Crimea Landscapes: Natural Wonders & Ancient Ruins [38 PICS]

March 6th, 2014 Permalink

The Swallow’s Nest castle high on the cliff above the beautiful Black Sea has become an icon for Crimea, Ukraine. But the Crimea you hear about now involves the Ukraine crisis. While we hope for a peaceful resolution, Crimea lawmakers voted in favor of leaving Ukraine for Russia, as Russia already has the Black Sea peninsula under its control. In 10 days, citizens of Crimea must choose: Stay in Ukraine or join Russia. The crisis in Ukraine made us remember Gagra, the resort paradise turned to ruins, aka the abandoned Russian Riviera. We became curious about what else does Crimea look like, besides a castle? Here are some of what we found; here are amazing natural wonders in Crimea, gorgeous landscapes and seascapes, places with so many caves that they are known as cave towns, as well an ancient ruins that go back to medieval times. [38 Photos]

Swallow's Nest castle high on the cliff above the beautiful Black Sea has become an icon for Crimea, Ukraine crisis, Russia

Although the Swallow’s Nest castle high on the cliff above the beautiful Black Sea has become an icon for Crimea, Crimea is so much more than a castle or resorts along the Black Sea. Here are some of Crimea’s amazing natural wonders and ancient ruins. Photo #1 by Fr Maxim Massalitin

Bear Mountain (Ayu-Dag) in Crimea, a natural heritage site in Ukraine

Bear Mountain (Ayu-Dag) in Crimea, a natural heritage site in Ukraine. One of 10 Crimean natural places entered into Ukraine’s top 100 Natural Wonders. National Geo listed Crimea as one of the best trips in 2013, but you can’t go see it right now. In fact, according to Wikitravel: WARNING: Crimea has officially been closed by both pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian forces. Armed pro-Russian gangs of young men have been said to be patrolling the streets at all hours and brutally beating and robbing anybody suspected of being Ukrainian or western. As the Russian invasion of Crimea continues, the US State Department encourages all travelers to divert non-essential travel to Crimea. If you must go be sure to exercise extreme caution, as the situation could quickly escalate. DO NOT in any case wear clothing with insignia of USA, EU, or Ukraine. Photo #2 by Oillin


Waterfall at Grand Canyon of Crimea

It’s said that about 60% of Crimea’s population is Russian, since Crimea was part of Russia until it was ceded to Ukraine in 1954 by the Soviet Union. You may have heard that in the news, but we want to show you beauty and not strife. Did you know that Crimea has a Grand Canyon? This is one of the waterfalls in the Crimean Grand Canyon. Photo #3 by Сергій Криниця (Haidamac)

On the way to the Crimea Grand Canyon, Uch-Cosh clove

On the way to the Crimea Grand Canyon, Uch-Cosh clove. Photo #4 by idlhero

Campers at Fiolent Cape, Crimea

Campers at Fiolent Cape, Crimea. Cape Fiolent is along the Crimean peninsula between Sevastopol to Balaklava. It has volcanic origin and has numerous rocks of varying sizes from stones to minature islands. Photo #5 by dmitryburge

The lost lighthouse, Crimea, Ukraine

The lost lighthouse, Crimea. Photo #6 by wind of renovatio

Waterfall in Crimea, Ukraine

A waterfall the photographer called “Jur-Jur” in Crimea. Photo #7 by Irene Mei

The Kara Dag (Black Mountain) is a volcano on the Black Sea in Crimea

The Kara Dag (Black Mountain) is a volcano on the Black Sea in Crimea. There is also a Kara Dag Nature Reserve. Photo #8 by Max Bashirov

Golden Gate natural arch, Karadag nature reserve as seen from the Black Sea, Crimea

Golden Gate natural arch, Karadag nature reserve as seen from the Black Sea. The reserve was created in 1979 to protect Europe’s only Jurassic period rocky shoreline massif. Formations on the reserve came from extinct volcanoes. Photo #9 by Andrew (polandeze)

Crimea winter landscape on Ai-Petri mountain

Crimean winter landscape, also tagged Ai-Petri, “the most famous mountain” from which to contemplate the beauty of Crimea. Photo #10 by Irene Mei

Laspy Bay rocks dubbed Devil Fingers

Above Laspy Bay, these rocks are called Devil Fingers. Photo #11 by Сергій Криниця (Haidamac)

Balaklava Bay

Massive panorama of Balaklava Bay. Photo #12 by Petar Milošević

Balaklava underground, formerly classified submarine base that was operational until 1993

Balaklava underground was formerly a classified submarine base; it was operational until 1993. Photo #13 by Kyrylo Kalugin

St Vladimir's Cathedral overlooks the extensive excavations and Ruins of Chersonesos, Crimea

St. Vladimir’s Cathedral overlooks the extensive excavations and Ruins of Chersonesos, Crimea. Chersonesus “is an ancient Greek colony founded approximately 2,500 years ago in the southwestern part of the Crimean Peninsula. The ancient city is located on the shore of the Black Sea at the outskirts of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine, where it is referred to as Khersones. It has been nicknamed the ‘Ukrainian Pompeii’ and ‘Russian Troy’.” Photo #15 by Dmitry A. Mottl

