The main attractions of Balaklava
Until recently Balaklava in Crimea was a closed city where there was a secret facility. And entrance to it was by pass only. Therefore, about the city is not particularly disseminated, many have the impression that he was very young and its history is small. It turns out that all is not so. In fact, the city recently turned 2015 years old, it has a lot of architectural attractions, many interesting places. And although he is considered an administrative district of Sevastopol, it still has its own legend. Let’s and we will try to learn Balaklava what it is, walk its streets, get acquainted with the sights and decide what to visit in Balaklava.
Balaklava History Museum
It was created on the initiative of a local businessman and historian Sergey Gontar. Most of the exhibits here are connected with the Crimean War of 1852-1856. And also here is a huge number of hats (balaklavas), license plates from cities that were called Balaklava. Yes, yes! There are many such cities in the world. You will also be offered tours of the sea and surroundings. The ticket price – 300 rubles.
A small bay on the shores of which the city is located, cut into the rock massif and unnoticeable from the Black Sea. This place has always been a great opportunity for ships to hide from the enemy. During Soviet times, submarines and patrol ships were based here. Observing the bay from a high point you can see a beautiful panorama of the city and its surroundings. “We advise to visit water excursions on a boat, which will allow to visit the most secluded places.”
This is a whole ensemble of defensive structures on the Fortress Hill, built in the 14-18 centuries. Behind the fortress walls there was a whole city, which had been reliably fortified and guarded. In the mid-15th century the fortress was captured by the Turks, and in the 18th century the Russian military units were located there. Over time, the fortifications deteriorated and turned into historical ruins. Only a few ruined towers survived.
Southern and Northern Forts
History of Balaklava included fortifications, built in the early 20th century, which served as protection from the southern side of the Sevastopol fortress. These were carved deep ditches in the rock, connecting the adit. It was used to store ammunition, there were soldiers. There were plans to place cannons here, but the October Revolution interfered. The forts were never finished, because they became helpless against new types of weapons. In Soviet times aircraft bombs were tested here and ammunition was stored.
The barrel of death
On the territory of the Southern Fort there is a structure, overhanging the precipice, with loopholes in the floor and walls. It served as an observation post. After World War II there was a legend that Nazis threw prisoners of war into the sea from this place, so they called it the barrel of death. Local climbers surveyed the bottom of the cliff, but never found evidence of throwing people off. But the name remained.
Nineteenth Drapushko Battery
Another military structure at the top of the mountain was designed to protect the city from encroachment by cruisers and battleships. Powerful cannons were installed here, and underground three-level rooms were equipped. In 1941, battery under the leadership of Captain M. Drapushko bravely resisted the Germans, but could not protect Sevastopol. After the war the building was used to guard the naval base, and in 2002 it was destroyed.
Site 825 GTS
Interesting places in Balaklava are largely associated with submarines. Here, too, this facility served as a mooring and repair of nuclear submarines. Well fortified bunker could withstand even a hit by a nuclear warhead. In such case it was completely sealed and all personnel could stay there for several months. There were placed 7 submarines and 3000 people there. Now there is a museum of submarines on the territory of the base. Entrance to the museum is 300 rubles.
The main embankment of the city was built in the late 18th century and was named in honor of the sailor Ivan Nazukin from 1957. Nazukin was head of the Revolutionary Committee in 1917, and during the war with Nazi Germany led the underground. Along the embankment are houses built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These are former summer houses and private hotels. On the waterfront there is a yacht club, many restaurants, a cinema, numerous piers.
The city of Balaklava became a place of residence for the Russian writer in the early 20th century. The 1905 revolution and the massacre of the cruiser ‘Ochakov’ so shocked him that he expressed his condemnation in his essay ‘Events in Sevastopol’. After that he had to leave the city. In his honor, in 2009 a monument was installed on the embankment.
Church of the Twelve Apostles
This ancient temple was built in 1357 by the Genoese. During the Crimean war the building was damaged and then rebuilt. During the Soviet era, the church was closed and only during the Great Patriotic War began to hold services. At the end of the 20th century the church took the Orthodox Church, restored it, and today he became a monastery courtyard, where they kept parts of the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh.
