An outstanding grotto with a centennial history is called nowadays Chaliapin’s Grotto. The Grotto’s name is connected with a visit by the famous singer Feodor Chaliapin. He liked to stay on visits to his friend, a count, and could not but pay attention to the Grotto. It is told that Chaliapin performed concerts in the Grotto.
It is told that Chaliapin performed in the Grotto. Special platform was constructed for this purpose, and there were tables for the audience. A beautiful legend tells that precisely in this same Grotto Chaliapin’s voice displayed its magnificent power – reflected from the walls, powerful sounds shattered a glass of precious Novy Svet sparkling wine held in singer’s hand.
To commemorate this event, numerous concerts and opera festivals are conducted in the Grotto. This natural hall is unique for concerts – its acoustics amplifies the sounds. Annual Feodor Chaliapin Opera Art Festival is held in this unusual place open for everyone who is eager to become acquainted with classical music. In rest of the time, the Grotto lives a usual life, letting numerous tourists and visitors through to Tsar’s beach.
The flow of the tourists is so intensive and constant, that mountain climbing routes inside Grotto became almost abandoned. There are three routes, two of them leading along the walls, and one located on the ceiling. But due to numerous people constantly walking underneath, chances to use the routes are scarce.
It is believed that cave temples used to be here in the Middle Ages. A fragment of wall painting proves that fact. It was still visible in the 19th century.
In the early 20th century, the Grotto started a new and a very interesting history. Count Lev Golitsyn chose this place for storing Novy Svet sparkling wines. Special arch niches were constructed in the Grotto designed to store the produced wine; these niches are still visible even today. Wine-cellar of count Golitsyn attracted many venerable persons. Even Emperor Nicholas II visited the place, and it is believed that the whole area was named by him during his stay here. After entering the Grotto and tasting the wine, the Emperor said that he started to see everything in a new light. So the phrase Novy Svet (Russian for “new light”) became the name of the area.
Photographs donated by crimea-photo.com.