Cave on Mt. Ay-Petri, Crimea

Cave on Mt. Ay-Petri, Crimea. Photo #16 by thisisbossi

Esky-Kermen cave town in Crimea, Ukraine

Esky-Kermen (Eski Kermen) cave town in Crimea was a medieval city-stronghold. Photo #17 by thisisbossi

Cave room at Mangup, Crimea

Both Chufut Kale and Mangup Kale are cave-towns. Kale means “fortress” and Mangup is the biggest cavern fortress on the Crimean peninsula. There are ancient defensive walls, now ruins, still standing in Mangup. There are also caves, some still used as monasteries or temples. The biggest and the most unique cave is “Baraban Koba. There is a column inside it, and if you hit it, it makes a drumming sound.” The photographer called this Mangup shot, “A stone apartment.” Photo #18 by Nikolai Vassiliev

Mammoth bones in Marble Cave, Crimea, Ukraine

Mammoth bones in Marble Cave, Crimea. Although Marble Cave was not named as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Ukraine, it was nevertheless notable enough to be given a hat tip. Photo #19 by lizzzka_l4u

Chufut-Kale cave city, Crimea, a fortress in the middle ages

Chufut-Kale cave city served as another fortress in the middle ages. There are around 200 caves at Chufut that have been used as shelters, as churches, mosques, and prayer houses over the centuries. Photo #20 by thisisbossi

Adalary, island rocks off Crimea

Adalary, island rocks of Gursuf, Crimea. Photo #21 by Сергій Криниця (Haidamac)

Looking toward Yalta from the ridge Kizil-Kaya, the Yalta mountain nature reserve

Looking toward Yalta from the ridge Kizil-Kaya, the Yalta mountain nature reserve. Yalta is a beautiful resort town along the Black Sea; the town has numerous historically famous and modern attractions. Photo #22 by Mevo (Павел Можаев)

Church of Christ's Resurrection in Foros, Crimea

Church of Christ’s Resurrection in Foros, Crimea. Photo #23 by Lexis_2k

Black Sea and tree growing on the rocks of the Crimean Mountains

Black Sea and tree growing on the rocks of the Crimean Mountains. Photo #24 by Fr Maxim Massalitin

Parasailing over the amazing landscape of Koktebel, Crimea

Para-sailing by the Black Sea over the amazing Koktebel Valley landscape. Photo #25 by a’Shioji

Cape Martyan Reserve, Crimea

Cape Martyan, near Nikita Botanical Garden, Crimea. Cape Martyan Reserve consists of 590 acres (240 hectares) divided almost evenly between land and the adjoining Black Sea. Photo #26 by Tada008

Swallows Nest castle, Crimea, Ukraine

Besides these natural wonders, Crimea has incredible architecture and many man-made wonders like the Swallows Nest, a castle built for love, but steeped in sad history. Photo #27 by Fr Maxim Massalitin

Autumn waterfall in the forest of Crimea

Autumn waterfall in the forest of Crimea. Photo #28 by Irene Mei

Sunlight and Crimea mountains as seen from a helicopter

Sunlight and Crimea mountains as seen from a helicopter. Photo #29 by Vlad Аrchic

View of Balaklava as seen from the Genoese fortress

View of Balaklava as seen from the Genoese fortress. Photo #30 by Tomasz Wojtyś

Sudak Fortress, Crimea

Genoese fortress in Sudak, Crimea. It was founded in 1371. The fortress was built atop an ancient coral reef formation now located 492 ft (150 m) above sea level. Photo #31 by TPG

Cow in the ruins, a small, abandoned farm outside Sudak, Crimea

The area around Crimea has seen many wars over the centuries and has many ruins. The photographer wrote, “This photo was taken during a hike nearby Sudak. The hills were gently rounded and the landscape was somewhat similar to that presented in ‘Fallout’ video games (out-of-order gas stations, giant rusted tanks etc., no people at all). We came upon something looking like a small, abandoned farm. The place was so perfectly and precisely ruined it looked almost like a movie set! It seemed that the only inhabitants were this cow and a pig, resting in mud nearby.” Photo #32 by Lukasz Kryger

Cloudwave over Khaphal, Crimea

The Russia – Ukraine conflict, more stormy times ahead for Crimea? Cloudwave over Khaphal. Photo #33 by Kyrylo Kalugin

Double rainbow over Village Tankovoe, Bakhchisaray district, Crimea

Double rainbow over Village Tankovoe, Bakhchisaray district, Crimea. Photo #34 by Kosun

Storm, water spout, on the Black Sea

Storm, water spout, on the Black Sea. Photo #35 by Sergey Galyonkin

Different perspective in Crimea, yellow cable car over Yalta forest

Different perspective in Crimea, yellow cable car over Yalta. Photo #36 by Alex Akopyan

The Ring, in a Crimean cave

“The Ring” — creepy capture in a Crimean cave. Photo #37 by Anton Bielousov

Crimea, lighthouse at dawn

Crimea, lighthouse at dawn. Crimea…Ukraine’s or Russia’s? Not even taking into account the fabulous resort temperatures or seaside military advantage, it’s not hard to see why any country might want Crimea as their own. Photo #38 by Anton Bielousov


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