grandson Konstantin Artseulov decided in 1916 to establish the Higher Gliding Flight School here. In 1923, the first All-Union glider tests took place at Uzun-Syrt. From that time until 1935, they were held annually.

Until now, glider pilots from all over the former Soviet Union come to Mount Klementyev. There is also the Museum of the History of Russian Gliding, dedicated to Mount Klementyev, its discoverer, the origin and development of gliding, and modern aeronautics.

To the west of Koktebel is the main attraction of these places – the extinct volcano Karadag, which inspired generations of writers and artists. In order to preserve the unique flora and fauna of this area, a natural reserve has been created here, which can be viewed as part of an excursion.

The best option  is to first view the mountain range from the sea, and then along a special route, the “ecological path”, return to Koktebel. To do this, you will need to hire a small boat to the Biostation, which is located near the village of Kurortnoye to the east of Karadag.

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Find out if the boat will pass through the Golden Gate rock. Two hundred years ago, Pushkin, on the way from Feodosia to Gurzuf, failed to do this – he only admired the rock from the side and even sketched it. For a modern tourist, swimming in the arch of the Golden Gate and throwing a coin at the rock is an important tradition.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

In the Kurortny you can go to the beach, visit the dolphinarium, the aquarium and the Museum of Nature. The Karadag dolphinarium, unlike the Koktebel one, was created not to attract tourists, but to explore the possibilities of military use of dolphins.

However, now fur seals and bottlenose dolphins from the dolphinarium are performing a completely harmless circus program: they jump over rings, do somersaults, dance and even draw.

A few kilometers east of Kurortny, towards Sudak, is the famous Fox Bay . You can also get here by minibus from Koktebel to the Biostation, then on foot.

Lisya Bay

This is one of the most famous “wild” places of rest in the Crimea. Bad weather rarely worries those who set up tents on the beach: the Echki-Dag mountain range reliably protects the bay from rain. – Feodosia of the village of Shchebetovka.

To the east of Lisya, the secluded bays of the Meganom peninsula deserve attention, and in Lisya itself – if, of course, you can find a place for a tent, – it is quite possible to stay for a few days for the sake of clean sea ​​and relative distance from coastal discos.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

Walks in the east direction from Koktebel follow the route of Maximilian Voloshin. The poet took this path twice a week – from home to the Feodosia gymnasium and back. It is not necessary to repeat it in its entirety: you can only walk to the village of Ordzhonikidze. Moreover, part of the route will have to go over boulders or knee-deep in water.

The main sights on our way – Cape Chameleon, changing color depending on the lighting, Quiet Bay and Cape Lagerny, which closes it.

Behind Lagerny there is Provato Bay and the village of Ordzhonikidze, from which you can take a minibus to Feodosia and from there return to Koktebel. Along the way, there will be tents, nudists and small bays where you can always stop, relax and swim. southeastern coast of Crimea. First of all, this is a resort. Here is the longest swimming season in the Crimea, and the number of cloudy days in the year is the smallest.

Healing Sudak air, saturated with the aromas of steppe herbs and juniper, is indicated for diseases of the respiratory system and the nervous system. Absolutely healthy holidaymakers will also find something to do here. After all, the second specialization of Sudak is the production of vintage and champagne wines.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide along the southeastern coast of Crimea

The history of Sudak begins in the II millennium BC. – Bronze Age sites found in the vicinity of the city belong to this time. The city itself is believed to have been founded by the Alans, Iranian-speaking nomads who came to Crimea in the 3rd century. In the 6th century, the city was owned by the Byzantines, who built the first fortress walls here. Subsequently, the city was alternately occupied by the Khazars, Tatars, Genoese and Turks.

Russian troops entered Sudak in 1771. Since that time, active exploration and development of the region began. By order of Prince Potemkin, vineyards began to be planted in the vicinity of Sudak, fruit trees were planted, and in 1804 the first state school of viticulture and winemaking in Russia was organized here.

However, Sudak subsequently fell into decay and restored its significance as a resort and a wine-growing town only in Soviet times.

The Genoese fortress of Sudak

The well-preserved Genoese fortress of Sudak is not only the main attraction of the city, but also one of the symbols of the Crimean coast. Inspection of the fortress should start from the Main Gate and move clockwise.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide on the southeastern coast of Crimea

The main gate is between two towers – Bernabò di Franchi di Pagano (1414) and Jacobo Torsello (1385). Latin inscriptions on the slabs built into the fortress walls indicate the dates of the construction of the towers and the names of the ruling consuls. To the right of the road, opposite the tower of Pasquale Giudice (1392), there are the remains of a water storage.

The only Round Tower in the fortress, possibly of Byzantine origin.

Two ancient cannons stand in front of the ruins of the barracks of the Kirillovsky regiment, built by order of Potemkin (the ruins of the barracks are also preserved in the eastern part of the fortress). The tower of Luchini de Flisco Lavani (1409) is decorated with eight coats of arms.

