Big Alushta: “…The place is so beautiful!”
If we imagine a human incarnation of Alushta, so the only exhaustive personal description given about Nina by comrade Saakhov in the wonderful Soviet comedy “Kavkazskaya plennitsa” comes to mind: “Student girl, member of Komsomol, female athlete and she’s just a real pretty lady!”. All these facts can be considered the very truth and not just because of outdoor shootings, which took place in Alushta and its outskirts. Regardless its respectable age, the city saved the spirit of serene youth.
- Total area: 6,983 km2
- Date of foundation: VI century A.D.
- Total population: more than 30 thousand of people
1) Demerdzhi Mountain
2) Stone Mushrooms
3) Jur-Jur Waterfall
4) Cheese Rock
5) Saint Nicholas Temple-Lighthouse
6) Church of All Crimean Saints and Theodore Stratelates
7) Literary Museum of I.S.Shmelev
8) House-Museum of A.N.Beketov
9) Alushta essential oil plant
10) Art object “Guardian of the Empire”
Getting familiar with natural and man-made tourist attractions of Big Alushta
Climbing up Demerdzhi Mountain
The peace of Alushta is protected by three warriors, which are mostly known as the majestic mountain ranges Babugan, Chatyr-Dag and Demerdzhi. All these places are worth seeing, but first, we should get acquainted with the Blacksmith. That is how the Demerdzhi is translated from the Crimean-Tatar language.
The Demerdzhi is justifiably called a tale mountain. The great sculptors wind, water and sun carved out bizarre statues from the fragile nature. Plenty of such stone creations are located in the boundary aptly named the Ghost Valley. The twenty-five meter pole called Giant takes on the role of the guardian. Here, fabulous kikimoras, charming characters of children’s fairy tales and primal madonnas are dancing around the Giant. In the neighborhood of the Ghost Valley, there is a pile of stones called the Big Chaos, which was created as a result of powerful rock falls.
The Demerdzhi left a trace in the history of cinema. The shootings of the Soviet comedy “Kavkazskaya plennitsa” took place on the territory of the mountain range. The film shots keep images of clearly recognizable 600 year walnut tree, whose branches became a hiding point for Balbes performed by Yuri Nikulin. There was also shot the episode, wherein Shurik and Nina changed of their clothes after bathing in the mountain river. Not far from the walnut tree, you will find the stone Nina climbed up and performed a famous song about bears on the top of it.
Wondering about stone mushrooms
Amazing creations of nature stone mushrooms hid in the secluded gulch. As it should, they spring up and grow after raining. Water erodes friable mining rocks. Then, a stem is forming from the pressed loam, which is crowned by a cap made of flat stone lump. Under the right conditions, such mushrooms can grow up to 6 meters. Though, the stone mushrooms are usually short-lived. Little by little rains and winds carve out the stone stem and it breaks down after some time, as the stem is unable to withstand the weight of the multi-ton cap.
Such original shapes of relief can be seen in high-altitude areas of the permanent snow. For that reason, some scientists regard the stone mushrooms as an argument that glaciers existed in the mountainous Crimea during the Ice Age. The bones of the mammoth found in XIX century in one of neighbor gulches may serve as an evidence of that scientific hypothesis.
Take a selfie at the waterfall Jur-Jur
The most powerful waterfall Jur-Jur is located in the deep ravine not far from the village General’skoye. It never dries up even in the driest season. During the period of melting of snow and after raining, a quarter ton of water falls of the cliff from the height of 15 meters every single second! After enjoying the magnificence of foamed water from different angles (provident foresters installed not only a comfortable staircase, but also built observation platforms), a person is able to go for walk in the century forest upstream and see a series of picturesque rapids-cascades.
It is believed that the title of the waterfall comes from the imitation of water sounds. However, the Jur-Jur’s hum and roaring of water don’t sound like water murmuring at all…There is also another version: the word “jur” is translated as “water” from the Armenian language.
Feast your eyes upon the Cheese Rock
Close to the beach of the village Malorechenskoye, tourists will be able to see a wonderful natural monument. In science terms, this monument is called “vesicular weathering of quartzitic sandstones”. Water, snow, wind and sun worked with all the heart, as they had decorated the rock above the sea with multicolored stone laces. The folk name of the rock is the Cheese Mountain. It really looks like a huge piece of cheese. A fabulous giant tried to slice the “cheese” and made a narrow grotto deep within the rock. By the way, at the beginning of the 70-s the episode of the Soviet film “Treasure Island” was being shot on the territory.
The fanciful rock pictures can remind art connoisseurs of modernist fantasies of Antoni Gaudi. Looking at cobwebs of pictures, a person remembers that founders of modernism derived inspiration and create patterns, basing on masterpieces of the nature.
Say thanks to Saint Nicholas
The Temple-Lighthouse of Saint Nicholas, who is the patron saint of seafarers and travelers, is among the top five of the most unusual churches of Russia. The snow-white temple was built in the amazing place — at the cape. It’s as though the temple overshadows the Black Sea. The height of the building is 65 meters. Four facades are decorated with mosaic paintings of Saint Nicholas, icon of Our Lady of Mount Athos, Portent and Protection of Blessed Virgin Mary. The icons made in rare macramé technique arouse admiration too.