Chorgunsky Aqueduct Bridge
Away from the bustling highways is this 19th-century arched structure, which served as a waterway to supply water to Sevastopol. During the Crimean War it was damaged and was not rebuilt. Some fragments remained to this day. They are still used to supply water for irrigating fields. It was built without foundations, the supports were put directly on the river bed. The surroundings around the bridge are very picturesque. “Lovers of exoticism are advised to visit this place.”
St. George’s Monastery
The attraction of Balaklava in Crimea was one of the oldest pilgrimage sites – St. George’s Monastery. It was founded by the Greeks in the 1st millennium. Legend has it that the sailors caught in a storm prayed to the great martyr George to save them, and he stopped the storm. After that, the survivors planted a church in the cave, which later became a dwelling place for the faithful. After being damaged during the Soviet regime, the cave was reopened in 1994.
It is one of the pristine nature reserves in the Crimea, with its unique mountains, pristine beaches and wildlife. Here grow rare species of plants and animals, which are listed in the Red Book. You can get to the cape by water cab for 200 rubles or by boat, which can be found at any berth on the waterfront. You can also get on foot, but only trained, hardy tourists can do it. “The trails here are sometimes dangerous, so you need good non-slip shoes, headgear and a supply of water. Children under the age of 8 years is not recommended to take in general.
Attractions in Balaklava can also be: the winery “Golden Balka” and Inkerman winery. If you want to learn about the technology of wine production, as well as taste a glass of wine, spend time with friends on the background of the beautiful Crimean landscapes, buy for 750 rubles for 1.5 hours tour with tasting of 8 wines. You will visit the famous wine cellars with an area of 55 thousand square meters, you will appreciate the taste and quality of natural wine.
It is formed by the frozen flows of lava from an erupting volcano. It used to be huge in size, but the winds, rains and sea over the millions of years have eroded it, leaving a small cape. It is one of the most exotic and beautiful places in Crimea. Not a single photo of Balaklava in the guidebook is without the legendary Fiolent. “We advise you to take flippers, a mask and do diving in the underwater caves at the cape.”
Yusupov’s hunting lodge
The house built in Balaklava by the Yusupov dynasty, the wealthiest in imperial Russia, is located on the Taurian embankment, recognized as a monument of architecture of the early 20th century and the cultural heritage of Crimea. But for certain reasons, none of the family never settled in this house. Over time, the house dilapidated, but had lost its monumentality and grandeur.
To admire the views of the city and look at it from different angles you need to visit some of the sightseeing sites, which are also observation decks:
Each site offers a different view of the city and the bay. And when to visit them you have already guessed? At sunset, of course! Do not forget to charge your camera, the photo shoot will be awesome.
Monument to submariners.
Opposite the entrance to Balaklava bay in 1975 was established this monument in the form of a cabin from a submarine. Various events were held at this place, schoolchildren were accepted as pioneers. But in 1995 the city authorities decided to dismantle the monument. Local activists had been fighting for a long time for its restoration and succeeded. The monument was restored to its original form and now it is one of the main places of interest in the city.
This artificial reservoir with turquoise water is nothing else but an abandoned lime pit. After the quarry was abandoned, it was filled with water, and from the outside it looks like a Martian lake. Now they are considering creating a recreation area on its territory. And the locals recommend to include it in the list of places to see in Balaklava every tourist needs.
It is one of the five best beaches of Crimea thanks to a wide coastal pebble strip, a shallow entrance to the sea, surrounded by rocks and the absence of winds. The beach has everything you need for recreation: changing rooms, deck chairs, toilets, storage facilities, and even a dive center.
Balaklava is very fond of yachtsmen. International regattas are often held here. The bay is protected from storms, from here it is very convenient to sail to the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea. There are days when it accumulates here up to 1.5 thousand different ships. Many tourists come here to take pictures of the beautiful ships and get aesthetic pleasure.
