В Керчь пришла настоящая зима, все красиво укрыто свежим снегом. Торопясь укрыться от холодного ветра и скользких улиц не верится, что на земле есть место, где ярко светит жаркое солнце и ласковый прибой мягко лакает белый песок. При помощи туроператоров Керчи можно вырваться из холодной зимы, и окунуться в теплые воды океана и жаркое солнце экзотических стран. Читать полностью «Отдых в жарких странах зимой, остров Самуи»

Kerch Fortress (Ak-Burnu, Fort Totleben) is a complex of defensive constructions characteristic of the epoch of smoothbore artillery. The defeat of Russia in the Crimean War led to the necessity of building a mighty marine fortress able to close the way for the enemy fleet to the Sea of Azov. The construction of the fortress was under the direction of famous Russian military engineer, Count E. I. Totleben (1818-1884), who played an outstanding role during the Sevastopol Defense. Since 1857, Fort Totleben, Vilno and Minsk lunettes, Ak-Burnu fortifications, coastal batteries, and a number of objects behind the fortress moat were constructed. This construction took around twenty years to complete. In 1909, the fortress lost its significance as a fortification, and was used for military dislocation, and as storage for weapon and ammunition. In the last decades of its existence it was a large military arsenal. Rather well preserved, the fortress is now a tourist site and serves as a prominent memorial of Russian craftsmanship during the second part of the 19th century.
Kerch Fortress, foto

Adzhimushkay catacombs are among the most popular sights of the city. Numerous underground caves appeared after the extraction of limestone by the local population. The catacombs are widely known because of the events of the Civil War and World War II. In 1919, a detachment of so-called «red» partisans was based in the catacombs. In 1941 and 1943, partisan detachments named after Lenin, Stalin and «Red Stalingrad» were located there. From May till October 1942, the soldiers of two underground garrisons fought heroically against the Nazi troops. Today, in the caves of the Big Central Catacombs, there is a museum and a unique military memorial cemetery. Many hundreds of Adzhimushkay defenders are buried in three common graves. They were killed by Nazis and died from wounds, hunger, gas attacks and numerous rock slides. The memorial devoted to the heroic defence of the catacombs was opened in May 1982, and was authored by sculptors B. Klimushko and Y. Gorban, and architect S. Mirgorodsky.


Eltigen Settlement is a symbol of courage and heroism. During World War II it was called «Geroyevka» or «the place of heroes». This name is still popular among Kerch citizens. The Eltigen landing operation started on November 1, 1943, and marked the beginning of the liberation battles for Kerch from German invaders. The battle lasted 40 days and nights. Soviet landing forces could not only held the beachhead, but also broke through the Nazi blockade, and fought the enemy in the very heart of Kerch, on Mt. Mithridates. Not by chance, this territory was called «Fire Land». Sixty-one Eltigen defenders were honoured with the title «Hero of the Soviet Union». In November 1978, the motorboat lost during the landing operation was taken out of water and placed on the pedestal to honor the heroic landing. In May 1985, another monument was erected. On it, was engraved the names of «Fire Land» defenders who got the title «Hero of the Soviet Union», the names of military departments, and the names of the ships that took part in the battles for the settlement. The exposition in Eltigen Museum, which is a part of Kerch Historical and Cultural Preserve, is devoted to these heroic events.

Kerch, Primorsky Boulevard, embankment

Primorsky Boulevard has always been one of the favourite places of the city’s citizens. The first plot of greenery appeared on the boulevard in the 1940’s AD. It was a small public garden called «Lizina Roshcha», which means «Liza’s Grove», and was located on Dvoryanskaya Street (now, Teatralnaya Street). Years later, along the boulevard there appeared trees, plants, benches, lights, a wooden bar named «Float» and a summer concert platform called «Shell». On the concert platform a small symphony orchestra played in the evenings. There were two piers on the boulevard: the Royal Pier in honour of Nickolas I, and the Count Pier in honour of either M. Vorontsov or A. Stroganov. Both of these counts were Novorussia governor-generals and both visited Kerch several times. The former boulevard is nowadays called «embankment». It has twice been reconstructed during the last half of the century, and its size was considerably expanded. Visitors, who come here in the summer, can enjoy themselves at various attractions, in cafes and snack bars, the aquatic sport centre and the small beach «Utinka». The pier with yachts and cutters is ready to take you on a voyage about the Kerch Strait. The embankment is especially lively on the traditional holiday, Fisherman’s Day.

Kerch, Primorsky Boulevard, embankment, today

Mt. Mithridates and the embankment. Kerch. View from the sea.
From the water’s surface from the Kerch Strait (kimmerian Bosporus), there opens a wonderful view of the city. Kerch was thought to be especially attractive in early 20th cent. During this time, at the top of Mithridates Mount there was I. Stempkovsky’s Chapel and the museum. At the foot of the Mt. Mithridates , along the boulevard, was Spitsynskaya Street (now, Sverdlov Street) with private residences of local nobility. Unfortunately, these residences were not preserved. Today three new buildings occupy this part of Sverdlov Street: the City Cultural Center, which was named after Ukrainian singer Y. Bogatikov; the City Court; and the Scientific Research Institute of Fishery and Oceanography. The view of Mt. Mithridates has totally changed, too. The ruins of the museum’s former building remained on its slope until 1959. The museum was called Theseion by mistake. Its real name was Hephaestion, because it was a copy of Hephaestus Temple in Athens. The museum’s building’s construction, in spite of being fit for restoration, was destroyed. In 1964, «Mithridates» restaurant was built in its place. In 1985, the restaurant was also ruined. The former Seaside Boulevard also experienced great changes due to World War II.

