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Balaklava. Nuclear submarine base

    Balaklava is a town in the Crimea, Ukraine which has an official status of a district of the city of Sevastopol.

    Balaklava has changed hands many times during its history. A settlement at its present location was originally founded under the name of Symbolon by the Ancient Greeks, for whom it was an important commercial city. 

  During the Middle Ages, it was controlled by the Byzantine Empire and then by the Genoese who conquered it in 1365. The Byzantines called the town Yamboli and the Genoese named it Cembalo. The Genoese built a large trading empire in both the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, buying slaves in Eastern Europe and shipping them to Egypt via the Crimea, a lucrative market hotly contested with by the Venetians. It is believed that it was on board a Genoese trading cog sailing back to Genoa from Balaklava (or Kaffa, according to some chronicles) that the Black Death first arrived in Europe in the mid-14th c.

      The ruins of a Genoese fortress positioned high on a clifftop above the entrance to the Balaklava Inlet are a popular tourist attraction and have recently become the stage for a Medieval festival. In 1475 the growing Ottoman Empire took possession of Balaklava renaming it Balıklava ("a fish nest" in Turkish), which was slowly corrupted over time to its present form. During the Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774, the Russian troops conquered the Crimea in 1771. Thirteen years later, Crimea was definitively annexed by the Russian Empire. After that, Crimean Tatar and Turkish population was replaced by Greeks from the Archipelago. In 1787 the city was visited by Catherine the Great.

Nuclear submarine base.
From series of the american postcards about soviet military threat:

  But here is looks on in persisting lifes:
    One of the monuments is an underground, formerly classified submarine base that was operational until 1993. The base was said to be virtually indestructible and designed to survive a direct atomic impact. During that period, Balaklava was one of the most secret residential areas in the Soviet Union.

   Almost the entire population of Balaklava at one time worked at the base; even family members could not visit the town of Balaklava without a good reason and proper identification. The base remained operational after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 until 1993 when the decommissioning process started. This process saw the removal of the warheads and low-yield torpedoes. In 1996, the last Russian submarine left the base, which is now open to the public for guided tours around the canal system, the base, and a small museum, which is now housed in the old ammunition warehouse deep inside the hillside.  

     Underground Cheops pyramid. "Object 825 GTS" - the so-called documents in this complex, yet conceived by Stalin as the construction protivoatomnoy protection of the first category. The leader was shocked by the results of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and decided thus to protect from attack submarine fleet to guarantee the infliction of retaliation.

     Charm and originality of Balaklava is in the unique long and deep bay on one side of which high on the mountain scenic ruins of medieval fortress Chembalo Genoese, but on the other - climbs Mount Tavros that is translated from Turkish means "empty". It was something and built a subterranean city. His premises were vydolbleny in the rock and covered with reinforced concrete, the thickness of which was 56 meters. 

     In the case of a direct threat of nuclear attack - a facility could withstand a direct hit charge capacity of up to 100 kilotons - great thickness sealed doors closed, and the plant is capable of self-sufficiency was there 3 years, along with 3000 people - all of the then population of Balaklava.
     Autonomous excess air, powerful diesel generators, fuel and water mains, underground rail gave way to fully isolate the objective from the external environment. There were well-equipped command posts, bakeries, storage facilities for products and lubricants, hospital, housing for troops, dining halls, kitchens, bathrooms, showers and even lounges.
     From a military point of view "Object 825 GTS" was an underground water channel combined with dry docks, for repair shops, warehouses for the storage of torpedo and other weapons. Combined underground water channel to accommodate submarines and 7 if necessary to repair them. Its depth is up to 8 meters in width - from 8 to 12 metres and a height of the arch channel - 18 metres. The total area of all premises and plant moves - 5100 square kilometres. m, the surface of the water under the ground - 3 thousand Apt. m. Length - 380 meters, the length of the dock - 110 meters.

Salt symphony.

      A unique festival "Salt Symphony" will take place at a depth of 300 meters underground kingdom.
      The idea of creating such a festival was born from Christian Gesslya, Commercial Counsellor Embassy of Austria in Ukraine. We decided then to organize a symphony concert and specially invited for the Austrian conductor Kurt Schmid, but decent room for this event was not found in the Donbass. Send whereas Mr. Gessl to the then Governor of Donetsk, but he advised him to arrange a concert there - and not somewhere, but right in the salt mine. Creativity! And what? Place beautiful - only one finish properly illuminated salt which is worth!
Unusual climate unusual acoustics in the hall, which made the wilderness. You go for salt niche, as in the tale. Acoustics is fantastic. The impression for life.

     The town Soledar, near which salt mines are situated, is in Donbass - a powerful industrial region of the north-eastern part of Ukraine. The industrial mining of salt began more than 100 years ago in this region. Among working mines, where salt is extracted, there are mines, where extraction of salt is already finished.

However, these closed mines still keep serving people. Bronchial asthma, lung inflammation, allergy and other diseases are successfully cured in the special salt sanatorium.

        The museum tells about salt mining at the area of Donbass, and divine service goes in the underground Orthodox Church; wedding ceremonies also take place here. Walls, ceiling, floor, trees - everything in the mine is made of salt. The salt palm is unique as the symbol of Donetsk; it is the analogue of Mertsalov's palm. Underneath you can also see salt sculptures made by folk masters.

