Miskhor -“Half Town”.

Miskhor (“Half Town”) is a resort situated between Yalta and Alupka

The first known inhabitants in these parts were the Tauri, then Romans built a fortress on Cape Ai-Todor.

In the Middle Ages the Romans withdrew from the Southern Coast and a monastery was founded by Fyodor Tyron on Cape Ai — Todor (“Saint Theodore”).

The Swallow’s Nest.     Read more…

Among the architectural monuments of the Crimea there is one which is really remarkable and unusual. It is a castle on the Cape Ai-Todor Most of the tourists begin their tour of the Miskhor resort with the castle on the high promontory.

The promontory is made up of three spurs. On the middle one stands one of the attractions called Lastochkino Gnezdo (“Swallow’s Nest”). Like a swallow’s nest it sticks, overlooking the sea, to the 38-metre-high cliff.

In the second half of the 18th century the property on Cape Ai-Todor changed its owners very often. Then it was bought by one of the oil industrialists baron Steingel, who having a dream to build a romantic castle in the Gothic style. Baron Steingel signed a design contract with an engineer Alexander Sherwood. In 1912 the «Castle of Love» or «Swallows Nest» was erected. Its turrets, spires, crenellations and loopholes give an impression of unapproachable grandeur.

The castle with its picturesque masses, laid out of stone and lined with lime-stone, blends harmoniously with the cliff. Though it looks very fragile it survived a heavy earthquake of 1927. During the earthquake in 1927 a part of the base rock crumbled into the sea and access to the castle was closed.

After the design by engineer Vladimir Timofeyev and architect Ivan Tatiyev in 1971 the rock was fortified with ferro-concrete constructions and the building itself, with anti-seismic bands.

The interiors and the decorative details of the facades were restored. There is a cafe insidp now. A stairway leads from the highway to the » Swallow’s Nest» beginning near the «Parus» (“Sail”) sanatorium. The castle occupies the top of the highest, eastern spur of Cape Ai-Todor.

The holiday-makers of the sanatorium can admire a picturesque view of the sail Rock and the «Swallow’s Nest» as well. The last attracts by its gorgeous interior.

The main room has a fireplace and decorated walls with eleven symbolic medieval shields Skillfully made wood carvings, multicolored incrustation, wall sconces in the form of candies match oak ceilings decorated with dragons.

The next resort complex lies in the western part of Miskhor. Its compositional centre is Miskhor Park laid out at the end of the 18th century. The eastern part of the park was created in the regular French style, while the western part was built in the free English style.

The tour of Miskhor ends at the dock where the pleasure boats are moored. Here on a small rock one can see the bronze figure of a mermaid with a baby in her arms, while on shore next to a fountain stands a young girl with jug. These sculptures created by the famous sculptor Amandus Adamson in 1893. He was inspired by the romantic legend about the beautiful Girl Arzy who was kidnapped for the harem. In a year she threw herself into the waters with her baby boy in arms. That same evening a mermaid holding a baby appeared on the sea shore near Miskhor and the fountain began its marry babbling again…

There are a lot of sanatoriums at Miskhor and cape Ai-Todor. The famous English writer James Aldridge was among the guests of Miskhor’s sanatorium.

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