Swallow's Nest (Crimea)
The Swallow's Nest is a decorative
In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting by its appearance some other purpose, or merely so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or other class of building to which it belongs...

 castle near Yalta
Yalta is a city in Crimea, southern Ukraine, on the north coast of the Black Sea.The city is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony, said to have been founded by Greek sailors who were looking for a safe shore on which to land. It is situated on a deep bay facing south towards the Black...

 on the Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

n peninsula in southern Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. It was built between 1911 and 1912 near Gaspra
Gaspra is a spa town in Crimea, Ukraine. It is located on the Black Sea coast, west of Yalta, and is a popular holiday resort. Leo Tolstoy lived in Gaspra in 1901 and 1902.The asteroid 951 Gaspra is named after Gaspra.-Places to see:...

, on top of 40-metre (130 ft) high Aurora Cliff, to a Neo-Gothic
Gothic Revival architecture
The Gothic Revival is an architectural movement that began in the 1740s in England...

 design by the Russian architect Leonid Sherwood
Leonid Sherwood
Leonid Vladimirovich Sherwood was a Russian sculptor. Sherwood was of English descent, his grandfather Joseph Sherwood was an English engineer who emigrated to Russia. His father was the architect Vladimir Osipovich Sherwood and his brother was the architect Vladimir Vladimirovich Sherwood...

. The castle overlooks the Cape of Ai-Todor of the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 and is located near the remnants of the Roman castrum of Charax
Charax, Crimea
Charax is the largest Roman military settlement excavated in the Crimea. It was sited on a four-hectare area at the western ridge of Ai-Todor, close to the modern tourist attraction of Swallow's Nest.-The Camp:...

. Swallow's Nest is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Crimea, becoming the symbol of Crimea's southern coastline.

The building is compact in size, measuring only 20 m (65.6 ft) long by 10 m (32.8 ft) wide. Its original design envisioned a foyer, guest room, stairway to the tower, and two bedrooms on two different levels within the tower. The interior of the guest room is decorated with wooden panels; the walls of the rest of the rooms are stuccoed and painted. An observation deck rings the building, providing a view of the sea, and Yalta's distant shoreline.

Owing to its important status as the symbol of the Crimea's southern coast, the Swallow's Nest was featured in several Soviet films
Cinema of the Soviet Union
The cinema of the Soviet Union, not to be confused with "Cinema of Russia" despite Russian language films being predominant in both genres, includes several film contributions of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union reflecting elements of their pre-Soviet culture, language and history,...

. It was used as the setting of Desyat Negrityat
Desyat Negrityat
Desyat Negrityat is a 1987 Soviet film adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel And Then There Were None . It was directed by Stanislav Govorukhin, who also penned the script...

, the 1987 Soviet screen version of Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie
Dame Agatha Christie DBE was a British crime writer of novels, short stories, and plays. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best remembered for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections , and her successful West End plays.According to...

's And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None is a detective fiction novel by Agatha Christie, first published in the United Kingdom by the Collins Crime Club on 6 November 1939 under the title Ten Little Niggers which was changed by Dodd, Mead and Company in January 1940 because of the presence of a racial...

. The building was also featured in the 1983 Soviet-Polish children's film Mister Blot's Academy as well as in Mio in the Land of Faraway
Mio in the Land of Faraway
Mio in the Land of Faraway is a 1987 fantasy film directed by Vladimir Grammatikov and starring Christopher Lee, Christian Bale, Nicholas Pickard, Timothy Bottoms and Susannah York...

, a 1987 joint production by Swedish
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, Norwegian
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, and Soviet film companies.


The first building on the Aurora Cliff was constructed for a Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n general circa 1895. The first structure he built was a wooden cottage romantically named the "Castle of Love." Later on, the ownership of the cottage passed to A. K. Tobin, a court doctor to the Russian Tsar.

In 1911, Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

 von Steingel, a Baltic German
Baltic German
The Baltic Germans were mostly ethnically German inhabitants of the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, which today form the countries of Estonia and Latvia. The Baltic German population never made up more than 10% of the total. They formed the social, commercial, political and cultural élite in...

 noble who had made a fortune extracting oil in Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

, acquired the timber cottage and within a year had it replaced with the current building. The Scots Baronial and Moorish Revival styles had been introduced in the Crimea in the 1820s by Edward Blore
Edward Blore
Edward Blore was a 19th century British landscape and architectural artist, architect and antiquary. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland ....

, the architect of the Alupka Palace (1828-46). Compared to the Alupka and Koreiz
Koreiz is a townlet in the Yalta region of Crimea, Ukraine. The name of the town means "villages" in Greek. The nearby spa of Miskhor was absorbed into Koreiz in 1958.Koreiz is best known as the site of two palaces...

 palaces, the Swallow's Nest is closer in style to various German architectural follies, such as the Neuschwanstein Castle, Babelsberg Palace
Babelsberg is the largest district of the Brandenburg capital Potsdam in Germany. The affluent neighbourhood named after a small hill on the Havel river is famous for Babelsberg Palace and Park, part of the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as for Studio...

, and Stolzenfels Castle, although its precarious seaside setting on the cliffs draws parallels with the Belém Tower
Belém Tower
Belém Tower or the Tower of St Vincent is a fortified tower located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal...

 in Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...


In 1914, von Steinheil sold the building to P. G. Shelaputin to be used as a restaurant. For a short time after the 1917 Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, the building was used only as a tourist attraction. In 1927, Swallow's Nest survived a serious earthquake rated at 6 to 7 on the Richter scale
Richter magnitude scale
The expression Richter magnitude scale refers to a number of ways to assign a single number to quantify the energy contained in an earthquake....

. The building was not damaged aside for some small decorative items that were thrown into the sea along with a small portion of the cliff. However, the cliff itself developed a huge crack. In the 1930s, the building was used by a reading club of the nearby "Zhemchuzhina" (Pearl) resort, however it was closed shortly thereafter as a safety precaution due to the damage it suffered in the quake, remaining closed for the next 40 years.

Renovation and restoration on the building was started only in 1968. The project involved the restoration of a small portion of the castle and the addition of a monolithic console concrete plate to strengthen the cliff. Since 1975, an Italian
Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century BCE. Italian cuisine in itself takes heavy influences, including Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and Arab cuisines...

 restaurant has operated within the building. In 2011, the Swallow's Nest was closed for three months due to a complete restoration effort estimated at 1,200,000 hryvnias
Ukrainian hryvnia
The hryvnia, sometimes hryvnya or grivna ; sign: ₴, code: , has been the national currency of Ukraine since September 2, 1996. The hryvnia is subdivided into 100 kopiyok. In medieval times, it was a currency of Kievan Rus'....

 ($150,000 USD
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....


See also

  • Tsar's Path
    Tsar's Path
    The Tsar's Path or the Solnechnaya Tropa is a scenic walking path that runs along the edge of the Crimean Mountains near the city of Yalta, in southern Ukraine...

     — scenic pathway located near the Swallow's Nest
  • Foros Church
    Foros Church
    The Church of Christ's Resurrection is a popular tourist attraction on the outskirts of Yalta in the Crimea, known primarily for its scenic location, overlooking the Black Sea littoral from a 400-metre cliff near Baidarsky Pass....

    — similarly located attraction overlooking the Black Sea littoral near Yalta

External links

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