Alexander Pushkin in the Crimea.

In August 1820, while in exile, A. Pushkin stayed two weeks in Gurzuf with the Rayevskys’ family. While sailing to Gurzuf he wrote the famous lines of his elegy «The Day Luminary Has Sunk…» Alexander Pushkin admired the scenery of Gurzuf, with poplars like magnificent green columns and huge Ayu-Dag.

Later A.S. Pushkin wrote: «In Yur-zuf I had nothing to do, I bathed in the sea, overate grapes. I liked, awake at night, to listen the noise of the waves — and I had been listening to it for hours. A few steps away from the house a new cypress grew; every day I visited it and felt as if we made friends with it».     Read more…

In Gurzuf  Alexander Pushkin learnt English and translated some poems of Byron. N. Rayevsky who knew English rather well helped A. Puskin with his translation and sometimes they consult Nikolai’s sister Maria who spoke English like a native speaker.

Gurzuf is the cradle of his «Yevgeny Onegin». This time in Gurzuf A. Pushkin will call later «the most happiest minutes of my life».

He was sure that his’ spirit would fly to Gurzuf . On June 6, 1989, on his 190th birthday, his words came true: A. S. Pushkin Literary Memorial Museum was opened in Gurzuf.

Together with General Rayevsky and his son A.S. Pushkin visited the Nikita Botanical Garden, Massandra and a small at that time village of Yalta, Alupka, Simeiz, the Pass «Devil’s Stairs«, the valley of Baidar, the ancient George Monastery near Balaclava, where he saw the ruins of the Diana’s Temple…

Here A. Pushkin heard the legend about the Bakhchisarai Fountain of Tears.

There are several fountains in the Bakhchisarai Khan’s Palace One of them that made Bakhchisarai famous is called Fountain of Tears.

This remarkable monument of architecture, created in 1764 buy the Persian sculptor Omer, has become a poetic image, a symbol of live human sorrow embodied in cold stone.

The fountains of the palace ripple day and night filling the basins, cooling the air with running streams. In the Middle Ages the water-supply system was fed by 150 wells, and there were many fountains in the town. But simple and inconspicuous Fountain of Tears was and is still a unique one.

Before being removed to the Fountain Yard, it stood by the Diiyara-Biketch Mausoleum, which towers desolately to this day in the remote corner of the garden. The person of Dilyara Biketch has not been historically ascertained and is shrouded in poetic works. According to the legend the fountain was devoted to her. Many literary men, scholars, researchers stick to the facts that the captive Polish beauty Maria Potocka is responsible for the world-wide renown of the Fountain of Tears.

Professor L.P. Grossman, one of the researchers of A.S. Pushkin’s literary heritage, said that Pushkin’s» Bakhchisarai Fountain» is a poem about a Polish young girl, inspired by her and written for her.

The Fountain of Tears inspired also Adam Mickiewicz, Lesia Ukrayinka, Asan Chergeyev (1879-1946), Mikhail Lvov (b.1917).

The praise to the creator «who through subtlety of mind found water and set up a splendid fountain» can’t be an exaggeration. On the marble plate Omer cut out a flower petal, then more and more. In the middle of the flower he cut out a human eye. A heavy man’s tear was to drop down on the stone breast as if to scald it day and night without ceasing. A tear, appearing in the human eye, was to run down, as if falling over the cheeks and breast, and dripping from one ledge to another.

Omer also cut a snail, a symbol of doubt, which he knew was gnawing the Khan’s soul: what  had been the purpose of his life with its joy and sorrow, love and hatred and other conflicting feelings?

Since that days the fountain stands in the Bakhchisarai Palace, and weeps, weeps day and night…

So Omer enabled us to recall and remember through the centuries love and woe, life and Dilyara’s sufferings and tears.

The ancients said that architecture was a silent poetry.

Pushkin found the Palace and Fountain of Tears in desolation but the first Oriental Town in his life struck him with its particular local colour.

Bakhchisarai inspired Alexander  Pushkin and later his inspiration will help him to create the famous poems about the «Fountain of Tears.»

Many years later in his letter to Delwig he asked him: «Why do the South Coast and Bakhchisarai have for me an ineffable charm?»

To The Fountain In The Palace Of Bakhchisarai

The stream of love, the stream alive,
I brought to thee two roses, as a present.
I like the ceaseless murmur thy,
And lyric tears, still and pleasant.

Thy silver dust, that hangs in air,
Drops onto me like dew of morning,
Oh, go, go, dear flowing,
Sing, sing to me thy saga fair.

The stream of love, the stream of sadness!
And I have asked thy marble’s white:
I’ve read the praise to lands of aliens,
But Mary was not there implied.

The pale star of the harem, dreary!
Are you forgotten in a past?
Or whether Zarema and Mary
Are only happy dreams for us?

And only dreamed imagination
Had drowned in the empty dark
Its flitting visions’ pale reflections,
The soul fancy’s easy mark?

On September 8. 1820 A. Pushkin left Bakhchisarai for Simferopol and later to Kishinev.

In 1999 to mark the 200th anniversary of great Russian poet A.S. Pushkin, the Monument to creator of the poem «Bakhchisarai Fountain» was unveiled near the Khan’s palace.

From the coast of Tauris.

What chill objection here suffices?

It’s my belief: here stood a shrine

Where blood to quench a thirst divine

Was shed wit human sacrifices;

Here did the Furies’ wrath abate

Whose vengeance had been all-devouring;

For here the prophetess of Tauris

Did not her brother immolate;

These ruins saw the affirmation

Of friendship sacred and sublime,

And two great spirits of their time

Were justly proud of their creation.

To Chaadaev.

Do you recall the past, Chaadayev?

With youthful zeal not long ago

The fateful name I had decided

On other ruins to bestow?

But hearts the storm has subjugated

To sloth and quietude incline,

And so now, tenderly elated,

Upon the stone friends consecrated

I shall inscribe your name and mine.

(Translated by Peter Tempest)

My talisman, pray, be my guard,
In days of strongest agitation,
Of prosecution, lamentation:
The day, I’ve owned you, was hard.

When the ocean will ride,
Around me the rolls in ire,
When clouds will be set in fire,
My talisman, pray, be my guard.

In life with homeland apart,
In peaceful being’s boring rattle,
In trouble of a flame of battle,
My talisman, pray, be my guard.

Illusion, sanctified and bright,
My soul’s light and consolation
It chanced to be adulteration —
My talisman, pray, be my guard.

So, let the wounds of my poor heart
Will not be touched be recollection,
Farewell my hope, sleep attraction,
My talisman, pray, be my guard.

learnt English and translated some poems of Byron. N. Rayevsky who knew English rather well helped A. Puskin with his translation and sometimes they consult Nikolai’s sister Maria who spoke English like a native speaker.

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