Balaclava («Fish Nest») is a splendid and beautiful 3000 years old town situated in a small cozy bay. The sea coast of the bay were inhabited from the ancient times.

The ancient Greeks who settled here in 422 called it Syumbolon Limpe that is Harbour of Signs or Presage.

The Tauriset fire on the coast to attract the ships sailing by. The ships were robbed and the seafarers had to be sacrifices on Cape Phyolent in the temple of their goddess. It is believed that it was the port of lestrigones Lamosa.

In accordance with mythology the lestrigons were cannibals whom Odysseus and his fellows met during their voyage.

Homer described the bay in the tenth canto of «Odyssey«:

» For six days and nights they had been riding the waves, and on the seventh one

They entered a glorious harbour of lestrigons;

It was formed by the cliffs,

Steeply rising from the both sides, coming together at

The estuary so big, facing each other from the dark deep

Of the sea sticking up rocks, blocking the entrance and exit…»1Балаклава-крепость Чимбало

In 14th century Syumbolon was conquered by the Genoese and called Chembalo. Balaclava became the west advanced post of the Genoese colonization. The defenses occupy the most part of the Fortification mount, many watching towers were built. The biggest and best preserved is the Tower-Donjon — the last shelter for the beleaguered.

In 1357 the Genoese Simon del Orto built a temple which was turned into a Christian church under the name of The Twelve Apostles. It is the oldest building in Balaclava nowadays.

The local Tatar inhabitants called the settling Balyk-Kaya (Fish Cliff) as Afanasiy Nikitin (d.1472) mentioned in his book “Travelling Over The Three Seas». The local Greeks called it Yamboli as transformed Chembalo.

In 1475 the town fell to the Turks who gave it the name of Balyk-Yuve that means “Fish Nest”, which was transformed in Balaclava. Under the Turks Balaclava became a shipbuilding centre.

In XVIII century the town fell into neglect.

In 1770s Balaclava Baybecame a naval base for ships of the Azov battleship flotilla. In spring 1773 the commander of the flotilla vice-admiral O.N. Senyavin (1716-1797) ordered to investigate the Bay of Akhtiar-Ak-Yar (White Precipice).

The bay was investigated by the navigator I. Baturin from the battleship «Modon» under command of lieutenant F.F. Ushakov (1745-1817), future famous naval commander.

The bays were highly estimated by the commander of Russian troops in the Crimea Alexander Suvorov(1730-1800) who ordered to build fortifications at the bays and made them secure against the enemy’s battleships.

In 1820 Alexander Pushkin on his way from Gurzuf to Bakhchisarai visited Cape Phyolent and the monastery. It was here that those poetic lines were born:

«My cold doubts, away, away!

I believe, the temple stood here…»

During the Crimean war the battle ships of the British Navy based in Balaclava bay. The English squadron came up to Balaclava on October 14, 1854. It was met by the gun fire from the fortress. There were four mortars of lieutenant Markovand the Greek company of the Balaclava battalion under command of colonel M.A. Manto.

The fortress stood firm till the last cartridge. The English built an embankment /now it bears the name of Nazukin, and the first Crimean railway in February 1855. After the war the railway was dismantled and sold to Turkey.

At night on November 24, 1854 during unusual hurricane and storm at Balaclava sank many of the British battleships which could not seek shelter in the bay. Among them there was the famous frigate «Black Prince», the treasure, he had aboard became a popular legend.

Not very far from Balaclava at the village of Kadi-Koy, now within the town, the famous inconclusive Battle of Balaclava fought by the British and French against the Russians took placeon 25 October 1854

The Charge of the Light Brigadewas a charge of British cavalry, the famous suicidal attack, led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War (1853–56).

The Charge of the Light Brigade is a 1936 historical film made by Warner Bros.

The story is very loosely based on the famous Charge of the Light Brigade that took place during the Crimean War Balaclava is a city in the Crimea.

There are British, Russian and Turkish monuments in the area.

A plaque was left at the British memorial (deep in the vineyards) in 2004 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Since that time the name of Balaclava are well known in the English history and language: there is Balaclava Street in London, a close-fitting woolen covering for the head and neck is called balaclava helmet.

Nowadays Balaclava goes in the directions of Yalta and Sevastopol.

It is one of the districts of Sevastopol — 12 km. far from the center of the city.







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