Monument to Lesya Ukrainka
The famous Ukrainian poet and writer visited Balaklava twice. She wrote a lot of poems and always spoke very warmly of the city. In her honor in 2004 a monument in the city center in the form of a figure of white marble was erected.
Every year more and more tourists are choosing Balaklava as their place of rest. Natural and historical sites Balaklava with photos and descriptions of each vacationer will find in any guide. If you happened to be in town for a short time, we’ll tell you what to see in Balaklava in 1 day. Start with a walk along the Nazukin embankment and visit the history museum, go up to one of the viewing platforms and visit the St. George Monastery. These impressions will be enough for you until next year.
Balaklava sights on the map
Where to stay in Balaklava inexpensive and close to the sea?
How to get there?
The village is only 14 kilometers from Sevastopol, so it is easy to get there by personal car or bus. Let’s discuss all the main ways to get to Balaklava quickly and inexpensively:
The main attractions of Balaklava (Crimea)
Balaklava is located half an hour drive from Sevastopol . There are two versions of the translation of the name of the city. The first is “fish weather” and the second is “fish bag”. This is a city with a rich history. Here lived the Genoese, the Ottomans, and there are the ruins of ancient fortresses. The city keeps traces of the Great Patriotic War. There is a legend that the first mention of Balaklava found in the “Odyssey” by Homer. [vote2x align=”center”]
The city is located in the bay of the same name. It is a narrow strip of sea 1.5 km long, but it has picturesque views. In the mentioned work of Homer, the main character Odysseus stopped in the bay with a similar description. It has been actively used during wars since ancient times. And since 1957 in the bay opened a secret military base of the Soviet Union, and it became a closed city.
Now the bay is like a small Italian resort . Here you can rent a boat or skiff. Here you can go fishing or visit secluded beaches of Crimea.
It is the main embankment of the city, named after the sailor Ivan Nazukin. It is a mix of styles. Here you can feel the spirit of Italy and antiquity in one place. During a walk along the promenade you can meet a variety of cafes. In summertime you can sit on a veranda overlooking the sea or the mountains. In the establishments of Balaklava it is worth tasting the fish dishes, because the products are delivered directly from the boats.
While strolling around, you can see several monuments of architecture. These are Kuprin’s house, the residence of Khristopulo (the creator and builder of the embankment) and Kuprin’s museum.
In addition, several diving centers and yacht clubs are operating on the embankment. Even if there is no possibility to rent a yacht, it is quite pleasant to look at the luxury vessels.
The waterfront has a picturesque view of the sea, so you can find artists and photographers here . Some are just engaged in creativity, but there are those who immediately sell their paintings. On the waterfront work souvenir shops. If desired, everyone can carry with them the memory of a cozy town.
Evidence of the Genoese life on the Crimean land stands on Mount Kastron. The Genoese built the fortress in 1343, after their victory over the Greeks.
The Genoese themselves lived on the land only 11 years and were expelled by Tatar troops. Exile did not last long, and in 1356 the Genoese made peace with the Tartars, returned to the fortress and began to reconstruct it. Gradually, new buildings and constructions appeared there.
The fortress has a rich history. It was captured by the Turks a century after its construction. Under its walls there was a battle between the British and the Greeks in the XIX century. During the Great Patriotic War, the fortress housed the Soviet military. It was during this war it was destroyed the most.
Despite the fact that the fortress is poorly preserved, a walk to it is worthwhile. Here you can look at the remaining stone towers and take panoramic photos of Balaklava. It is from Mount Kastron there start the paths to Balaklava beaches, including the beach of figs.
Balaklava History Museum
The Museum of History is located on the Nazukina embankment, which is popular with tourists. Here you can look at the temporary exhibitions and permanent exhibitions.
In the museum you can see exhibits from the times of the Crimean War in 1853 . Guide will tell about the course of the war, defeats and victories. At the exhibition are presented ammunition and clothing of British soldiers.
Moreover there are copies of ancient coins, historical postcards, miniatures and jewelry in the museum.
