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SEVASTOPOL 5.00/5(2 votes)

Somebody once said “Words have meaning and names have power”.
Back in 1784 Catherine the Great (Catherine II) initiated building of a fortress in a small Russian navy settlement located in a unique quiet harbor of the Black Sea. The new navy base was named Sevastopol which in Greek means “magnificent, glorious city, city of flame”. The name became prophetic for the city, and Sevastopol has proved to be worth it.

Being a relatively new city Sevastopol has grown into the second largest port in Ukraine after Odessa and has become one of two cities in Ukraine with a special status.

All Ukrainians and people from the former USSR acknowledge Sevastopol is the city of military honor. Twice it has risen from the ashes after being destroyed during prolonged sieges at the time of the Crimean War of 1854-1855 and the World War II. Until now the city has been a base of the Russian Black Sea fleet and the Ukrainian Naval Forces. If you happen to travel to Crimea and visit Sevastopol you are likely to meet young and older men neatly dressed in Russian and Ukrainian navy uniform at any part of the city. But to feel the real spirit of the city you better plan your visit for July when the holiday of Navy Day is celebrated by both Russian and Ukrainian fleets and thousands of locals and tourists gather to watch the parade and show of naval forces.

It is hard to imagine travelling to Sevastopol without visiting numerous sights left from the times of the wars or established afterwards to commemorate the outstanding events which are an important part of the city’s history. Every guide will definitely share with you a story of The Monument to the scuttled ships which has become the symbol of Sevastopol known far away from Ukraine. To learn more about the great feats accomplished by ordinary seamen and famous commanders you should visit Malakhov Kurgan, Sapun Ridge (also known as Mount Sapoune or Sapun Hill), 35th coastal battery, Fort Michael and Fort Constantine which were key defense positions during wars. To remember about war heroes locals and travelers come to National Memorial Complex located at Historical Boulevard, Memorial of Heroic Defense of Sevastopol in 1941-1942, walk around Primorsky (Seaside) Boulevard and Nakhimov Square where various memorial signs and monuments tell the history.

But the key tourist attraction in Sevastopol is one of the largest panoramas in the world named “Defense of Sevastopol of 1854-1855″. There you will find yourself right in the middle of one of the most important battles on June 6, 1855 pictured on a huge spectacular 360-degree gigantic canvas merged seamlessly. If army and navy is your true passion you may take a look at the ships of the Black Sea Fleet from a short distance taking a trip around Sevastopol’s bays onboard of a small excursion boat. Plenty of them can be found near navel gates of the city, The Count’s Quay (Grafskaya Pristan), which stands out with its white colonnade and the stairs going down to the sea.

But visiting Sevastopol is not only about military sights. The city is located next to the most Southern point on the Crimean coast (the Sarych headland) and this provides perfect beaches, healthy air, gentle sun and warm seawater almost all year around. Besides, Sevastopol has a well developed transportation system. You can easily get to the city by train, by airplane, by bus or booking private transportation from any point in Crimea or Ukraine. What else is needed for a perfect vacation?

You should travel to Sevastopol if you want to get healthier by swimming in the Black Sea and relaxing in the sun, go diving or sailing, enjoy local fruits and wine, or simply take a closer look at this magnificent city. Sevastopol was closed to outsiders until 1996 and to get in one needed an official permit. Probably this contributed to the unique atmosphere you will find in the city. People here have even developed their own language. Although Russian is widely spoken around the city many unusual Sevastopol slang words can make it difficult to understand even for native speakers.

Located at the seaside Sevastopol provides great opportunities to learn more about sea inhabitants. If you do not happen to meet wild dolphins while going sailing, you will get an unforgettable impression from the spectacular shows given by dolphins and other sea animals in dolphinarium. Sevastopol also boasts of one of the oldest aquariums in the world which is also the only aquarium with sea water in Ukraine. More than 180 types of various sea fish, reptiles and other animals are displayed there. The aquarium has a unique collection of fish you can only find in the Black Sea.

Unlike other cities, Sevastopol has another city located in its territory. Although that city is very ancient and almost destroyed it still attracts thousands of travelers from all around the world. The story is about Chersonesus – an ancient Greek colony founded approximately 2,500 years ago. Chersonesus used to be a highly strategic port in ancient times, and Greeks, Romans, and other cultures battled constantly to get control of the region. The importance of Chersonesus is clearly expressed in its nicknames – the “Ukrainian Pompeii” and “Russian Troy”. Ruins of temples and fortresses, ancient colonnade, remains of homes create a specific picture from the history of the area. Here every stone can tell its own history. The Chersonesus’s majestic bell happened to serve in Notre-Dame de Paris. The bathing house is said to be the place where Kiev Prince Vladimir was baptized in 988 and where the Orthodox religion on the Russian and Ukrainian lands took its roots. You can spend all day there viewing impressive ruins of ancient buildings and archaeological exhibits specially organized for tourists.

To complete your travel to Sevastopol you should visit its surroundings. Since ancient times Balaklava Harbour located not far from the city has been an attractive place for people to live. There is even a theory it was a bay mentioned in Homer’s “Odyssey”. Now Balaklava is one of the most popular Crimean destinations for fans of sports like yachting and diving, for historians exploring remains of a Genoese fortress and visiting a Soviet submarine navy base.

Inkerman is another tourist attraction. For years the place has been popular for its significant Christian Cave Monastery of St. Clement which played an important role not only in religious life of the area but was a scene of key battles during wars.

To forget about all your everyday problems spend time around Cape Aya, Cape Fiolent, or Laspi Bay. Fascinating landscapes, magnificent Crimea Mountains, air filled with evergreen scent, crystal clear sea water – maybe this is how the real paradise on the Earth is meant to look.

By participating in many of our tours like “The Magical Crimea”, “The Great Crimean tour around the World” or some of our other Summer relaxation tours you are sure to enjoy all the wonders of Sevastopol and its surroundings. In addition, you may contact us to plan your own individual or group travel to Sevastopol that would meet your interests and expectations.

Enjoy staying on this charming land and enjoy Ukraine!

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