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Weekend in Kerch: City near the Crimean Bridge

One of the most ancient Russia’s cities can boast of having a large number of glorious moments embedded in its history. The Crimean Magazine has prepared a compilation of exciting worth seeing tourist objects in Kerch.

Kerch was founded in 610-590 AC. The city covers an area of 107,63 km2. The total population of the city is 147,033 people.

  1. Kerch Fortress
  2. Yeni-Kale Fortress
  3. Lapidary Museum
  4. Eastern Crimean Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve
  5. Central Market of Kerch
  6. Cathedral of Prophet St.John the Baptist
  7. Romanov Women’s Gymnasium
  8. Adzhimushkay Quarries
  9. Tsarskiy Kurgan
  10. Gifts of the Sea Monument
  11. Cafe «43/12»
  12. Cafe «Trattoria Toscana»
  13. Cafe «Cappuccino»

 

Visiting a hidden city

To get acquainted with the city, we advise you to see the Kerch Fortress located at the Ak-Burun Cape. It’s very difficult to see the construction from a distance. Such a building approach is caused by historical events. After finishing the Crimean War, the Russian Empire had to sign the Treaty of Paris of 1856, which prohibited Russia to found naval dockyards and military fortifications on the Kerch Peninsula. To overcome the problem and gain control over the boat traffic in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, Alexander the Second resorted to a little trick. The major part of the Kerch fortress was built under the ground. Talking about the rest of surface fortifications, they are totally covered by the grass and soil. Frenchmen, Englishmen and Turks didn’t know anything about the Kerh Fortess for thirty years.

As concerns the prices, an hour and a half excursion will cost 300 roubles. A tour guide will take 600 roubles for two and a half hours job duration. Small group excursions for individual visitors are organized at 10:00 am and 2:30 pm. Children up to six years are forbidden to visit the tourist object.

Looking at tombstone and stele epitaph records

Exhibits of the lapidary museums. Lidia Vetkhova/Crimean Magazine

To know more about the ancient Greek heritage, you should attend a lapidary museum. In antique times, these stone steles and statues were placed on squares and within temples of Panticapaeum and other Crimean cities. The Kerch lapidary museum holds the second place in the world by the number of exhibit items after the Athens’ exhibit collection. Here in the exposition «Lapidary Collection Monuments» you will see a set of stone sculptures made of the local limestones and brought in marble. The Bosporans’ portrait images, ornamental and memorial sculptural arts, architectural plastic masterpieces and sacred objects are also featured in the exhibition.

Entering the lapidary museum costs 120 roubles for adults, 100 roubles for beneficiaries and 550 roubles for tourists in group excursions. Children up to sixteen are able to visit the museum for free.

Get familiar with the ancient history of Crimea

The Kerch Museum of History and Archeology is one of the oldest museums in Crimea. Almost all the city’s history of 2800 years is displayed in that museum. It’s highly recommended to get familiar with the exposition «History and Archaeology of the Bosporan Kingdom». The exhibition is held in the first four museum rooms. Paleolithic artefacts, neolithic flake knife with a horn handle and the Bronze Age metal tools can be watched over there. The Early Iron Age in the North of the Black Sea region matches with the appearance of Scythian tribes in that area. The Greek-barbarian culture of the Bosporan Kingdom is presented by the archeological complexes Three Brothers burial mounds. The exhibition consists of black varnish coated ancient vessels, terra-cottas, lamps, Finnish glassware, Klazomenai vases, as well as ceremonial and sacred items of the Bosporan Kingdom.

Grown-ups will have to pay 120 roubles for a ticket. Beneficiaries will spend only 100 roubles. Group excursions cost 550 roubles — it quite similar to lapidary museum’s prices.

