But more recently it was a place for the chosen ones - after all, tourists were allowed to visit this truly paradise place not many more than ten years ago. Before that, there was no such city as Balaclava. At least on the maps of the world.
Already on the map
I first visited here five years ago - literally for a week I broke with my husband to the sea. Then they traveled here with the whole family - for one day and only to the museum. But "in absentia" about Balaclava could be found out before - it was chosen by the "filmmakers", and from time to time the narrow streets can be found in some film. The place is really very beautiful. The city stretches on both sides of a small Balaklava bay. One part of it is the settlement itself, where you can find only a couple of five-story buildings, one or two stores, a dubious type of inexpensive dining and more expensive cafes. A little further is discovered the ancient heavily destroyed Chembalo fortress.
The city has its own beach - a small, concrete. The water here is dirty, and swimming is not recommended. Therefore, most go to the sea on the Silver and Golden beaches a few kilometers from the city. You can get there in two ways. The easiest (and expensive) - the sea on the boat. But the real connoisseurs of Balaclava go to the beaches by mountain paths. There are several of them. One - the highest - passes by the ancient viewing platform "Barrel of Death". In one place, this platform is not even fenced with a railing, and by carelessness it is quite possible to fall from it.
True, to rise to this height every time is not worth it. The basis of the path lies just below. However, this does not make the path less dangerous - there are often landslides on the way, and the road narrows to about twenty centimeters. On the way to the distant Golden Beach, the path passes along the mudflow that descended several years ago, which looks more like a red Martian desert than a terrestrial landscape. But immediately after this desert begins the reserve "Cape Aya".
Echo of the Cold War
The other side of the bay for many years was an ordinary marine industrial zone. However, not really. After the war a secret object was built here. Such that it was impossible to get into the city without a special permit, and only sailors and their families lived in Balaklava itself. But among them, not everyone knew what was going on there, beyond the bay. Surprisingly, many still have not been there.
... The second half of the 1940s. The world just began to get used to life without war, like the two great powers — the USSR and the USA — secretly began another war — the “cold war.” The arms race has begun. By that time, deadly nuclear weapons that could destroy a planet were already known and tested. However, no one thought about this last aspect.
The political elite of the Soviet Union needed to find a place where nuclear submarines would be sheltered and repaired. Silent Balaklava Bay was just perfect for this option. So, in 1957, after Stalin’s death, the construction of the top-secret “object 825” began. So secret that quiet little Balaclava simply erased from all geographical maps. It was built hastily - the builders worked all day, and after four years the “adit” was ready to receive the first submarines. The miners' titanic work is visible even to a non-professional — in order to conquer hard rock, explosives had to be used.
The adit includes two ways - the waterway, on which the submarines walked (they came from the bay, and went directly to the open sea), and dry - for the maintenance and storage of ammunition. In one place these paths intersect. In case of danger, up to 15 nuclear submarines could hide in the galleries of a secret object. Fortunately, this did not happen, and the adit was only used for the repair of submarines. They sailed here exclusively at night.
Decay and rebirth
After the fall of the “iron curtain”, the Balaclava adit lost its strategic relevance and top secrecy. In 1993-1994, the military left the base, giving it to the mercy of vandals. And they tried - they took every last screw. For at least seven years, the object had no owner and was not protected at all.
Therefore, when in 2000 there was a question about the revival of the military base in the form of a museum, it turned out that there was nothing to show. Of the truly authentic objects, only a single turntable with a trolley for transporting nuclear warheads to boats has been preserved.
And yet, in 2002, the museum opened its doors to visitors. It recreated some sound effects (opening thick doors, for example), placed models of submarines. The tour, which passes through the dry part of the base, is fascinating and exciting. True, admit to it only under certain conditions - with a must-take jacket. The temperature in the adit never rises above +15 degrees.
... Unfortunately, during our visit to the museum in Balaclava, we forgot the camera. If you find yourself in these places, try not to allow such an oversight.