The historical heritage of Sevastopol is extremely interesting. Founded on the territory of antique Chersonese, where in 988 Kievan prince Volodymyr was converted to Christianity, Sevastopol stands out as the place of imperishable orthodoxy teachings of Apostle Andrey and traditions of the creators of Cyrillic alphabet Cyril and Mephody.
To the west of Sevastopol the remains of ancient Greek colony of Chersonesus founded in 421 BC can be found. Originally a republic, Chersonesus (Heracleotic Chersonese) became, in turn, part of the Kingdom of Pontus, of Crimean Bosporus, of the Roman Empire, and of the Byzantine Empire.
In 988 or 989, Prince Vladimir of Kiev captured the town and was baptized there. He restored it to Byzantium, but it later passed to Empire of Trebizond and declined into insignificance. In 1783, Russia annexed Crimea and began the construction of naval base and fortress Akhtiar, which was named Sevastopol the following year.
Since 1804, Sevastopol was the main port of Chernomorsky (the Black Sea) Navy of Russia. In 1808, commercial port was opened in Sevastopol. From October 1854 to September 1855, during the Crimean War (1853-1856), British-French armies laid siege to Sevastopol, which had been strongly fortified. According to Paris Peace Treaty of 1856, Sevastopol was declared to be a demilitarized city.
The severely damaged Sevastopol was reconstructed after Crimean War and by 1871 it became Russian navy base again. The growth of Sevastopol was stimulated by coming of the railway in 1875. The transfer of commercial harbor to Feodosiya in 1894, however, was a serious setback. Since then Sevastopol’s principal function was as a major naval base and fortress. Soviet power was established in Sevastopol in 1917.
During the World War II, Sevastopol again underwent a siege, this time for a month, by the Germans from June to July 1942. For 250 days Sevastopol was defended by citizens together with Soviet Army troops and Navy. Sevastopol was reduced to rubble, but, after liberation in May 1944, the city was again reconstructed. In 1965, Sevastopol received the status of Hero-city.
During the Soviet times, Sevastopol was a “closed city”. The Decree of Ukrainian Government of 1995 “opened” Sevastopol and allowed the foreigners and foreign ships to come into the city.
Sevastopol the Count’s Quay
Sevastopol industry: machine-building, food processing, consumer goods industry.
In Sevastopol, the Navy of the Russian Federation Black Sea fleet is located (according to agreement with the Ukraine which is valid till 2042). Sevastopol is one of tourism leaders in Ukraine.
The territory, where central part of Sevastopol is located, is mountainous with large number of deep sea, well protected bays, that have favorable navigable waterways and transport landfalls.
Almost subtropical climate, combined with large number of sand and pebble beaches, warm sea and picturesque landscapes, is the most valued component of Sevastopol territory.
There are up to 1,800 historic memorials in Sevastopol. Among which are the world famous Chersonese Taurica, Panorama of the Heroic Defense of Sevastopol in 1854-1855, Crimean War Memorial.
Among the memorials of Sevastopol stormy history are several monuments devoted to various defenses of the city and a vast panorama 377 ft (115 m) long of Crimean War siege.
Sevastopol places of interest
Chersonese. National Historical and Archaeological Museum “Chersonese” is created in the excavation site of ancient and medieval town of Chersonese. In the 3rd-2nd centuries BC, the first fortifications with 24 towers (10-15 meters height), more than 30 streets and a large number of houses were constructed. The central part of the town was occupied by acropolis, agora, theater, and temples.
The remains of the basilica with mosaics, and columns of the 5th-10th centuries survived. Today theater festivals are held at the scene of the ancient theater (the 3rd century). Address: Sevastopol, Drevnaya (Ancient) Str., 1. Opening hours: 9:00-18:00 (winter – 9:00-17:00), day off - Monday.
St. Vladimir Cathedral in Chersonese. One of the main Orthodox shrines of Ukraine, the largest cathedral in the Crimea. The cathedral is located on the territory of “Chersonese” archaeological museum. In 1924, the cathedral was closed, and during the Second World War it was destroyed. In 2001, the church was reopened after restoration. Address: Sevastopol, Drevnaya (Ancient) Str., 1.
St. Vladimir (Admiralty) Cathedral. The church-tomb of Russian admirals M. Lazarev, V. Kornilov, V. Istomin, P. Nakhimov.The monumental building of the cathedral in the Byzantine style was constructed on the City Hill. In 1932, the church was closed. The service was resumed in 1991. Address: Sevastopol, Suvorov Str., 3.
