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Yalta Sights | Swallow's Nest Castle | Lastochkino Gnezdo
Individual and group tours to Yalta

Ukraine Yalta Sights - Swallow's Nest Castle - Lastochkino Gnezdo
Swallow's Nest - the small castle is situated on a steep 40-meter Avrora cliff of Ai-Todor Cape in Gaspra near Great Yalta. The structure resembles a medieval knight's castle. For many years Swallow's Nest Castle has become a kind of symbol of the southern coast of Crimea.

Legend has it that the jealous husband wanted to hide from other men his beautiful wife. He built a castle on the edge of Ai-Todor Cape. From the sea cliffs approaches to it was impassable and from the land - there are were a lot of guards. But not long continued jealousy of the husband. Due lack of freedom the beautiful wife jumped from the rock into the Black sea. So even if a man want someone or something and get her or something - there is no way she or it stay with him forever - life changes.

The name of the first owner of the "Castle of Love" (or "Generalife") as called before "Swallow's Nest" is unknown. It was a retired general and he took part in Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1888 for which he was granted land in the Crimea. However at the time the castle was a wooden.

Its present form "Swallow's Nest" was due to the oil industrialist Baron Steinheil who liked to vacation in the Crimea. Steinheil purchased Avrora cliff area and decided to build a romantic castle which resembles a medieval building on the banks of the Rhine.

The project of new Swallow's Nest Castle was commissioned by engineer and sculptor Leonid Sherwood - a son of architect Vladimir Sherwood which was author of the Historical Museum on Red Square in Moscow.

Already in 1912 close to Ai-Todor Cape was the original Gothic castle. The castle building is 12 meters in height located on the base width of 10 and 20 meters long. As a natural swallow nest is very small as same the internal structure of the castle is very small: entrance hall, living room, stairs and two bedrooms were located in the two-story tower that rose above Aurora cliff.

In 1927 Swallow's Nest Castle damaged during the strong earthquake. The deep oblique fissure was on its upper platform so that was a chance that the castle collapsed at any time. Some of the supporting rocks crashed into the sea and the viewing platform hangs over the precipice.

Only in 1967-1968 forty years after the earthquake architect Tatiev repairs Swallow's Nest Castle without disassembling the walls. Restoration work were aimed at strengthening the foundation, partial modification of the facade and interior. The co-author of Swallow's Nest Castle restoration architect Timofeev put down concrete slab under the basement of the castle. Thus was secured the extreme part of the castle which hanging over the rock.

Every visitor of the Swallow's Nest Castle on semicircular observation place has extraordinary sense of beauty of Black Sea, sailing yachts on waves and immense width of skyline.

Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide

Pavel Korsun
Tour Guide
Ukraine tours and Kiev tours

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