Kerch Museum of Antiquities
Kerch Museum of Antiquities was opened for visiting on June 2(14),1826 and it is one of the oldest museums in the country. The building was designed by the architect J. Torichelly, and was erected on Mount Mithridates. The building was a copy of Hephaestus Temple in Athens. During the Crimean War, the museum was totally robbed. In 1860, the building became the property of Alexander Nevsky’s Orthodox Temple. After this time, the museum’s collection was displayed in different private residences.

Керченский музей древностей

In 1922, the museum’s collections found their permanent address in a residence on Sverdlov Street, and the museum returned to its former building on Mitridates Mount. Since 1931, for more than half-a-century period of time, several exhibitions of the museum occupied the re-equipped rooms of its neighbouring church. The museum is a part of Kerch Historical and Cultural Preserve. The collection of its archaeological finds of ancient period and the medieval epoch is the largest in the Crimea. The museum plays a significant role in studying the history and culture of Bosporus and the history of Kerch during the 18-20th centuries.

Kerch Museum of Antiquities today

Katerlez Monastery was named after the village of Katerlez (now, Voykovo), and is located in the suburbs of Kerch. It was founded in 1857 on St. George Hill, the place of the miraculous appearance of the St. George Triumphant Icon. Until the end of the 19th century, the monastery was a cloister for men. In 1900 it was turned into a monastery for women. The annual Patron Saint’s Day on April 23 (May 6 in the Orthodox calendar) was a great event in Kerch and in neighboring settlements. Thousands of people gathered, both Orthodox and Muslims, to honor St. George. After the Civil War the monastery was closed and ruined in 1924. In 1994 and 1997 two memorials were placed on St. George Hill: a memorial board on the miraculous rock and an Orthodox iron cross located on the monastery’s property. In 1997, St. George’s Monastery was re-opened for men, and in 2000 it was turned into women’s monastery. Now it is located at the foot of the hill in the rooms of the underdone hippodrome.


Vorontsov Street. (Lenin street) in Kerch
Kerch’s main street was named Vorontsov Street until 1921, and it is now, Lenin Street. Always clean and fashionable, with beautiful merchants’ residences and luxurious shop windows, the street was a main place of attraction. The famous Mesaxudy’s tobacco factory and the English Club for Aristocracy were located on Vorontsov Street. Almost nothing remains today. Multistoried blocks of flats with shops on the ground floor replaced the buildings, which had been ruined during the World War II. The place adjacent to the square was made the Public Garden of Peace. Later, the city’s main post office and the city theatre were built on the street. During the late 20th century, there began general reconstruction of the street, which is not yet finished. The pavement, electrical lights, and plantings are being totally replaced; the façades of the buildings are under restoration according to European style; and, new buildings are being constructed. The street promises to recapture its previous beauty and comfort, however, the traditional style will be irrevocably lost.

Ул. Ленина после реконструкции

Ул. Ленина после реконструкции

The Main Square and the Big Mithridates Staircase. The city’s Main Square took shape during the 1830’s AD on the location of the destroyed Turkish fortress. The square was named after John the Baptist’s Temple. Later, the New Market was located there and became known as the real «belly» of Kerch. In the square, one could find cab parking and the city’s public garden, which appeared in 1895. Since the Soviet period, the main square (now, Lenin Square) has been the place for meetings, parades, and various city events. In 1932, a sculpture of V.I. Lenin, the leader of the Russian proletariat, which was designed by sculptor Y. Abalakov, was erected in the Main Square. Another one designed by V. Sytchov and architect A. Morozov later replaced this sculpture. Next to the square is the Mithridates Staircase, which erected during 1830’s — 1840’s by the architect A. Digbi. Two hundred fourteen steps led to the Kerch Museum of Antiquities. In 1944, some dozens of steps were added to get to the top of the Mithridates Mount, where the Obelisk of Glory was erected. Since 1985, there has been ongoing reconstruction and restoration of the Big Mithridates Staircase by the architect S. Kanyev.

Kerch - the city of gryphons.
Kerch — the city of gryphons.

Due to the architects’ skills, antique and modern traditions have been successfully combined in Kerch’s architecture. The gryphons on the Mithridates staircase serve as just one example. The gryphon became the emblem of the city in the forth century ВС, and in during the 1830’s AD, two stone gryphons were placed on the Big Mithridates Staircase to guard peace in Kerch.

Установка грифонов на Митридате

The sculptures were ruined with time and it was not until 1987, when new gryphons made of concrete, occupied their place again. In the 19th century, gryphons also decorated the entrance to the city at Shlagbaum Square, symbolizing Kerch as an exceptional and historically unique city. In autumn 1941, during World War II, the mythological beast-like birds were taken away as their presence made the mass evacuation from the Crimea conspicuous. The city was left without its symbol of security. Today, the gryphons not only decorate the Big Mithridates Staircase. The golden mythological creature with a key in its paws also rests on the top of the Memorial Column devoted to the city’s 2600th anniversary.

Грифон - символ города Керчь

Kerch - the city of gryphons.

Маяк на мысе Фонарь, у Керчи
На самой восточной оконечности Крыма, на мысе Фонарь уже несколько веков работает верный друг всех мореходов — Еникальский маяк. Читать полностью «Еникальский маяк, Керчь»


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