      Art Festival "Salt Symphony 2007" The Concert of Symphonic Music:
Salare la sinfonia
Prokofjev Academic Symphony Orchestra of Donetsk Regional State Philharmonics
Soprano Catarina Coresi - Austria
Mezzo - Soprano Elena Suvorova - Austria
«L'orchestre de Contrebasses»
Orchestra Contrebasses – France

      Dates V Art Festival "Salt Symphony 2008", tentatively 16-18 May 2008.

Sviatohorsk Cave Monastery (Donetsk region)

    Slightly to the south-east of the city of Kharkov, on the banks of Seversky Donets, is Svyatogorskiy Cave Monastery. The documents referred to a place in the 15 st century. In Soviet times monastery buildings were used, as many other churches - for other purposes. Active return monastery buildings undergoing restoration and the last ten years.The first monks to settle the area were in the 14th-15th centuries.
      The first written mention of the monastery was in 1526. In 1624, the monastery was officially recognized as the Sviatohorsk Uspensky Monastery. During times of the Crimean Khanate, the monastery was invaded a couple of times. The monastery was of great importance in the Russian Empire, which was sometimes considered as the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra of the southwest.

    Before World War I, the monastery was inhabited by approx. 600 monks. During the 1930s, the monastery was destroyed by the Soviets, along with other numerous religious attractions throughout the Soviet Union. After Ukraine gained independence with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the monastery was restored in 1992, and the buildings rebuilt. In 2004, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church restored the monastery to its status as a lavra. Today, the growing monastery community consists of more than 100 monks.

    Of archival documents known that prior to the construction of the first land-XVI century temples in the entire monastery has been concentrated in caves inside the Cretaceous rocks.
Temple of Saint Nicholas at the top of the Cretaceous rocks was also cave in ancient times. Up to the present day it preserved the altar, carved in the Cretaceous rocks.

     Inside the cathedral is Svyatogorskaya Chudotvornaya icon of the Mother of God. Long time, the image was in the cave, and the church was saved from moisture, and fire. In sovetstkoe image has been saved time and again by people moved to the monastery in 1992. At the ceremonial bell-Lavra collected 54 bells. The biggest ( "Igumensky") weighs more than 6 tons. Monks Lavra already mastered melodies ringing 25.

    Nature there is, indeed, unique. They say that this place is very strong ionization of the air. Vi rtually no wind.
     The monastery male. For women, skirts and head covered - are required. No scarves can be bought and on the ground.) Entries in the temples discovered in some time. To reach the upper possible, but avoiding the mountains around the monastery.
    In the territory of the monastery, by the way, also has a hotel, which moved willing (by appointment) on obedience. They go to the service, perform some petty work.

     The wooden temple, surrounded chastokolom - and perhaps most unusual of Svyatogorya facilities. This - Vsehsvyatsky skit, or more correctly - Skit All Saints Russian Land. Now here already live monks. Unfortunately, to get into its territory only four times a year - in the skit are removed, especially in order to minimize contact with the outside world.

Bukovel ski resort

    Bukovel ski resort is a village located in the Ivano-Frankivsk province(region) of western Ukraine. It is one of the most popular ski resort in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains, with a couple high-speed chair lifts, meticulously groomed slopes and snow-making machines, turnstyles for letting skiers through lines, and ubiquitous security personnel.

     The Ukrainian government announced in 2006 that the Bukovel ski and snowboard resort is expanding to 262 acres in anticipation of Ukraine bidding to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The additional land will be used for the construction of several new ski lifts and service projects. Previously, the land was a government-managed forest preserve area. Bukovel has also plans to build an Olympic winter stadium in preparation for a possible bid.

      Bukovel currently boasts 14 ski lifts with roughly 50 km (31 mi) of pistes. There are 61 pistes sections of which 12 are Blue(beginners), 41 red (intermediates) and 8 are Black (experts). The longest piste is 5G at 2,106 2,106 m (6,910 ft). There are 11×4-person chair lifts, 1×3-person chair lift, 1×2-person chair lift and 1×T-bar.

    Bukovel has major plans for expansion; supposedly by the 2008-2009 season it plans to have 278 km of runs and 35 (!) lifts, which would make it one of the 20 largest ski resorts in the world.

      Bukovel lift pass
     With all this new infrastructure, prices at Bukovel are understandably higher than elsewhere. One lift ride costs 10 UAH Mon-Thu and 12 UAH Fri-Sun. Passes can be bought for half a day, evening skiing, a whole day, several days, or the entire season. For example, a day pass (good for all lifts) costs 100 UAH during the week and 110 UAH on weekends. If you ski down the mountain 25 times like me, that comes out to a reasonable 4 UAH per lift ride. About half of the lifts are chair lifts, and half are tows. Lift passes can be bought in several places around the bases of the mountains and can be used by anyone, so you could theoretically give your pass to someone else in your group while you take a break during the day.

   Ski rental
   There are two central locations where skis can be rented (see picture below). All skis are 2-3 years old or less and are in excellent condition. The cheapest (and most popular) set costs 55 UAH on weekdays and 65 UAH on weekends (Fri-Sun), or $11 and $13 USD, respectively. Each person who rents skis must leave a passport or driver's license — or leave a deposit of $500 USD.

  Food at Bukovel
Bukovel has several restaurants next to different mountains — including a pizzeria and an outdoor cafe partway up the central mountain. Prices are quite high by Ukrainian standards, but the service and dining are excellent.