Attractions of Kerch
A tourist greedy for impressions should have enough two full days to take a close look at the best sights of Kerch. First of all this ancient non-resort town in the Crimea can captivate anyone interested in history: from antiquity to the present day. Here you can wander up the hill among the ruins of a fortress built before our era, and explore the catacombs of the Great Patriotic War. Fierce battles with the Nazi army took place almost 75 years ago around the settlement. There are still underground tunnels that have been a source of interest for tourists ever since.
After you’ve found your way back in history, take a walk to the viewing point, and enjoy a breathtaking view of the Crimean bridge – an overpass that has become one of the symbols of modern Russia.
Kerch sights are located in a compact space, so your sightseeing excursions and walks will be relaxed. You can take away a lot of impressions from here.
Sights of Kerch on the map
The Crimean bridge has become one of the trademarks of Kerch and the peninsula that it connects with Taman. Today it is used by both passenger cars and multi-ton vehicles, as well as passenger and freight trains. From the window you can see the Kerch Strait. To see the bridge in all its glory, climb Mount Mithridates or go to Cape Ak-Burun.
They are located near the village Adzhimushkay, which became a part of Kerch. It is a geological site that has been operating since the century before last. However, it is a must-see for anyone interested in military history. However, you should visit this place if you are interested in military history. According to different sources, during the attack of Nazi troops from 13 to 20 thousand people went under the ground. But less than half of them got out. The object had no special strategic value for the invaders. However, out of principle and because of the fierce resistance of Soviet soldiers, the aggressors had unsuccessfully tried to storm the catacombs for months.
The heart of Kerch is the mountain Mithridates. It is not high, just over 91 meters, but its history will impress anyone who has climbed to the top. In World War II there were fierce battles in this place, in memory of which the eternal flame burns on the peak. You can climb the snow-white stairs to Mithridat. If you go up the stairs, you will enjoy the best panoramic views over the city and the Crimean bridge.
From there you can walk around the square. For example, here you can take a seat in a café or restaurant, visit stores to buy presents for your loved ones, or get tourist services, such as sightseeing tours. Be sure to check out the Korolenko Gymnasium, a stone old castle in a parallel street. Then you can rest on the square itself and walk across the green area to the seashore.
Church of St. John the Baptist
This is an Orthodox cathedral in the center of Kerch, which is strikingly different in its architecture from temples in Russia. It was erected back in the 8th century, but historians believe that there was an object of worship here even before that. It is a monument of Byzantine art. Through the removed layer of whitewash on the walls you can see the ancient paintings. Remember that despite the fact that you’re in the southern city, you should dress appropriately in the temple, as there are services and people come to pray.
In the narrowest part of the Kerch Strait stands an ancient fort. It is over 160 years old. It was used for its intended purpose until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Boys and men are enthralled by the guide’s descriptions of the peculiarities of these fortifications. Please note that the visit is only possible in an organized group. They are formed at the ticket office near the museum. Children under the age of six are not allowed on the territory.
How to get there
You may fly to Anapa and then go over the Krymsky bridge or you may fly to Simferopol and get there by another transport. Website of the airport in Simferopol: new.sipaero.ru Website airport in Anapa: aaq.aero
There are commuter trains from Anapa, Dzhankoi and Feodosiya to Kerch every day. The trip takes just over two hours. From here to here you can take bus number 61, bus minibuses number 6, 24, 26, 35.
Buses go to Kerch from Anapa, Bryansk, Volgograd, Voronezh, Gelendzhik, Krasnodar, Krymsk, Lipetsk, Makhachkala, Minvod, Moscow, Orel, Pyatigorsk, Rostov-on-Don, Novorossisk.
Kerch is located in the eastern Crimea, on the coast of the Kerch Strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Almost its entire territory is an archeological reserve. Kerch is full of architectural, chronological and architectural monuments from different eras and cultures: the Bosporan Kingdom, the Late Scythian Kingdom, the Byzantine settlements and the Russian Tmutarakan’.
Save on a trip to Kerch!
The modern city of Kerch occupies 52 kilometers of the west coast of the Kerch Strait and is a city of four water areas with different water temperatures and salinity – the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, the Kerch Strait and Lake Sivash.
The flag of Kerch has two colors: red and white, 4 bands of red and 7 bands of white horizontally alternate with each other. The red stripes symbolize four periods: antiquity, the Middle Ages, the rebirth and modernity, they denote courage and blood. The white in turn symbolizes purity and fidelity. The history of these colors comes from ancient times, when the ships sailed under white and red sails and these colors were used on the uniforms of the rulers and commanders.
Kerch fascinates with its grandeur and antiquity. It is truly an architectural monument of the Crimean peninsula, which attracts and does not leave indifferent.
Kerch has a moderate continental climate with warm and even hot summers and mild winters but sometimes in colder winters the gulf of Kerch freezes over.
The main attraction of Kerch is Mount Mithridates. In fact, Kerch is the only city in the center of which stands the mountain. On the mountain there are still ruins of the city of Pantikapeum where, according to legend, in full view of his kingdom Mithridates, the greatest enemy of Rome, betrayed by all, the king of Pergamum and the Bosporus, threw himself on the sword, in whose honor the mountain was named.
