Simeiz (“Sign”) is located by the southern slopes of the main range of Crimean Mountains at the base of Mount Koshka, 18 kilometers (12 miles) west from Yalta.

There are prehistoric dolmens nearby; Simeiz (“Sign”) lies in the locality where at one time there were Tauri settlements and fortifications.

Their remains are to be found on the mount Koshka (“Cat-mount”)-it is the shape of the mountain resembles a sitting cat.

The height is 254 metres. On the mountain’s western slope lies the biggest Tauri necropolis on the Southern coast.

In the Middle Ages the area was under the control of the Byzantine Empire, which built a fortified monastery in the vicinity .

As the Byzantine power weakened, the area fell under the control of Genoa, which in its turn gave way to the Ottoman Empire; under the Ottomans the village was ruled from Mangup.

By 1778, with the departure of the Christian population, the village was depopulated.

The ruins of a monastery and fortified walls which stands on the seashore are seen near the Sail – Rock.

In 1828 Simeiz came into the ownership of Ivan Akimovich Maltsov, who planted grapevines and fruit orchards; at the start of the 20th century his descendants created a resort, Novy Simoiz, which quickly became one of the most prestigious resorts in the Crimea. In 1912 Nicholas II visited with his family. More…

This period saw the construction of a park and a number of villas which remain to this day. After the October Revolution, Simeiz was nationalized and public sanatoriums were created, mainly specializing in tuberculosis. In 1927 Simeiz was visited by around 10,000 people.

During World War II the Germans occupied Simeiz, causing much death and destruction; on April,16, 1944 Simeiz was liberated by the Red Army. On May, 18, 1944 the local Crimean Tatars were exiled to Central Asia. 

After the war, the resort experienced a rebirth, and the ruins were gone by 1955. Since the end of the Soviet Union, however, it has seriously deteriorated.

Simeiz observatory organized by an amateur astronomer and later Honored member of the Academy of Science, Mikhail Maltsov.

In 1900 he built a tower for refractor at his land plot near Simeiz. In 1906 — a tower with dome for Zeiss double astrograph. Both towers are preserved and being used nowadays.

In 1908, Maltsov handed his observatory to Pulkovo observatory as a present. In 1912, the first astrophysical department of Pulkovo observatory was officially opened at the south of Russia. Simeiz observatory is situated at the level of 360 meter above sea level at southern mountainside of the Crimean mountains, at Koshka mountain. A main building was restored after the Second World War on the basis of old building in modernized style with balconies decorated by columns.

Simeiz is a major scientific centre as well as a resort now. On the ridge ofmounting Koshka (“Cat-mount”) one can see the silver cupolas of the Semeiz Branch of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, which is famous for its contributions to the study of small planets and vital problems relating to the physics of the Sun. Simeiz Observatory was an astronomy research observatory until the mid 1950s.

One of the biggest telescopes in the world has been built for studying millimeter-long radio waves on the western side of mounting Koshka. Part of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, it is currently used for laser based studies of the orbits of satellites.

In 1969 the Crimean scientist conducted a unique joint study of quasars together with their colleges from the American National Observatory at Green Bank. The results of research of stars and the Sun represents an independent value.

Behind mountain Koshka lies the village of Blue Cove. Below, next to the sea, is the small settlement of Katsiveli. It is a resort region, located at the southern shore of Crimea – one of the most famous recreational territories of the former Soviet Union. A circular building there holds a storm pool where one can obtain any possible sea conditions. The hydro physicists study the deep-sea life not only under laboratory conditions, they also set off on distant expeditions on the ships with the special equipment.

Across from the resort sites of the Krivoy Rog Miner Holiday Hotel. The Crimean mountains

form the Kastropol Wall, which is well known to mountain-climbers. Among its features is a pass called the Devil’s Stairs, a canyon with a path, a neglected ancient road. At one time the road from the Southern Cost to Chersonesus passed through here.

Bidding farewell to the Southern Coast of the Crimea the poet Alexander Pushkin climbedthe Devil’s Stairs in 1820.

The talented Ukrainian poetess Lesia Ukrayinka dedicated some verses to this beautiful and poetic pass.


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