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Latin has preserved the saying of the ancient Romans “navigare necesse est”, which in Ukrainian translates as “it is necessary to walk on the sea.” But it was not the Romans who began to walk the sea. The history of this lesson is lost over the centuries. At night, the way to the helmsmen was determined by the stars, away from the shores, they remained almost the only signposts.
But man in the sea of natural signposts is not enough. That is why a fire was once lit on the shore. So on the shores of many seas there were lighthouses. The lighthouses still work today, they are a necessary element of security, and like everything related to the romance of the sea and travel, they still attract attention.
There are about a hundred such objects in Crimea. From a quarter to a third of them remain relevant to this day. Several can be safely included in the list of interesting objects not only in cognitive terms, but also in aesthetics.
It is difficult to determine the most beautiful. Here is the lighthouse of Cape Ai-Todor. At the top of the cape he does not need additional height. He is down-to-earth, old-fashioned. It was built in 1835.
Among the old lighthouses, Tarkhankutsky, “modernized” twenty years ago, attracts attention. That’s right, “modernized”, because the signal structures must be in that dangerous place. In the waters of those, because of the invisible almost three kilometers of insidious shoal, ancient ships perished, and in the ancient Genoese lotions Cape called “Rosofaro”, ie – “Red Fire”. After the construction of the 36-meter tower was completed, luminaires ordered in Britain were installed on it, which shone with “even white light, providing a range of visibility of up to 12 miles,” according to the History of the Tarkhankut Lighthouse. Yes, the lighthouse has its own chronicle, with strange, legendary stories. This lighthouse is high, but not the highest.
The highest tower on the entire Black Sea coast has the Evpatoria lighthouse. Despite the fact that this place has been inhabited since ancient times and is quite dangerous for navigation, because it is just above sea level, there are no ancient signal structures. Only in 1861, at the numerous requests of local sea merchants, a signal metal structure was erected here. It was later replaced by a 20-meter stone tower, which appeared immediately after World War II. The current 52-meter structure was erected in 1970.
In general, the original and main purpose of lighthouse structures is to bring fire to a sufficient height. Therefore, their towers are marked by the charm of minimalism. It makes no sense to decorate a building that usually stands in a not very crowded place. It is this stingy sophistication of architecture that makes some lighthouses attractive even aesthetically.
Although the completely pragmatic design may not be as aesthetically pleasing as most mast-type beacons, it should be recognizable during the day. To do this, they are usually painted in a typical way: on a white background with red and black horizontal stripes. Where this is no longer relevant, they remain virgin-white, like Ai-Todor, as the most romantic in the Crimea Meganom, as Ilyinsky and Tarkhankut.
There are exceptions, such as the newest lighthouse-temple in the village of Kuchuk-Uzen. This is a masterpiece of architecture in the full sense! And not just architecture. It was a complex and ambiguous political, business and corruption process. First, it is clear that the lighthouse was already nearby. Secondly, the financing of the construction, which cost about five million dollars, was carried out by the National Reserve Bank of Russia and consecrated by the highest hierarchs of the UOC-MP. The process was directly led by a certain Alexander Lebedev, a millionaire from the first hundred rich Russians, as well as from the top ten patrons there. However, unofficial public opinion considers the famous architect Anatoliy Haidamak to be the author of the project of the lighthouse temple, although public sources say that he “is the author of the Memorial to those killed at sea (Crimea, 2005-2006).” Indeed,the complex of the Malorichenska church is a temple, a lighthouse and the mentioned memorial. It would be nice to talk about Ukrainian-Russian cooperation on the example of this extraordinary object, if not for the same informal public opinion. Rumor has it that this “donation” is associated with the issuance of the same millionaire permission to build in the neighboring seaside village of Tuak a large boarding house on the Black Sea coast, almost at the foot of the old Tuac lighthouse.almost at the foot of the old Tuac lighthouse.almost at the foot of the old Tuac lighthouse.
According to modern sources, for the last quarter of a century the Crimean coastal signposts have been a permanent subject of disputes between the relevant departments of Ukraine and the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation. In the end, Russia brazenly appropriated them. The summer before last, they were even researched by the Russian Geographical Society, and some beautiful photos from this expedition illustrated this post. But time goes by, everything changes, and the lighthouses shine at night and hang out during the day, because navigare necesse est.
Maksym Dubovyaz, “Crimean Room” № 30, 2017