Tasting the local fish courses

Kerch herring at your table

The Kerch herring is a rather famous fish outside far from Crimea. Mass fish catching operations are started in a November-December period. During these time frames, herring schools begin migrating from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea. The length of this Kerch fish is about 25-30 centimeters (9,84 inches). A fish’s back is blue-grey and its sides shimmer with silver. If you want to taste the Kerch herring, so you can buy it at the local central market and cook it by yourself or order herring dishes in a large number of cafes located in the center of the city.

Church service at the Cathedral of Prophet St.John the Baptist

Temple of Prophet St.John the Baptist. Lidia Vetkhova/Crimean Magazine

The church is considered to be one of the most ancient orthodox temples in the Eastern Europe. It was converted into a mosque during the existence of the Crimean Khanate. In 1774 Crimea became a part of the Russian Empire and the cathedral returned to the fold of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The Temple of Prophet St.John the Baptist is one of the most ancient monuments to the early medieval architecture. This religious building blends elements and styles of cross-domed and  basilican architectural systems. The church is an outstanding worth seeing architectural masterpiece and the only Byzantian temple survived through the centuries.

Honour the memory of the defenders of the Adzhimushkay Quarries

Front view of the Adzhimushkay Quarries

Underground mining tunnels mostly known as the Quarries are located on the territory of the Adzhimushkay microdistrict (a former suburb). This place became one of the most famous historical-military monuments of Kerch caused by the heroic defense in 1942. Only after visiting the mining tunnels, a person will be able to realize living and fighting conditions the defenders had to meet with. The Museum of History of the Defense of the Adzhimushkay Quarries’ personnel prepared an itinerary of 440 meters length.

Visiting the Quarries and taking part in an hour and a half excursion costs 400 roubles for adults. Beneficiaries will pay 300 roubles for the right to enter. A child ticket (age of 16) will cost 85 roubles. Kids up to six years are unable to see the Adzhimushkay Quarries. Currently, the museum’s employees continue developing new excursion itineraries.

See the Tsarskiy Kurgan

Within the Tsarskiy Kurgan

On the way back from the Adzhimushkay Quarries, we advise you to go to the Tsarskiy Kurgan. The Royal Kurgan was founded in the fourth century BC. This burial mound consists of a 37 meter dromos passage-way, burial chamber and 12 concentric rings decreasing in diameter. A tour guide will tell you all the historical facts about the Tsarskiy Kurgan and other burial mounds located around Kerch.

Talking about prices, we have to mention that grown-ups will have to pay 120 roubles for a ticket. Beneficiaries will spend 100 roubles. Children up to 16 may visit the Royal Kurgan without making payments.

Place to stay

Arriving in Kerch to rest and see all sightseeing attractions, tourists have to think about places they will stay at. As a rule, renting prices depend on a year season. For example, vacationers will pay 1,600 roubles for a hostel room and 11,800 roubles for a deluxe hotel room for two nights during winter. In summer and autumn periods, tourists will have to be ready to spend 3000 roubles on a hostel room and 14000 roubles on a deluxe hotel room for a couple of nights.

Looking for a restaurant?

Of course, a dining time is a very important and pleasant procedure for all of us. Having researched Kerch citizens and guests’ TripAdvisor reviews and feedback comments, the «Crimean Magazine» made a list of places to eat at.

Breakfast. If you want to have breakfast and drink a cup of coffee at 8 am, the «Cappuccino» cafe welcomes you. A breakfast period is finished by noon. The cafe’s pancakes are the most favourite dish among visitors.

Dinner.  The «Trattoria Toscana» restaurant is a nice place for a dinner-time. Restaurant’s clients like pizza and pasta courses most of all. Are you going to the restaurant with children? Don’t be worry! There is a kids’ playroom at the catering establishment.

Supper. The words «Kerch» and «fish» are equal value concepts. Thus, we recommend you to taste fish dishes at the local cafes and restaurants. Analyzing TripAdvisor users’ reviews, it is clear to see that clients liked a fish menu of the cafe «43/12». The cafe’s Kerch-style forshmak, anchovy vinaigrette and lavender napoleon will definitely meet your cooking expectations.

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