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Mysterious Crimean Kalamita: what attracts and what secrets the ancient fortress keeps
Mysterious Crimean Kalamita: what attracts and what secrets the ancient fortress keeps

For those who think that they have already seen everything in Crimea, it will certainly be interesting to visit one ancient and mysterious place. It is not as famous as the Swallow's Nest or Vorontsov Palace, but its beauty is mesmerizing. These are the ruins of the Kalamita fortress, located not far from Sevastopol, on the Monastery rock plateau. Foothills and caves, ancient bastions and temples - all of this is of great interest to both historians and those who just like to be photographed in unusual picturesque places. However, Kalamita is better known under a different name …

General view of the fortress, drawing from 1783

The fortress was altered many times

Initially, according to studies that included both the study of ancient artifacts and written sources, it was believed that the fortress was built in 1427 by Prince Alexei of Mangup. However, the results of excavations carried out in the last century by the expedition of E. Weimarn showed that the first defensive structures were erected here even earlier - in the VI century, and under Aleksey they were simply seriously rebuilt, and subsequently they were redone five times. For example, in 1434 the Genoese attacked the fortress and burned the port - it had to be rebuilt. In the 15th-18th centuries, it was rebuilt by the Turks.

The fortress has not been destroyed for the first time

During the existence of Kalamita, cells, churches and simply various rooms carved into the stone appeared in the rock block on which the fortress stands. According to legend, in the old days, Byzantine monks lived in cave shelters, hiding from persecution during the period of iconoclasm. There is even a whole cave monastery with cells, which are located in several tiers. There were also temples on the territory of the fortress.

This is how this place looks from a bird's eye view

The name "Kalamita" is believed to be of Greek origin. It is translated from this language as "reed" or "living in the reeds." But from the modern Greek this name can be translated as "beautiful cape". In our time, Kalamita is better known as Inkerman, and this name has probably been heard by many (it is enough to at least recall the Crimean wine brand of the same name). Inkreman Kalamita began to be called at the end of the 15th century, the Turks who seized power in the Crimea (including this fortress).

Kalamita is now called Inkerman

"Correct" fortress

As a fortification, Kalamita was located very well. It is built on a high rock. Below is the mouth of the Black River, an elongated bay.

On three sides Kalamita is "surrounded" by cliffs that make it inaccessible (height - 40-60 meters). In addition, six defensive towers were built on the northern and eastern sides of the fortress, which are connected by curtains. Part of the fortress is also protected by a moat cut into the rock. Along the perimeter, defensive structures are half a kilometer long.

Once upon a time, Kalamita was defended by impregnable towers

By the way, each of the towers of Calamita performed its own function. For example, in the fourth (it was preserved better than the others) a prison was located several centuries ago, and it also served as an additional strengthening of the fortress. From the gate (first) tower, soldiers watched the approaches to Kalamita. From the second, a moat, equipped as a pillbox, began. And the third, corner tower covered the side of the fortress.

The fourth tower looked like this

It is assumed that the fortress was built in the same period when the cities of Mangup, Chufut-Kale, Eski-Kermen, etc. appeared.Kalamita was the last fortification obstacle for a potential enemy on the way to Chersonesos at a time when the entire area was controlled by the Byzantines.

And when the principality of Theodoro was formed, Kalamita, who obeyed him, became its only coastal fortification, although it was located some distance from the coast. Back in the 17th century, fifty soldiers served in the garrison of Kalamita, which was then already called Inkerman. They lived not far from the fortress. Alas, in the next century, life here began to fade away.

Kalamita in winter

The decline of Kalamita

Gradually, the fortress ceased to perform its defensive functions. It began to collapse, and during the Great Patriotic War, during the battle for Sevastopol, it completely turned into ruins.

Something else has survived

By the way, during the war, Soviet hospitals and warehouses were located in the cave premises of Inkerman. During the retreat of our troops in 1942, these premises were blown up along with the people who were in them.

Caves in the rock

In general, in the entire history of its existence, Kalamita has more than once witnessed bloody battles - for example, those that took place during another dramatic period - the Crimean War.

Although Kalamita has been badly destroyed, there are still some remains - for example, fragments of towers and fortress walls.

What can be seen now

In 1953, during excavations on the territory of Inkerman (Kalamity), a basilical-shaped temple was found. And in 1968, two blocks of limestone were found here, on which images of sailing and sailing-rowing ships of the 15th-16th centuries were scrawled. An unknown artist, apparently, depicted ships that entered the port. The detail and detail of these figures is striking.

Image of a 15th century Latin sailing ship from tower 5

In addition, on the territory of the fortress they found a foundation stone of the temple, on which it is written in Greek that the church was erected "in the days of Mr. Alexei, the ruler of the city of Theodoro and Pomorie and the patron of the great saints kings and Equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine and Helena." Even the date is indicated: 6 October "summer 6936" (1472). Now this slab is stored in the Bakhchisarai Reserve.

Kalamita and the ghosts

Like any ancient site, Kalamita is surrounded by rumors and legends. And of course, rumor has it that ghosts live in the ruins. Allegedly, these are not the calmed souls of ancient slaves who could not be sold and beaten to death. According to other rumors, the souls of British soldiers who died here during the Crimean War, as well as Soviet soldiers who gave their lives during the Great Patriotic War, roam here.

A mysterious place

Some particularly impressionable visitors to these places claim that they heard strange sounds on the territory of Inkerman - either moans or sighs. Fans of mysticism believe that they are published by ghosts, although, we repeat, such folk "horror stories" haunt all the old buildings and fortresses.

Kalamita holds many secrets

Needless to say, Inkerman keeps many secrets and its history is incredibly rich. By the way, it is no less interesting to know fascinating facts about Chersonesos in the Crimea.

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