Few travelers do not know about Cape Fiolent. This gem and visiting card of Sevastopol and Balaklava . This place is practically untouched by civilization. The cape is a rocky ledge in the sea and pebble beaches with clear water.
There are several legends associated with the name of the cape. According to one legend, in 891, Greek sailors were carried to the rocks during the storm. They climbed up on the cape and began to pray for help. St. George came to them and calmed the storm. Since then, they called the place “God’s country”. According to another version, the name is translated from Turkish as “tiger cape”. This is because the cape is of volcanic origin, and on the cliff there are alternating specks of trachyte and yellow limestone. In Genoese, fiolent means “furious”. Near the cape the sea is often rough and there are storms.
Between the Golden Beach and Cape Aya is the fig tract. There is a supposition that fig-trees used to grow on the slopes of the tract. Some believe that the name came from a cracked rock, which looks like a fig tree fruit.
Be that as it may, it is now a place for secluded recreation away from civilization. The walk often begins at Golden Beach. It’s crowded and noisy there. But if you go for a walk along the Great Sevastopol Trail along the tract, you can find descents to different bays where there are almost no people. You will often find people with tents in these coves. All the trails and descents to the beaches at the tract are equipped. There are places to rest, and springs with drinking water.
To visit the fig tract is a must for every tourist in Balaklava.
Underground museum complex of Balaklava
Even those people who have nothing to do with military history will be interested to see the museum complex.
Not every room of the complex is accessible to the public. Some of them are in a state of disrepair, and even the workers of the museum do not go there.
There are two options for a tour:
- The first offers tourists an hour-long walk through the labyrinths of the complex. The guide will show the preserved secret objects.
- During the second walk visitors will take a boat trip on the canal. They will be shown a real mine and the rooms where the boats were serviced.
The need for a secret facility arose during the Cold War after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The facility was built in the late 1960s. For this reason, Balaklava became a closed city.
Of course it is sad to see a defense facility of this level as a museum rather than in working order, but nevertheless 825GTS is the largest declassified military facility in the history of the world .
The construction site was not chosen by chance. The bay was formed by the movement of tectonic plates and was deep enough to allow submarines to enter. The facility itself could accommodate and service 7 submarines.
Object 825GTS was equipped with autonomous air supply, underground railroad tracks, necessary warehouses for storage of fuel and food. Here could live the crew of the submarines, were equipped with kitchens, rest rooms, showers, and a hospital.
There was an interesting story connected to the work of the facility. When water was pumped out from the next submarine, a catch of fish was found in the dock. In order to save it, it was immediately smoked in the adit. Residents always knew by the distinctive smoke that another boat was coming in for repairs.
The facility was used until 1992. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, most of it was looted and abandoned. Since 2004, the object was reconstructed and organized a museum complex.
Kuprin lived and worked in Balaklava from 1904 to 1906. He witnessed the revolutionary events at the resort, including the mutiny on the cruiser “Ochakov”. After that he wrote an essay “The events in Sevastopol”, because of which he was forced to leave his beloved city.
They decided to set up the monument in 2005, so they organized a competition for the best idea. One of the suggested options was to put the writer at a table with a free seat and a bottle of local wine.
In the final version Kuprin is looking at his favorite sea, leaning against the embankment fence. The monument was created by Stanislav Chizh, a sculptor from Sevastopol. The monument was unveiled in 2009, but Stanislav did not see it. Next to the monument there is a museum named after Kuprin, which was the “Grand Hotel” and place of residence of the writer.
Southern and Northern Forts
Another military facility that will impress any tourist. The Northern Fort stands on the Kefalo-Vrisi Mountain, while the Southern one – on the Asquieti Mountain. The construction of forts was started by the British during the Crimean War. At that time, the entire coastline between Sevastopol and Balaklava was turned into a defensive fortification. After the war engineer Polyansky continued the work of the British. Under his leadership, were built circular defenses.