Museum of the History of Black Sea Fleet. The museum was founded in 1869 on the initiative of veterans of Sevastopol defense (1854-1855). It is located in the house of General E. Totleben - one of the heads of the defense. On the main facade of the building there is a famous “Sevastopol sign”: a cross and the number 349, signifying the number of days of defense.
Seven halls of the exposition are devoted to the history of the Black Sea Fleet from the 18th to the 20th century. More than 30 thousand exhibits are presented (models of warships, personal belongings of commanders, etc. Naval guns, anchors and other elements of the ship’s equipment are installed in the yard of the museum. Address: Sevastopol, Lenin Str., 11. Opening hours: 10:00-17:30, day off - Monday, Tuesday.
Panorama of Sevastopol Defense. The construction of museum complex on a hill overlooking the South Bay began in the late 19th century in place of the bastion #4, where, during the Crimean War, the main line of southern fortifications of Sevastopol was located. Inside you can find the grand painting (1,600 square meters) showing the storm of Sevastopol in June 6, 1855. The author of the painting is F. Roubaud. Address: Sevastopol, Historical Blvd., 10. Opening hours: 9:30-16:00, day off - Monday.
Monument to the Sunk Ships. The most famous monument of Sevastopol, depicted on the coat of arms of the city. Graceful column with Corinthian head, topped by a bronze eagle is installed on an artificial rock in the sea in 1905 on the fiftieth anniversary of the first defense of Sevastopol.
It perpetuates the memory of more than fifteen ships sunk in 1854-1855 to prevent the entrance of the English-French fleet into the North Bay. The fire of coastal batteries and sunken ships made the North Bay inaccessible for the enemy fleet. Address: Sevastopol, Primorsky Blvd.
Malakhov Kurgan. The museum complex on Malakhov hill was opened on the site of the fiercest fightings that took place in Sevastopol during the Crimean War and the Second World War. Defense tower (the fortification built in the 19th century) was preserved. At the beginning of the main alley you can see the mass grave of Russian and French soldiers and the monument to Kornilov. Address: Sevastopol, Istomin Str. Opening hours: 9:00-16:00, day off - Monday.
Aquarium. The building of the Institute of Biology of Southern Seas named after A. Kovalevsky is located in the center of Sevastopol, on the shore of Artillery Bay. In 1897, the first in the Russian Empire aquarium with marine animals was opened here. Today it is the largest aquarium in Ukraine. More than 180 species of animals are presented in four halls. Address: Sevastopol, Nakhimov Ave., 2. Opening hours: 9:00-19:00 (winter - 10:00-17:00), day off - Monday.
Michael’s Battery. Historic military complex “Michael’s battery” is a branch of the National Military History Museum of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of Sevastopol bay. The museum was opened in 2010, based on one surviving from the 19th century fortification of Sevastopol fortress. The fort was restored and the exhibition “Heroic Sevastopol” was opened here.
Various weapons (from knives to machine guns), more than 60 uniforms, ship’s guns, personal belongins, unique letters, books, and documents are presented. Address: Sevastopol, Gromov Str. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00.
Intercession Cathedral. The cathedral was built in 1905. The outer side of the building is richly decorated with mosaics. In Soviet times, the building was used as a gym, an archive. The service was resumed in 1992. Address: Sevastopol, Bolshaya Morskaya Str., 36.
Sapun Hill. The memorial complex on the hill, which was the scene of fierce fighting during the defense of Sevastopol in 1941-1942 and its liberation in 1944. You can see the diorama “The Storm of Sapun Hill May 7, 1944” on the first floor of semicircular building of the museum. The collection of Soviet military equipment of the Second World War times is also located here. Address: Sevastopol, General Melnik Str. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00, day off - Monday.
Sevastopol Fortress. The construction of fortifications defending Sevastopol from the sea began on the orders of A. Suvorov before the foundation of Sevastopol city itself in 1778. It was finished only in the beginning of the war in 1854. Historic military complex “Michael’s battery” is open in Michael’s fort (North side, Goromov Street). It is a branch of the National Military History Museum of Ukraine.
The Count’s Quay. Main sea gates of Sevastopol. The white colonnade and the stairs are the main elements. Excursion boats can be found here. The main square of the city (Nakhimov Square) with the monument to Admiral Nakhimov is located nearby. Address: Sevastopol, Nakhimov Square.
Dolphinarium in Artillery bay. The main dolphinarium of Sevastopol is located in the center of the city. Visitors can swim with dolphins in a special pool under the guidance of an experienced instructor. On the territory of the dolphinarium you can also visit an exhibition of parrots. Address: Sevastopol, Kornilov Seafront, 2. Opening hours: 11:00-17:00 (winter: 11:00-14:00), day off - Monday.
