After visiting the Livadia area, take a scenic drive along the spectacular coastline to the Swallow's Nest, erected on the 40-meters high Aurora cliff of Cape Ai-Todor. It is definitely one of the most striking sights attracting numerous visitors. The Swallow`s Nest resembling a medieval Gothic Castle has become a peculiar emblem of the South Coast. It was designed by the architect A. Sherwood in 1912 for the owner, a Baku (Azerbaijan) oilman - German Baron Von Shteingel. A. Sherwood was the son of the well-known Russian Architect Vladimir Sherwood, the creator of the building of the History Museum on Red Square in Moscow. This mini-castle on the sheer rock of Cape Ai-Todor withstood the earthquacke of 1927 and was restored later. After reconstraction in 1967-1968 the Swallow`s Nest become a symbol of Soviet Crimea.
The earliest vestiges of human life on the seaside date back to the paleolithic Age. In the vicinty of Greater Yalta implements made of flint have been found whose age is more than 40 thousandis years. The remains of the Tauri settlements and shelters have been preserved to this day. The largest ones of them are on Cape Ai-Todor (where is the Swallow`s Nest), on Mount Ayu-Dag (in Gurzuf town) and Mount Koshka (the Cat) in Simeiz village. In the last millenium B.C. the seaside and mountainous parts of the Crimea were inhabited by Tauri. The Crimea was originally called Taurica from this tribe`s name. The information of Tauri came down to us from antique historians and the most valuable one -from Herodotus. Tauri lived a settled life were engaged in cattle-breeding, farming, hunting and in the coastal areas - fishing. Exavations yield stone implements, pottery, bronze embelishments, less frequently arms made of iron and bronze.
Not far from the Swallow`s Nest is located the ruins of the ancient Charax (Kharaks) fortress are located on Ai-Todor Cape (St. Feodor-greek), built by Roman legionaries at the I century A.D. Archaeologists discovered the remains of the fortress walls and also dwelling and storage facilities, household articles.
From the second half of the 1st to the middle of the 3d centuries A. D. the central Tauri settlement on Cape Ai-Todor was occupied by the Roman legionaries who came here from Chersonesus. The Kharaks (Charax) fortress built by them became the Roman`s outpost on the South Coast of the Crimea. The remnants of the defensive wall, reserve basin - nymphaeon, thermae and other structure have been preserved. The monuments have been being explored for more than 100 years. The finds of different years are kept in Moscow museums - the State History Museum and the Alexander Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, in Yalta at the Local History Museum and others.
Nowadays the Swallow's Nest is the most visited place on the entire southern Coast of the Crimea
In Gaspra September 4, 2011 was the competiotion of the World Series Red Bull Cliff Diving. For competition, cliff divers watched about 15.000 spectators. The Castle Swallow`s Nest was established platform, distance to water 27 meters. Visit this place with Sergey Tsarapora and Yalta - Sevastopol Private Tour Guides!
Swallow's Nest, 1905. Photo by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky
Yalta with it's Swallow's Nest, on Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, also hosts the fifth stop of the 2011 World Series on August 29-30.