The next tower of Corrado Chikalo (1404) had a plate with the coat of arms of Genoa and eagles on the sides. Now it is stored in the Odessa Archaeological Museum. Next comes the Nameless Tower.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

Mosque, in which houses a small museum, was built in the 13th century. After destruction and reconstruction, it housed a Catholic church, then a mosque again, then an Orthodox military church and a German church.

In addition to living quarters, the fortress had a Consular Castle, a weapons warehouse and a water storage. In the eastern corner of the battle tower, in place of a closed window, there was a secret door that led to a path carved into the rock.

From the Consular Tower to the southwest, a wall stretches to the southwest, to which the Georgievskaya Tower adjoins. Here is the Museum of Medieval Instruments of Torture. The image of George the Victorious, after which the tower is named, has not been preserved. The Maiden's Tower rises on top of the Fortress Mountain.

To the right of the Main Entrance are the tower of Gvarko Rumbaldo, or Baldo (two walls remained from it; three shields with coats of arms are carved on the slab), and the tower of Giovanni Marione (on the north wall – a plate with three coats of arms depicting a lion, a cross, a jagged field) .

Outside the fortress, next to the Port Tower, stands the medieval church of the Twelve Apostles. The Byzantine temple, located on this site, was destroyed more than once, later belonged to the Armenian church and therefore incorporated some features of Transcaucasian architecture (faceted apse). In the past, the walls were decorated with frescoes depicting the Last Supper, but now the outlines of the figures are almost indistinguishable.

Living history

A lot of fans of role-playing games and historical reconstruction gather annually in the Genoese fortress of Sudak. Every summer, the International Historical Fencing Tournament -“Genoese Helmet” (July-August) is held here, during which the guests of Sudak witness a big staged battle.

As part of another festival – “Knight's Castle” (every weekend in August) you can admire the warriors of the past: Slavs, Cumans, Crusaders, Scots, etc.

Not far from the fortress is the Evangelical Lutheran Church (1887) , built by German colonists who settled near Sudak under Catherine II.

In Soviet times, there was a club and a cinema in the church, and now it is a branch of the Sudak Fortress Museum. Christian Baptist services are also held here. The inhabitants of the German colony were deported from the Crimea at the very beginning of the Great Patriotic War – only the remains of the old cemetery next to the church remind of them.

The Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God was built in 1819 in the style of Russian classicism. It is considered the earliest monument of Crimean architecture after the annexation of the peninsula to Russia.

In 1912, the temple was restored at the donation of Nicholas II. After the revolution, the House of Pioneers was located here, in the 1980s – a workshop for the repair of radio equipment.

On the territory of the Sudak winery there is a Wine Museum, which contains exhibits on the history of winemaking in Sudak. You can also find out the schedule of tasting sessions here.

You can start exploring the surroundings of Sudak with a walk or horseback ride to Mount Ai-George. On its western slope was the ancient monastery of St. George (not preserved), which gave the name to the mountain.

The Ai-George ridge ends in the sea with Cape Alchak, to which excursions from Sudak are organized. From the side of the city, a fee is charged for entering the equipped trail.

On the other side of the cape is the French Bay, in the eastern part of which you can try your luck in the extraction of transparent quartz – “rock crystal” – from the limestone blocks scattered here.

Between Alchak and Meganom is the Kapselskaya Valley, which Griboyedov, passing by these places, found me sad and bleak. During the 1980s, a mussel farm operated here, and now grapes are grown here.

Not far from Sudak, in the village of Dachnoe, there is the Tatar mosque Aji-Bei. It was built at the end of the 18th century and operated until the 1930s. Later, a club and a hostel were arranged in it. Now the building of the mosque has been partially rebuilt, but prayers are again made in it.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide on the southeastern coast of Crimea

On Meganom

The Meganom peninsula is one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in Crimea for followers of new age and other esoteric movements.

Esotericists believe that the clay hills, picturesque capes and secluded bays of the peninsula are so preserved the original purity, which is the best suited for the expansion and transformation of consciousness.

In addition to yogis, several dozen species of rare birds live on Meganom, including the black kite, yellow heron, peregrine falcon, crested cormorant and others.

New World

New World  the most picturesque places on the peninsula. Bizarrely shaped rocky massifs formed by ancient coral reefs protect the village from cold winds from three sides and protrude into the sea, forming cozy bays.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

The beauty of the Novy Svet coast appreciated among others and Emperor Nicholas II. The beach in the bay, where he deigned to swim, has since been called Tsarsky.

New World was founded and has always functioned as a wine-growing village. You can form an opinion about local winemaking by visiting the Museum of the History of Winemaking with a tasting room and the Novy Svet sparkling wine factory itself.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

The Golitsyn trail, almost 5.5 km long, starts from Zelenaya Bay and stretches along the foot of Mount Koba-Kaya to Chaliapin's grotto, further along Blue Bay leads to Cape Kapchik, and from there to Golubaya Bay and to Cape Karaul-Oba.

In the natural grotto of Chaliapin (depth 25 m) in the Middle Ages there was a monastery, and now there are wine cellars for storing wine in bottles near two walls. The grotto has excellent acoustics, there is a stage with a platform and a semicircular niche, but no one performs on it.

