History and legend of Oreanda from the Crimean researcher and Czech poet
Alexander Berthier-Delagard

History and legend of Oreanda from the Crimean researcher and Czech poet


In early September 2017, the Crimea celebrated the 175th anniversary of the birth of the “patriarch of Crimean studies” – a prominent researcher Alexander Bertier-Delagard. We did not hear about honoring his memory in mainland Ukraine.

History and legend of Oreanda from the Crimean researcher and Czech poet
Alexander Berthier-Delagard

According to researchers, Alexandre Bertier-Delagard was born on October 26, 1842 in Sevastopol in the family of a Russified soldier of French descent. After graduating from the cadet corps and the Military Engineering Academy, he successfully worked as a military engineer in many places on the Black Sea coast, building bridges, fortresses, and port facilities. He built, in particular, the ports of Odessa, Feodosia, Yalta, Rostov-on-Don, Alushta and Yalta water mains, the railway to Feodosia and more. In 1877-1878 he took part in the fortification of Sevastopol, designed Primorsky Boulevard; under his leadership, a shipbuilding admiralty was built, a water supply system was laid, and many other buildings were erected.

In 1887, Bertie-Delagard retired as a major general and has since devoted himself entirely to scientific work in the field of ancient and medieval history, archeology and numismatics of the Black Sea region. He took a direct part in archeological excavations and surveys, directing them (research of the necropolis in Feodosia, an ancient sanctuary near Yalta, etc.) or financing them at his own expense. Since 1899 he has been the vice-president of the Odessa Society of History and Antiquities and its de facto leader. He took an active part in the work of the Tavriya Scientific Archival Commission (TVAC) and other scientific societies. He created rich, and in some sections unique collections of Crimean antiquities, which he gradually transferred to museums – most often to the Odessa Archaeological Museum.Also his work is a library on ancient and medieval history of southern Ukraine and an exceptionally complete collection of maps and views of the Crimea.

The researcher died on February 13, 1920 in Yalta; buried in Sevastopol.

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History and legend of Oreanda from the Crimean researcher and Czech poet
“View in Oreanda”, painting by I. Aivazovsky, 1858

In 1913, at the request of the then owner of Oreanda, Alexander Bertier-Delagard began to restore data about the village. The study “Information on the past of Oreanda” was published in the scientific journal TVAC in 1919. According to the scientist, the earliest mention of this area is preserved in a Genoese document from 1380, which lists a number of settlements on the southern coast of Crimea, including Oreanda. they were part of the captaincy of Gotia, the administrative district of Genoa, which covered the territory between the consulates of Chembalo (Balaklava) and Soldaia (Sudak). The area of ​​Oreanda was considered to be in the use and possession of the ranks of the Balaklava Greek Battalion, which maintained the customs border from Balaklava to Feodosia. At that time, there were no more than half a thousand inhabitants in the entire desert area from Laspi to Alushta district.Upper and lower Oreanda together with Livadia, Alupka, Kikeneiz, part of Simeiz and Kuchuk-Lambat, with many others, until the 20s of the XIX century. belonged to Theodosius Reveliot, commander of the Balaklava battalion from 1800 to 1831.

History and legend of Oreanda from the Crimean researcher and Czech poet
Lower Oreanda, a modern view of the Church of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin

In 1825, Russian Emperor Alexander I visited Oreanda. He liked the area so much for its beauty and desolation that he decided to build a palace here for his wife. After the death of Alexander I, Oreanda became the imperial estate of Nicholas I in May 1826. The royal family first visited here in September 1837. At that time the estate had a beautiful park created with the help of famous gardeners Kebach and Delinger, a greenhouse and a vineyard with a wine cellar. . During the trip, the king gave Oreanda to his wife Alexandra Feodorovna; and often went to the village, planning to build a palace in the style of Roman villas, and eventually ordered to put a cross on top of the western cliff, planting a laurel there with his daughter Maria and Count and Countess Vorontsov.

History and legend of Oreanda from the Crimean researcher and Czech poet
Oreanda in the 1900s

Construction of the palace began in 1842 (according to Bertier-Delagard – in 1844) and was completed in 1850. The first building of the palace complex was a semi-rotunda of white Kerch stone on one of the rocks of Oreanda, which was visible from afar. The palace itself was built mainly of Inkerman and Kerch stone, Miskhor and Oreand marble; some columns and chimneys were carved from Crimean red marble (porphyry). From the path that stretched over the estate, this first royal palace on the southern coast of Crimea seemed to contemporaries a magical fortress.

History and legend of Oreanda from the Crimean researcher and Czech poet
A fragment of the facade of the palace, the end of the XIX century.

After the death of Alexandra Fyodorovna, who never saw the palace in her lifetime, the estate was inherited by her second son, Konstantin Mykolayovych, after the clergywoman. He often came to Oreanda, which he called an earthly paradise, and lived here almost permanently, being in disgrace after the reign of Alexander III. One August night in 1881 (according to Bertier-Delagard – in the first winter of 1882) a fire destroyed a magnificent palace. According to one version, the fire broke out “due to careless handling of cigarettes by children of court employees.” There was a hurricane that day, and the flames quickly engulfed the entire building, surviving only a stone skeleton.