The temple-lighthouse is not only the beautiful sightseeing attraction, but it’s also a memorial telling its visitors about tragic pages of the sea navigation. In the plinth part of the building, you will find the Water Disaster Museum narrating guests about enormous tragedies, which happened (and unfortunately still continue happening) in the vast expanses of the World Ocean and including within the Black Sea.
Viewing sightseeing attractions of the historical center of Alushta
Light a candle at the Church of All Crimean Saints and Theodore Stratelates
The temple was built on the hill in 1842. The building is notable for its curious architecture. The bell tower was created in the form of a tall spire with lancet windows. It really looks like village churches of England. That building peculiarity can be explained by the initiative of the Governor-General of Novorossiya and Count Mikhail Vorontsov known by his affection for the English style. The church was consecrated in the name of Theodore Stratelates, who was a military commander in the times of the Roman Empire and active adherent of the Christian religion.
Under the Soviet rule the temple was destroyed and later rebuilt nowadays. The church was consecrated in the name of All Saints and great martyr Theodore Stratelates. The image is rather noticeable at the facade, as it is composed by mosaic in the Byzantine style.
It is not less important — there is a low-cost and stylish tea shop in the basement at the temple. There, travelers can fortify themselves with a cup of coffee and excellent tasty buns.
Attend Literary Museum of I.S.Shmelev
The creative works of Ivan Shmelev were known only to focused experts and officers of the Committee of State Security: the Soviet system didn’t support neither his Orthodox Christian philosophy nor his emigration.
Shmelev was living in Alushta from 1918 to 1922. Those years turned into a dark tragedy for him. The most awful event in his life was the death of his son Sergey. Sergey was an officer of the White Army and became one of thousands of victims killed in the massacre initiated by the Bolshevists.
The novel “The Sun of the Dead” dedicated to the historical episode of the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War in Crimea is justifiably called as one of the most tragic books in the human history. But the time passes, wounds are healed over and pain fades. The novel “The Summer of the Lord” can be considered as an evidence of these words. Talking in simple words about the faith in God, in the first turn Shmelev imprints the little boy’s world perception. Nevertheless, the sense and beauty of the Orthodox Christianity are revealed in so talented manner that the novel even tells to its readers about something more: about Russia and its basic principles of spiritual genesis.
Visit House-Museum of A.N.Beketov
Attending the house of academic in the field of architecture Alexei Beketov, a tourist will feel quite different emotions. The house was built as a resting place for the large and united family about more than 120 years ago. Guests of the house-museum will familiarize with the life of the facility’s owners, who were Beketov Alexei Nikolayevich and his spouse Anna Alexeevna Beketova née Alchevskaya.
The two old families Beketovs and Alechevskys gave many examples of how to serve the country. Having built more than forty facilities, academician of architecture Alexei Beketov shaped the design of his native Kharkov city to a large extent. The spouse of Beketov was a daughter of the famous manufacturer and benefactor. His name was Alchevsky Alexei, who was the owner of coal mines, steel plants and financial institutions. In 1903 upon the application of Russian manufacturers, the village Jurievka, which Alexei Akchevsky breathed a new life in, was renamed into Alchevsk in honor of the Russian benefactor.
“Old noble hospitality, light-colored thinkings, as well as simple and modest feelings”, — that were the words Alexander Blok described the habitants of the house of the Beketovs in Alushta.
Know about production of the essential-oil factory
In the Soviet times, the Alushta essential oil state farm-plant was a leader in producing of essential rose and lavender oils. The enterprise saved not only the main manufacturing capacities, but it also increased its production base and now the factory produces cosmetics, phytoteas, jams and syrups.
Feel like a space “Guardian of the Empire”
The unique art-object provides children and adults with an opportunity to dive into the space reality and feel themselves like astronauts and members of the expedition moving into another galaxy. The inside interior reminds people of the space: flight control room, space suits, weapons, robots and intergalactic habitants from other planets. With the assistance of real artifacts and technical equipment used by astronomers and employees of the Astronaut Training Center, participants get detailed information about the near and distant space. Under the leadership of museum guides and with the help of 3D simulators, you will be able to pilot a spaceship and make a discovery!
Place to eat
Alushta is full of various restaurants, cafes and canteens, so tourists will not stay hungry.
Journalists of “The Crimean Magazine” have researched comments and reviews of guests and citizens of Alushta at the famous travel website “TripAdvisor” and made a list of catering places tourists can eat at between excursions.
“A wide range of pierogies!”, — say visitors of the restaurant “Biblioteka” and advise it as a place, where you can order tasty and nutritious breakfast. Polite personnel, nice interior, mountain and sea view and interesting dish serving are among pros of the restaurant.
The cafe “Wine and Cheese” isn’t located in Alushta. You will find it a little bit further in the village Kiparisnoye. According to users of the website “TripAdvisor”, this cafe should be visited “because of the esthetics”, so do it and don’t be a couch potato. This road-side café located between Yalta and Alushta is famous not only for its perfect burgers, but also for its bright unusual design.
The restaurant “Villa Vanilla” can be found at the city’s embankment. It’s a favorite place among tourists and local residents. Some reviews from “Tripdvisor” say that the restaurant possesses a pleasant inner atmosphere and can boast of providing its clients with a large variety of seafood dishes.
Reference: The Crimean Magazine