The through grotto on Cape Kapchik separates the Golubaya and Blue (or Robber) bays (according to local legend, goods were hidden in it smugglers).

To the top of Mount Karaul-Oba from the Golubaya Bay through the narrow gorge of Adam's bed leads a staircase carved into the rock, pierced, as is commonly believed, with Taurus and only renewed by Golitsyn. From the top of the mountain there is a beautiful view of the entire coast from Meganom to Ayu-Dag.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

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From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

Prince Lev wine

Prince Lev Sergeevich Golitsyn (1845 –1915) studied winemaking in France, and in 1878 bought an estate in the New World. Golitsyn grew up to 500 varieties of grapes here and soon established the first Russian production of high quality sparkling wines. It was believed that they were not inferior to the best French samples.

In 1896, at the request of the court, Golitsyn champagne was served during a gala dinner in Moscow on the occasion of the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II.

After receiving the name “Coronation”, Golitsyn champagne was awarded the highest award – the Grand Prix Cup.

Novosvet cellars were also famous for their unique (it was believed that the best in the world) collection of old wines (more than 14,000 bottles), among which were samples of the 18th and even 17th centuries.

In 1912, the prince, already seriously ill and in a difficult financial situation, bequeathed to the treasury a part of the estate, a factory, cellars and a collection of wines.

Now the Golitsyn factory produces 17 brands of sparkling wines, many of which have also received high awards . A visit to the plant is possible as part of excursions.

Stary Krym

Stary Krym is located far from the coast – there is no sea here, but there are no round-the-clock beach discos and crowds of tourists.

People go to Stary Krym to take a breath after the noisy resort everyday life – to look at the ancient Muslim architecture, breathe in the mountain forest air, try local honey. Acquaintance with the Crimean cuisine is also better to start here.

The emergence of the Old Crimea dates back to the 13th century, when the peninsula was conquered by the Mongol-Tatars. After the establishment of Horde power, the city of Kyrym was founded, which became the center of the Crimean ulus and the residence of the emir (khan's governor). During its heyday, the city was decorated with buildings, palaces, baths, mosques, fountains.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

After the collapse of the Golden Hordes and the formation of an independent Crimean Khanate, the residence of the Khan was moved first to Chufut-Kale, and then to Bakhchisarai. The city began to be called Eski Krym – Old Crimea.

In modern times, the city became known thanks to Alexander Grin, who came here hoping for the healing qualities of the mountain air.

The main sights of the city date back to the 13th-14th centuries, when Kyrym was the center of the Crimean Khanate. The current mosque and madrasah of Uzbek (1314) —the oldest on the peninsula —are named after the Horde Khan Uzbek.

200 meters from them are the remains of the Baibars mosque (1287), built, according to local legend, at the expense of the famous Mamluk commander, and later Sultan Baibars, the winner of the Crusaders.

One of the versions of the origin of Baibars says that he was born in Solkhat (one of the names of the Old Crimea), as a boy he was sold into slavery by the Genoese and was taken to the Mamluks (the guard of the Egyptian sultans, formed from slaves). Baybars soon became famous as a military leader, and then, having killed the Sultan, he himself took his place. It was then that he donated 2,000 gold coins for the construction of a mosque in Solkhat.

The Kurshum-Jami Mosque (Lead Mosque) may have got its name because the builders fastened the stone blocks with iron ties, and then filled the gaps with lead. This is a very ancient method of laying, invented by the ancient Greeks.

The Literary and Art Museum is located in the building of the former Merchants' Assembly (1904). In the halls there are expositions on the history of the ancient and medieval periods. In the courtyard, the Catherine's Mile deserves attention – one of the signs that marked the route of Catherine II's travels in the Crimea.

The Alexander Grin Museum is organized in the house where the writer moved in 1929. Here he began, but never finished, the novel “Touchless”.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most a detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

Alexander Grin, film director and screenwriter Alexei Kapler and his last wife, poetess Yulia Drunina, poet and translator Grigory Petnikov (1894–1971), a student of Velimir Khlebnikov, who translated into Russian the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, Arthur Rimbaud, and the myths of Ancient Greece, are buried at the Starokrymsky cemetery.

The Armenian monastery of Surb-Khach (Armenian. “Holy Cross”) – the only surviving monastery complex of the Armenian church  in this area- is located in the mountains near the city.

From Feodosia and Sudak to Koktebel: the most detailed guide to the southeastern coast of Crimea

The monastery was founded in the XIV century, but acquired a finished look already at the beginning of the XX century. Once it was the world center of Armenian theology and philosophy, and even now the monastery, returned to the church in 2002, remains one of the important objects of pilgrimage for Armenians around the world.

Toplovsky Monastery became famous thanks to the spring of St. Paraskeva. The waters of this source flow into one font, over which a canopy is erected. It is believed that water helps to heal from many ailments, especially eye diseases. According to tradition, visitors to the monastery put a candle on the abbess's grave about the fulfillment of a wish.

The material was published on the Vokrug Sveta website in December 2015, partially updated in July 2022

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