History and legend of Oreanda from the Crimean researcher and Czech poet
Ruins of the palace, 1899

Reconstruction of the palace required large sums of money, which the prince did not have: “ I received a wonderful palace from my mother, it is no more, I will never be able to restore it. Let the temple of God be made of its remnants». From the stones left after the fire, he decided to build a church of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin in Oreanda. Well versed in architecture, the prince planned to build a church in the Georgian-Byzantine style, which, in his opinion, best suited the rocky Oreanda. The temple turned out small, cross-shaped, with one bath. It offered a magnificent view of the sea. Around grew mighty centuries-old oaks, on the largest of which made the original bell tower. The church was solemnly consecrated in 1885. After the earthquake of 1927, the damaged church was almost demolished, but survived; before that it was planned to make a museum. In the 1950s, a new order was issued to demolish the temple, which “interfered” with the architectural ensemble of the sanatorium “Lower Oreanda”, which was also built from the ruins of the royal palace.However, local historians stood up for the temple and achieved its recognition as an architectural monument. Then a warehouse of pesticides was set up in the church, and a motor depot was set up in its yard. During the independence of Ukraine, in 1992, it was handed over to the parishioners and restored.

Alexander Bertie-Delagard noted that the oldest name of the village is written as “Orianda” (Latin and Italian), and insisted that the name of the village, which “has become increasingly distorted over the past two decades,” sounds like “Oryanda.”

History and legend of Oreanda from the Crimean researcher and Czech poet
Church of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin, 1885

According to the scientist, this word is not reliably translated from any known language: similar pronunciations of place names have survived only in a few tracts on the southern coast of Crimea – Aunda, Karakunda, Panda, Urgenda, Murgunda, Marsanda, Voganda, etc. ” The meaning of all these names is also completely unclear, and since the names of places have been preserved in the Tauride for millennia, it is possible that these have been preserved from the language of some long-lost people. The great Viennese scholar who wrote about the fate of the Goths considered it possible to see in these names traces of the Taurian language, but there is no solid reason for this , “wrote the criminologist.

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In 1899, the Czech poet Josef Mahar wrote the poem Oreanda, which was included in his collection Vylet na Krym (Prague, 1900), based on his impressions of visiting the peninsula. This poem, translated by Ivan Franko, was published in the April 1905 issue of the Literary-Scientific Bulletin; at the same time the author was named Jan for some reason. In a note to the poem, Franco noted: “ Oreanda is a luxurious area in the Crimea near Yalta, where the chambers of the Russian Grand Dukes are located. These days there was information in the newspapers that a secret printing house and a warehouse of forbidden books and revolutionary proclamations had been found there. Oreanda already has its own legend in this regard. The proof is this beautiful poem by Mahar . ”

– and so the Grand Duke lost command
of the fleet, and here, to Oreanda
sent his king-father angry.
Because sinful plans took place in the gray forehead of
Uncle Constantine, the
spirit of rebellion lived in a giant body: he
went on the road, poor thing,
and, the royal growth, listened to the nihilists.
That the king’s wrath
did not inflict full punishment on him is because
our father and right-handed man was good :
he judged and pardoned, and waited for penance
and correction…
And our sweetheart sits
in Oreanda, selects letters,
writes secret manifestos;
his envoy travels with a full bag
from Yalta to Sevastopol; the
Grand Duke proudly frowns and shines viciously
his eagle, unexplored vision.
Fate has come true.
Our Konstantin Mykolovich stands like this once and waits,
as usual, for an envoy from St. Petersburg;
there is no ambassador; and a
dry Englishman in plaid robes rides into a tricycle, looks
through his spectacles at
his red book, and squints around curiously,
as if those Englishmen already know how.
Orders pass away like someone else for someone else
goes to the Grand Duke – only blinked secretly
This nihilist was – whispered two or three words
that all is lost, captured messenger
in Oreanda with a whole retinue leaving
himself commandant of the “Third Division” –
bowed in three sat down, went on.
The Grand Duke turned with all his might,
here on these stairs I jumped with a long step,
ran into an office: a table, chests opens,
pressure from them on the earth is burning,
from lamps kerosene buh – and a church match…
And has left, and in park; where he stood before,
there he stands again, arms crossed.
And waiting. You see, there is a general
in civilian clothes who can’t be recognized.
“Where?” – the Grand Duke thunders to him.
– Here, in Oreanda by royal order.
“Come here, slave!” – and nodded to the stairs.
At that moment, a golden tongue exploded
on the flat roof, others
in cloaks with black windows jumped out and stretched
up to the sky – Oreanda was on fire.
The Grand Duke laughs, his eyes
watering with tears, and even adjusts
gendarmerie souls: – Go, sweethearts!
What happened? Ah, lazy slaves, so do you
fulfill your king’s will?
And even with me, the emperor’s uncle?
Sorry! Siberia on you dogs! –
So mocked…
Then what is left of Oreanda is
what we see here… The
guide is rude, a
professor at a Moscow school was
Those smoky walls
were blue behind the ceiling. The charred
pillars lay at our feet.
Cut-outs also rotted here.
Broomed grasses grew in the wells of the
mosaic platforms of the hall, and in the holes
in the wall grew consumables and
straw sticking out of sparrow nests…

Serhiy Konashevych, “Crimean Room” № 43, 2017

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Sergii Konashevich

Author of numerous culturological publications, editor of Ukrainian Culture Publishing House LLC

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