Fortifications of the forts are the largest in Europe. Here you can see firing points, the object “dove,” the remnants of concrete casemates. The valley between the Northern and Southern forts was called the “Valley of Death. And this is not just for fun. The space between the forts was clearly visible, and it played into the hands of Soviet soldiers during the liberation of Sevastopol.
Today the Southern and Northern Forts are not empty either. From time to time historical re-enactments are held on the North Fort.
The barrel of death
If you are tired of lying on the beach and want to see something unusual, the barrel of death is just what you need.
The object is an observation post, built during the First World War. The barrel survived two wars and was not vandalized.
The barrel of death is the result of engineering. It was made of steel in the shape of a hemisphere. This ensured its durability and ability to be installed on a cliff. Slots were made in the sides and bottom of the barrel. This allowed the equipment to be mounted and shot up, forward and down.
Besides the amazing history, the barrel is also worth a visit for the scenery that opens from it.
Chorgunsky Aqueduct Bridge
In the vicinity of Khmelnitsky you can find an unusual structure. Some may think that this is the preserved footprints of the ancient Greeks. But the aqueduct bridge across the Black River is no more than 200 years old and was built in the mid XIX century.
Appointment aqueduct was not only to provide fresh water to residents of Sevastopol and Balaklava. In the sea water of Korabelnaya Bay lived sting worm. It was eating into the wooden bottom and destroying the ship. In order to protect the ship it was necessary to ferry it into fresh water. That is why Admiral Lazarev suggested organizing a freshwater approach to the docks.
The aqueduct was designed by John Upton, who had designed the Grafskaya Wharf and the Tower of the Winds. In 1853 the aqueduct started working, but it did not last long. During the Crimean War, the water system was damaged. The aqueduct was no longer used for its intended purpose.
Nowadays, the locals use it to irrigate their gardens and vegetable gardens. Near the aqueduct you can see the ruined fortress Chorgunsky isar and Murzak-Koba cave.
This place is not considered popular among tourists. Here you will not meet the crowds, excursions. And in June, when the aqueduct is buried in greenery, you can even more immersed in history.
Many tourist spots in Balaklava are former military bases. Kadykovsky quarry was used by Balaklava Mining Department. He is below sea level at 14 meters and a few kilometers from the surf line. In the quarry mined flux, and then it was abandoned. Gradually, the quarry filled with clear water of a bluish-green hue. Now foxes, grouse, cormorants, herons have settled there along the banks . The upper levels of the quarry began to grow vegetation.
To get down to the water, you have to overcome the labyrinth of paths. The descent is not a solid path, some of them cut off or connect with others and take away to the side. You will have to go back several times and choose a different path.
The quarry is currently abandoned; you can come here to see the scenic views. But there are projects in which it is planned to organize from the quarry a resort area with hotels, beach and entertainment.
The Rock of St. George and the Jasper Beach
St. George’s Rock is located in the sea near the beach and cape. This is where St. George appeared to the sailors in 891 . Here, according to the legend, the icon was found. After that, a cross was installed on the rock and a monastery was organized in the caves.
After a while St. George monastery was built on the Cape Fiolent. It not only prospered, but also managed to survive many bloody wars and attacks of invaders. The monastery was popular with many famous people. Pushkin came here and admired what he saw, this place was loved by the Russian tsars, Aivazovsky, Chekhov, Bunin .
After 1,000 years after the founding of the temple, the monks built a staircase to Jasper Beach. She has 800 steps, during the descent or ascent there is a platform for rest. The fact that the stairs are in the shade of trees also makes the descent easier.
Tourists come to the beach not only for the sea and suntan. Some hope to find among the pebbles pebbles with red inclusions, which are characteristic of volcanic rocks. Special brave swim to the rock of Appearance. The cliff is located 140 meters from Jasper Beach. On the cliff are organized steps and a path to the cross. But in the high season you will have to stand in line to take a photo.
Balaklava is a small and cozy resort town. Here there is no typical for other Crimean cities bustle. If you want you can always go for a walk or an excursion to places near the city. Balaklava carefully keeps the memory of bygone years.