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Alushta Sights | Plane Tree-Dinosaur | Staheev Villa Otrada
Individual and group tours to Alushta

Ukraine Alushta Sights - Plane Tree-Dinosaur - Staheev Villa Otrada
150-year-old plane tree "Plane Tree-Dinosaur" - one of the largest sycamores in Ukraine. Its circumference is 6.40 meters and height of 25 meters.

It was called "Dinosaur" because of long horizontal branch length of 10 m and girth 1 meter similar to the tail of a dinosaur in full size.

Next to the "Plane Tree-Dinosaur" there is giant cedar - girth 4.45 meters, height of 28 meters and age about 200 years old.

Both trees are located on the park territory of Villa "Otrada" (Joy) owned by merchant Nicholai Staheev.

Villa "Otrada" (Joy) - one of the most beautiful buildings in Alushta built at the end of XI-X century designed by the famous architect of Yalta Nicholai Krasnov. Elegant villa similar to a small palace is surrounded by exotic plants. This - one of the best parts of the city - with luxurious trees, cozy alleys and comfortable benches. It is now one of the best parts of the city and the Crimean tourist attraction.

Nicholai Staheev - merchant, industrialist and millionaire who made a significant contribution to the development of Alushta. He bought land here in the late nineteenth century. Largely due to his efforts provincial village turned into a small pleasant resort town. Funds of Nicholai Staheev participated in the construction and reconstruction of many city buildings.

Nicholai Staheev was comfortably well off and traveled a lot. He was not only a generous patron but also a passionate player a regular at the casino in Monte Carlo. As noted by contemporaries he squander their money and as he played on big amounts and usually lost a lot of money. One day in 1908 to the dismay of relatives and associates he lost in the casinos of Monte Carlo 15 million gold rubles. (The huge money in those days - the construction of the Livadia Palace, for example, cost the treasury only 4 million rubles).

Before World War I Staheev went to France. After 1918 when his property was nationalized he returned to Moscow to take away from the hiding place of his home the silver and treasure. But when Nicholai was already walking down the street to his house he was stopped by vigilantes. During the interrogation Nicholai Staheev suggested Felix Dzerzhinsky - the head of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counterrevolution and Sabotage - following deal he says where the treasures are hidden in the house and the government provide him an opportunity to leave the country. Felix Dzerzhinsky accepted the terms of Nicholai Staheev. Part of found treasure was gone for building House of Culture in Moscow.

Two journalists of the newspaper "Hooter" - Evgeniy Petrov and Ilya Ilf learned about that history with Nicholai Staheev. It was said that the authors of "Twelve Chairs" interviewed Nicholai Staheev and as a result he became the prototype of Hippolyte Vorobyaninov in a popular novel during the Soviet times.

Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide

Pavel Korsun
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