Yalta - Sevastopol Private Tour Guides

       with historian Sergey Tsarapora

    Private Guides in Crimea
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   e-mail: sergey.tsarapora@gmail.com

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[ ] 19.07.2010, 12:26



    Sevastopol is the second largest city of the Crimea. Founded in 1783 as a navy fortress and stronghold of the Russian Empire it was visited by Catherine II, Russian Czars, Churchill and Roosevelt, by all high officials of nowadays. There are more than a thousand monuments, symbols, history sights, memorial places etc. dedicated to the strong resistance of its defenders. The Crimean War (1853-1856) and World War 2 were the world famous pages of "Russian Troy"
     The Panorama is the most remarkable museum of the city. Its circular building was specially constructed for the 5000 sq. feet monumental painting "The Defense of Sevastopol" depicting the battle of June 6, 1855 on the Malakhov Hill during the Crimean War.
The painting is a 360deg display. Some 100 yards south of the Panorama, there is a section of the Bastion IV where seven old cannons are seen. It was that very historical place where Leo Tolstoy, a participant of the Crimean War, started his literary career and where he wrote his "Sevastopol Sketches" during short intervals between the fighting.

     The panorama "Defence of Sevastopol 1854—1855” is a well-known work of battlefield painting and a historical-artistic monument to heroism of those who defended the city during the Eastern (Crimean) War between the Russian Empire and the allied coalition of Great Britain, France, Turkey and Sardinia aimed at redistribution of the spheres of influence in Europe, the Caucasus, the Middle East, Front Asia and Asia Minor. Today it is the only panorama in Ukraine and one of the best in the world.

     It was created within three years (1901 — 1904) by Franz Alekseevich Roubaud (1856—1928) – a prominent battle-painter and the founder of the Russian school of panoramic painting. The artist painted the canvas of panorama and executed all the works on its surrounding relief model in the special­ly built pavilion in Munich. At the same time His­torical Boulevard in Sevastopol saw construction of the panorama building designed by the military en­gineer F. O. I. Enberg with assistance of an architect V. A. Feldman. The panorama was opened on May 14 (27), 1905 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the heroic defence of Sevastopol.

     Huge canvas of panorama with its moor than 4000 human figures, three dimensional relief model featuring defence fortifications and guns, special lightning equipment are skillfully combined to create the effect of "being present” on the Malakhov Hill at the most critical moment of the battle of

     The postwar years brought up the issue of the panorama revival. Taking into account the condi­tion of the saved fragments experts made a decision to repaint the panorama on a new canvas. The group of seventeen Moscow artists headed by the academi­cians of painting V. N. Yakovlev (l893—1953) and then, after his death, by P. P. Sokolov-Skalya (1899-1961) was to face this challenge. The painters, as well as F. A. Roubaud, worked for about three years. At the same time panorama building was raised front ruins with improved equipment and interiors. The panorama was reopened on October 16, 1954 to honour the centenary of the first heroic defence of Sevastopol.

     The defence of Sevastopol lasted for 349 days, but the panorama highlights events of its only one day — June 6 (18), 1855, when the defenders of Sevastopol successfully repelled the attack of French and British troops on the Korabelnaya Storona (Ships Side).

     The panorama was terribly damaged during the Second World War. On June 25, 1942 its building suffered aimed bombing and shelling. The resulting fire destroyed one third of the canvas. Its remaining part, cut into pieces during the rescue, was evacuated to the Caucuses and then to Siberia.

So, one day of the defense of Sevastopol, June 6 (18), 1855. And several art plots.

The day of the first Anglo-French massive attack on Sevastopol. The besieged city is all aflame, full of smoke and fire. Surgeon Nikolay Ivanovich Pirogov is at the dressing station of the Malakhov Hill.

The opposite side of the Sevastopol Harbor makes the Northern Side of the city. Closer, there is Pavlovskaya battery on the cape of its Korabelnaya Storona (Ship`s Side). Reserve regiments in the rear of the Malakhov Hill are ready to attack.

The first Bastion is on the coast of the harbor. The French troops attack has been repulsed there. Soldiers of Tchernigivsky regiment are hurring to help the defenders of the Malakhov Hill. The relief model features a shelter made of baskets.

The Nikiforov battery is repelling the Franch attacks. Dasha Sevastopolskaya is portayed as a woman with a yoke on her shoulder. The relief model has a flagstaff with the hoister red flag to signal danger.

Sailors Pyotr Koshka and Fedor Zaika in the passageway between breastworks are returning from their night sally. The foreground of the painting features soldiers of Poltavsky regiment.

On the defense tower there is a group of officers. To its left there is admiral P. S. Nakhimov, watching the battle. In front of the tower there is a nurse P. I. Grafova, bandaging the wounded.

The breastwork to the right of the tower is all aflame. The Severnaya (Northern) battery is firing. The artilleryman sailors are by the guns. The relief model features a caboose.

On the breastwork the soldiers are firing their guns aiming at the attacking enemies. To the left - sailor T. Alexandrov, pouring water on the bomb, which is about to explode. The relief model shows a ruined officer`s dugout.

View on the South-Eastern part of Sevastopol. Defebders of the Stanislavsky battery are rushing to help the hand-to-hand fighters. The signal of danger is beaten by the young drummer on the hillock.

    We will drive also to Primorsky Park and take a stroll along this seaside promenade. You will see the striking ceremonial gate of the Count's Pier and the Monument to Scuttled Ships, which stands in the sea of the shore. This column with a bronze eagle erected in 1905 has become the symbol of Sevastopol.


See also about world famous Russian medicine doctor, a member of Sevastopol defence,
Nikolay (Nicholas) Pirogov

Mark Twain`s Sebastopol description in his "The Innocents Abroad", Chapter 35, (1869) can see here:




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