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Like any element of life that goes beyond the daily routine, lighthouses attract special attention. From ancient times they influence the local toponymy, and we know in the Crimea not only the “red light” of Rosofaro from the medieval lotions of the west coast. There are also those that have survived to this day: Foros and two Lambats – Kuchuk and Biyuk, of whom the Little is better known than the Great, in their names the clear Greek roots are slightly changed by the local pronunciation.
And the cape, which is the easternmost protrusion of the Crimean land, is called clearly, but somehow everyday and unromantic: Lantern… Its real local name – Crimean Tatar – Fener. If not more romantic, then at least more exotic. However, the meaning is the same, and the cape justifies its “lighting” name – it is decorated with alighthouse. This is the Yenikal lighthouse, its simple round tower was built in 1953 on the site of a temporary wooden structure, which, in turn, for seven years served as a lighthouse instead of the one destroyed in World War II. This lighthouse controls the entrance to Azov. It is so important that after the destruction of its oldest tower in the Crimea, lighting equipment was installed on its remains, until a temporary wooden one was built, and a modern one there… Not only the Tarkhankut lighthouse has its own history…
We know what the old Yenikal lighthouse looked like: ancient drawings have preserved this memory. The modern one is quite similar to Ilyinsky, and the original one somewhat resembled the lighthouses of Tarkhankut and Chersonesos, which are, in fact, copies of each other. They are also called twins.
The lighthouse near the New Fortress – Yeni-Kale – was built in 1820. However, the first mention of lighthouse lights on Cape Lantern can be found about 350 BC, in the abyss of Skilak.
Lighthouses do not just decorate the outside life – like mountains or other people’s palaces. Where lighthouses are surrounded by human settlements, they give the name of neighboring objects as the brightest sign of the place. For example, just under the lighthouse in Evpatoria – a health resort, which, of course, had no chance to be called anything else as the “Lighthouse”. And under the infamous, modest lighthouse in Sudak – a dance floor, witnessing the thousands of beginnings and endings of resort and local novels… Of course, it is also called “Lighthouse”. And it is not difficult to guess the root of the name of the village closest to the former oldest of the lighthouses of the Crimea. Yes, it is called – Podmayachne.
The oldest in the Crimea now remains the lighthouse Ai-Todor, the low tower of which bears clear signs of antiquity, which are not hidden by either the structural similarity of buildings or even tradition.
There are beacons in the Crimea and quite unusual. Some are so unusual that not all sources dare to call the building with the functions of a lighthouse on Cape Black, on Tarkhankut, and carefully call it – “navigation sign”. It is, in fact, the same thing, but with less reference to the stereotype of “tower” or “mast”, or “fire” or “light directed into the distance”.
The southern cape of the Kerch Peninsula is decorated with a lighthouse, it is called Kiz-Aulsky, because Kiz-Avul is the real name of a nearby village, which was renamed Yakovenkove. The slender architecture of its blue and white tower is emphasized by black stripes, in contrast to the traditional red horizontal, they are vertical. This “makeup” gives the lighthouse a very stylish look!
It is clear that the urgent need to shine at night in dangerous places is difficult to leave within the ordinary use, it, in fact, borders on a real miracle. Consequently, there is a temptation to create such miracles beyond such an urgent need. The decorative lighthouse-temple in Kuchuk-Uzen was not a complete precedent. A century earlier, a lighthouse, sometimes called Forosky, but more often at Cape Sarych, appeared for memorable purposes. It is said that when the last Russian tsar heard that the cape where his imperial yacht passed was the southernmost point of his European possessions, he wished to make a memorial sign there. It so happened that the sailors asked about the same thing: to set up a lighthouse on Cape Sarich. This was also suggested (there are very strange coincidences in life) by an admiral from the famous naval family… Sarychevs.
This lighthouse is also unusual: a 12-meter cast-iron round cast in St. Petersburg, resembling a bell, was installed under the lighting equipment. There was a real bell, until the modern electronic equipment was installed, from the shore the voice of the bell spoke to the drivers in the fog. And again some strange coincidence: when the physical bell became no longer relevant, it was mentioned that the main, heaviest bell was missing in the Foros church. Thus the voice of the lighthouse passed from the service of the sea to the service of God…
As if so simple: coastal fire. And how many stories for each!
Significantly, two nautical miles south of Cape Opuk, where the sea is provided by a black-striped lighthouse near the Maiden’s Village – this is how Kiz-Avul translates, there is a rock in the sea. There are 4 of them, and there is a fairy-tale legend about these rock-ships, one of the first is usually in the books-collections “Legends of Crimea”. And there is another legendary truth. During the Kerch-Feodosia operation, the highest of the Elchen-Kaya rocks was to become a lighthouse in the middle of the formidable winter sea for just one night. And it happened on the night of December 28, 1941. And two lieutenants did it at the cost of their lives. Their names were Volodymyr Mospan and Demyan Vyzhula…
The word about the light of the lighthouse – it often carries the mention of glory.
But this is another story.
Maksym Dubovyaz, “Crimean Room” № 31, 2017