Museum-Fortress Kerch.

A large, interesting fortress with a fairly long history, located on Cape Ak-Burun in the narrowest part of the Kerch Strait. We were in the cold season, we could not get on the tour, as the group might not have gathered. By chance, another family of visitors arrived and everything worked out. Surely in summer it is green here and everything looks completely different, write in the comments if you were here in spring or summer.

Fans of catacombs and «abandons» will be at ease here. Although we visited them “superficially”, we went down only in a couple, but it was still interesting. By the way, an excursion to the fortress is prohibited for visitors under 6 years old. And without a tour you can not get here under any circumstances. There are a lot of catacombs and secret passages, stretching in a windy way and getting lost for one or two, as they explained to us. The routes for visiting the fortress are also different, there are about six or seven of them, on the museum’s website there is a detailed explanation of what and how.

Some historical and geographical information:

  • The area occupied by the fortress — 420 hectares
  • The length of the land border is just over 3 km
  • The length of the coastline is just under 4 km

According to the tradition of my articles, we will plunge a little into the history of this place. The history of the fortress begins in 1771, when the first fortifications appeared here. It is understandable, from this place there is simply a gorgeous view of the entire district, this is from a tourist point of view. But from the military there is a very advantageous location and it is almost impossible to approach unnoticed either from the shore or from the water.

But all the same, the fortifications that were located here were captured from the coast during the Crimean War (1853-1856) and for some time there was a camp of French troops. This was followed by the Paris Peace Treaty, according to which the Black Sea was neutralized. All the powers that came out to him were forbidden to have a navy on the shore. But the strait is not yet the Black Sea and it was not forbidden to strengthen it, therefore, from 1857, at the direction of Alexander II, the construction of a fortress began here.

With a view of the Crimean bridge With a view of the Crimean bridge

Quite quickly, in one year, barracks, fire batteries and a powder magazine were erected. Further, a lot of work was carried out on the construction of a stone barrier, more than 3 kilometers long. Eduard Ivanovich Totleben, a great specialist and experienced military engineer, supervised the construction of fortifications and the construction of a fortress. When the emperor later visited the fortress he ordered:

“In honor of the labors incurred by the soldiers: name the lunettes, the left of the Minsk, and the right of the Vilna regiment. And the main fort will henceforth be called Fort Totleben»

Alexander II visited the fortress several times and was very pleased with the construction of the fortress, the fortifications, and the decoration of coastal batteries. But despite the fact that the fortress was completely ready for hostilities, in the 19th century it did not participate in them.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were both warehouses and a prison for keeping political prisoners. After in the 1920s, some buildings of the fortress began to collapse, and by 1930 the underground buildings were turned into warehouses for the military and navy.

For the first time since the construction of the fortress, hostilities took place here in 1941. The city of Kerch fell captured by the Nazis, a few small garrisons still held the fortress, but then left it, it was 1942. The ammunition depots were blown up, the fortress was captured. At the end of the war, the fortress, or rather what was left of it, was transferred to the Black Sea Fleet, which «owned» it until 1995. Since 2003, the territory of the fortress has been transferred to the museum.

From the general impressions: big, interesting and I want to come back here again for a larger tour. But I am one of the lovers of such catacombs and antiquity. It is the architectural solutions that are interesting, the walls of enormous thickness, interesting ventilation in the barracks, masonry and other engineering solutions. The tour lasted more than an hour, walked around quite a lot of buildings, went down to the basements, went into the buildings, climbed to the viewpoints. I recommend visiting, but I won’t say by the time of year, we were only for a cold month. They say that in the summer heat it is great to cool off in the catacombs.

The coordinates of the museum ticket office, from which the tour starts:

📍45.307401, 36.467990

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