On Mount Mithridates is an obelisk of Glory to all the defenders and liberators of Kerch in the Great Patriotic War. To build the obelisk was used a stone of the demolished Holy Trinity Cathedral. The cathedral was one of the few buildings that survived the war, and in 1944, after the liberation of the city, he became a victim of the then regime.
In Kerch, there are also the remains of another ancient settlement, called Mirmekia. The city of Myrmekiya appeared in the first half of the VI century BC, its area is more than 6 hectares. On the territory of this ancient settlement, crypts with sarcophagi have been found. The sarcophagi are kept in the Hermitage, and the remains of the crypts and houses can be seen.
The only remaining architectural monument from the times of Tmutarakan Princedom is the Church of St. John the Baptist, which was built in 757. There is a version that this church was blessed by St. Andrew, the most revered saint of Rus.
The Turkish fortress Yeni-Kale (translated from the Turkish as “new fortress”) has been well preserved up to now. This fortress is one of the most beautiful and interesting attractions of Kerch. The fortress was built to control the passage of ships between the Black and Azov Seas and as a residence of the pasha. In 1825 the fortress Yeni-Kale was abolished as a strategic object, and a military hospital was organized on its territory. In 1880s the hospital was closed and the fortress was left abandoned.
The most popular excursion in Kerch is a sightseeing tour of all the most historically significant objects. Its program includes a visit to the Adzhimushkay quarries, the Church of John the Baptist, Tsar’s Mound, Mount Mithridates and others. The tour lasts 3.5 hours, and its cost may be $7-10.
The tour to the Kerch Fortress, which is a unique monument of fortification construction of the XIX century, is also very popular. This fortress is called Fort Totleben. The cost of the tour is also in the range of 7-10 dollars.
In Kerch, there are many historical and natural attractions, ancient buildings, ruins and other historically interesting places, where you can also take a tour, often complex tours to several at once. If you want you can buy a tour to each site separately, but it is not as interesting and, of course, more expensive.
This is the easternmost and most distant city of Crimea, which once marked the beginning of modern civilization on the peninsula. In fact Kerch is considered one of the oldest cities in the world, which was founded more than 26 centuries ago. The history of Kerch began in the 7th century BC on a mountain that is now called Mithridates. Colonists from Miletus (Greece) settled there and founded the city Panticapeum, which was the capital city of the Bosporan Kingdom and remained the capital for 900 years.
In the 6th century the city of Panticapaeum fell under the dominion of the Byzantine Empire. A garrison was sent to the city and, by order of Emperor Justinian I, construction of the fortress began, which was named the Bosporus.
Over its long history Kerch land was conquered and renamed at least half a dozen times. In VIII century the city fell under the authority of the Khazar Khaganate and was called Karsha or Charsha (in translation from the Turkic “market”). By IX-X centuries, the city took over the Slavs of Tmutarakan princedom and called it Korchev. In 1318 the city became part of the Genoese colonies, and the city was called Vospro or Vospero, where the Circassian princes ruled the city. In 1475 the city was conquered by the Ottoman Empire.
Kerch performed heroically during the Second World War. It was twice occupied by German troops and twice liberated. Almost all the buildings were destroyed and many residents were killed or deported to Germany.
In the 19th and 20th centuries Kerch became a major industrial and cultural center. A metallurgical plant and a tobacco factory began operating, as well as a telegraph, a seaport was built and a railroad branch that connected Kerch with Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Although Kerch is not one of the popular resorts, but there are plenty of places to stay. Most of the hotels in Kerch are economy class, with room rates of $15-40. There are also three-star business-class hotels in Kerch, which start at $30. Also widespread mini-hotels, which have both economy and expensive rooms.
You can also rent a room in a sanatorium, resort or recreation center. The average cost of living is $ 30 and depends on location and conditions. In general, the cost of living in Kerch is lower than in more popular cities of the Crimea.
Beaches of Kerch and their features
In Kerch a sufficient number of beaches, landscaped and wild. Kerch beaches are predominantly sandy. To the equipped beaches: Kerch city beach, Karantinskoe beach, beach “Utinka”, the beach “Turtle”, the beach on Moskovskaya, the beach on Smorzhevskogo and other beaches. Non-equipped beaches are Kapkany beach, Krepost beach and Arshintsevsky beach. The best and the most popular is the Geroyevskoe beach.
Sports and Recreation
In Kerch everyone can find an activity to his liking. Among other things you can take a horse or bike tours or walk on quad bikes. For thrill-seekers are offered skydiving and ropdzhamping.
Kerch has developed public transportation, such as shuttle buses. For example, minibus № 5 runs from the bus station to the city center.
There are shuttles to all Kerch’s sights, so you will have no problems with moving around the city on your own.
The main souvenir from Kerch, as well as from any other city is a magnet with a picture of Kerch sights or with a view of the city and the sea. Magnets are made from wood, plastic, clay and other materials. Also in Kerch you can buy plates, caskets and other small things with a view of Kerch. Kerch has an ostrich farm, so in souvenir shops you will also find egg shells, skins, feathers and a variety of other handicrafts.
How to get there
You can get to Kerch by train, local trains from Dzhankoi and Simferopol, as well as trains from Moscow and Kiev stop here.
However, for Kerch a more popular mode of transport is the bus. To Kerch there is a bus from Simferopol (travel time 4.5 hours, cost from 5 dollars), Feodosia (travel time 2 hours, cost from 2.5 dollars) and Sudak (travel time 3.5 hours, cost from 2.5 dollars).