35th Battery. 35th guards coastal battery at Sevastopol (fort “Maxim Gorky”) was founded in 1913, and completed and put into operation as a separate military unit in 1929. At that time, it was the heaviest fortification in the USSR; its construction took about as much concrete as the construction of Zaporozhye hydro power plant. 35th battery main purpose was to defend Sevastopol from the sea.
Almost all constructions of the complex were placed under the ground. In June and July 1942, it was the place where 80 thousand defenders of Sevastopol took their last fight. The excursion takes place at a depth of 5 to 20 meters. Address: Sevastopol, Kazachye village, Defenders of the 35th Battery Str. Opening hours: 14:00-17:00 (Saturday, Sunday - 10:00-17:00), days off - Monday, Tuesday.
Sevastopol defense panorama
Primorsky Boulevard. The shady park of Primorsky Boulevard is a favorite place of residents and guests of Sevastopol. The boulevard founded in 1885 was built on the site of Nicholas battery destroyed during the Crimean War. In 1905, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the defense of Sevastopol the monument to Sunken Ships was erected. Address: Sevastopol, Primorsky Blvd.
Church of St. Nicholas. Memorial Church of St. Nicholas is located on the cemetery of Sevastopol defense of 1854-1855 participants. It was built on people’s donations. The church stands out for its unusual architecture - the pyramid topped by a cross. On the outer edges of the church you can see the marble plaques with the lists of the regiments defended Sevastopol in the Crimean War. Address: Sevastopol, Bogdanov Str., 43.
Eco-park Lukomorye. The playground “Lukomorye” offers to plunge into the fantastic atmosphere of fairy tales. You can have a walk in the park with sculptures of folk heroes, visit a small zoo, Ukraine’s first “Museum of Soviet childhood”, puppet show “Lukomorye”, museum of marmalade and museum of Indian culture. Address: Sevastopol, Pobeda Ave., 1-a. Opening hours: 8:00 - 23:00.
Water Park Zurbagan. One of the largest water parks in Ukraine: 15 slides (height up to 14 meters) and 7 swimming pools, waterfalls. There are also cafes and bars. Address: Sevastopol, “Pobeda” park. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00.
Tower of the Winds. The construction is a copy of ancient Greek building located in Athens. The tower was built in 1849 on the initiative of Admiral M. Lazarev. Its main purpose was to ventilate the Maritime Library book depositaries burnt during the siege of Sevastopol in 1855. Address: Sevastopol, Frunze Str., 5.
Dolphinarium in Cossack Bay. The dolphinarium was opened in the midst of the “cold war” as the Aquarium of the Soviet Navy - secret base for scientific research on marine animals and training of combat dolphins. The animals were trained to find torpedoes, mines and other sunken military equipment, as well as defend the waters of the naval base of Sevastopol. Today it is the Research Center “State Oceanarium of Ukraine”. The dolphinarium is open to public from early June to mid September. Address: Sevastopol, Epronovskaya Str., 7.Opening hours: shows: 11:00, 14:00.
Drama Theater. Sevastopol Academic Russian Drama Theater named after A. Lunacharsky was opened in 1956. The present building was constructed to replace destroyed during the Second World War building of “Renaissance” theater. Address: Sevastopol, Nakhimov Str., 6.
Memorial of Sevastopol Defense. The memorial of the heroic defense of Sevastopol in 1941-1942 was erected in the main square of the city in front of the monument to P. Nakhimov in 1967. Address: Sevastopol, Nakhimov Square.
Peter and Paul Church. The church is located on a hill in the center of the city. An interesting example of using antique architecture in the construction of an Orthodox church - it looks like the Athenian Parthenon. The initiator of construction was Admiral M. Lazarev, great admirer of antique architecture. Address: Sevastopol, Lunacharsky Str., 37.
Museum of Art. Sevastopol Art Museum named after M. Kroshitsky was based on nationalized in 1920 private collections of the southern coast of Crimea and collection of imperial summer residence located in the Livadia Palace. During the Second World War, most of the art treasures were saved thanks to the efforts of the Director of the Gallery M. Kroshitsky. Currently, the museum has more than 8 thousand paintings, drawings, sculpture and decorative arts. Address: Sevastopol, Nakhimov Ave., 9. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00 (in summer - 11:00-18:00), day off - Tuesday.
All Saints Church. The church is the oldest building in Sevastopol, located in the old cemetery in Zagorodnaya balka. In 1859, the church was rebuilt after destruction during the Crimean War. For a long time it was the only functioning church in Sevastopol. Address: Sevastopol, Pozharov Str., 9-a.