People who travel across the Crimea should visit Kerch. It’s a city located on the eastern part of the Crimean peninsula. Kerch, founded 2600 years ago, is considered as one of the most ancient cities in Ukraine and in the whole world. Today there are a lot of historical and architectural sights of different times there. So we offer you to see the city of Kerch and its main landmarks.
First we decided to visit Eni-Kali fortress (“A new fortress” in translation from Tatar). It was built in 1703.
July of 1700 was the year of signing the truce in Turkey’s capital according to which the Sultan gave to Russia Azov lands and Moscow stopped rendering tribute to Crimean Khan. At the same time fortifications were being built to withstand the future Russian invasion.
Many fortifications were being built at Azov coastline since 1699. The chosen position was located on the steep bank of Kerch.
The position was shielded by shoals and Turkish ships. Taman fortress served as a good rear.
This place is extremely hard for ships to pass. They were strongly attacked by shore weapons.
A new square-shaped fortress was walled. The fortified walls were risen up to 50 metres.
There was the main Black Sea defence stuff since then. The former control center and the old Kerch fortress were reserved.
The Eni-Kale garrison consisted of 2000 people, but usually about 1000 of soldiers stayed here. They were Turks mainly. Also there were tatar volunteers who were found in the nearest villages. They lived inside the fortress and got earnings from Sultans’s treasury.
Russia and Turkey signed a Truce Treaty on July 5, 1774. The 19 paragraph of the Treaty ran as follows: “Eni-Kale fortress and the city of Kerch located in the Crimea are held by Russia forever”.
In 1825 Eni-Kale lost its status because of the growing role of neighbouring Kerch. Thus began provincial life.
Next, we visited Tsar Mound. From a distance it looks like a hill.
Mounds began to be built inter vivos of the owner. The main room was built first and then came the passage called dromos. After the death the owner was brought into the main room through the dromos and then the whole structure was moulded.
The passage ceiling.
The deceased were put in marble sarcophagus from Greece. Sometimes they were made of wood. Tableware, harness, weapons and jewellery were put near the body. Sometimes a coin was found in the hand or in the mouth of the deceased. Greeks believed that the soul is to pass over the underground river Styx and you need a coin to pay fot this.
When in 1837 the Mould was found there were no traces of burial place. Thus occured 2 versions – the Mould wasn’t used or it was looted (a breach was found in the dromos). Perhaps tomb riders came here through this breach. Happily the structure itself was built to stand for centuries.
Building techniques make this structure unique. To be exact several kinds of techniques. Firstly, 3 main geometric figures can be found in the Mound. The narrow passage is triangle.
The main room of the tomb is square-shaped.
And the ceiling of the room is rounded.
Secondly, the walls are built to produce an illusion that dromos isn’t very long. You can see it from the entrance.
But if you take a look at the passage from the tomb you will be surprised. It would look much longer. We can interpret such a design like this – our life is very short and it is impossible to get back.
Crosses are another unique discovery. They were found on the Mound’s walls concerning the fact that the Mound was built in IV BC and Christianity was adopted 400 years later.
Next we move to the north. There are unusual mud volcanoes at this place.
In fact these volcanoes are 1 metre in height but they look very impressive from a particular angle.
Fresh mud flows out from the top. Grey circle is a trace of broken hydrosulphuric bubble (it broke as we came closer to take a picture).
A mud lake stretches far ahead.
How do these plants survive here?
Coming closer… Scorched earth.
The “iron horse” decided to wait us in safety…)
Bug bubbles in the middle of the lake.
This one looks like a hippo hidden under the water.
We didn’t have an experience of being in such a place.
You can view the fanciful movements of mud for a very long time.
A bit closer…
It took much effort to angle the shoes.