During the Soviet era Balaklava was completely closed to anyone who didn't live there. The reason is the former Soviet nuclear submarine base burrowed into the cliff under the Tavros mountain. It is now a museum which includes a tour of the James Bond movie-like submarine tunnel and dry dock. Good value and a good opportunity escape the high summer Crimea heat.
Tavricheskaya Quay 22, Balaklava
Built in the 19th century, this white-walled church is not of the golden onion-dome variety, but its Byzantine style is still quite pleasing to the eye. During WW2 Sevastopol suffered heavy damage and if you look carefully you can see the bullet holes that still remain on the sides of the building.
Towards the Chersonesus area along Pozharova, about 10 minutes from the centre;
Standing in the village whose name it takes, this Muslim khan’s palace is one of the highlights of the Crimea. It was built in the 16th-century and became home to a succession of Tatar Khans. A complex of buildings sits in a walled enclosure including a mosque, a harem and the living quarters. Pleasant gardens surround the buildings and today it seems an incredibly tranquil place – as long as you visit outside of peak tourist times. T
he interiors of the living quarters are beautiful and one fountain in a small courtyard hides a sad story which so moved the Russian writer Pushkin when he visited here that he wrote a whole poem to it – The Fountain of Bakhchisarai.
This was my first encounter with an Islamic domain and I have to say that I found it a very beguiling one.
The village is on the Sevastopol – Simferopol road, equidistant between the two. Guided trips are fine, but beware the tourist hordes;
This is a purpose built structure to house the famous Sevastopol panorama, which depicts the siege of Sevastopol in the Crimean War. On the inside of the circular wall, a 360 degree canvas is mounted showing the battlefield from the top of a hill. Spectators walk around this interior as though they are standing on the hill observing the action.
It’s all well presented and gives a very good impression of what mid 19th-century warfare must have looked like. On the lower floor is a museum and the surrounding park includes some artillery installations that point out over the adjacent valley.
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