The town of Novyi Svet is situated in an old surviving grove on the shore of Green Bay which is one of the three "coloured" bays of Novyi Svet: Dark Blue Bay and Blue Bay are to be found further west.
The town is surrounded by picturesque mountaintops that also protect it from cold winds on three sides.
From the west, Mount Koba-Kaya encloses Green Bay. The name of the Mountain translates as "cave rock" from the Tatar language and it is 165 metres in height.
To the right, towers Mount Karaul-Oba, which translates as "watchman's peak" from the Tatar and is 342 metres high. Archaeologists have discovered remains of Taurus settlements in the natural rock shelters of Mount Karaul-Oba such as the traces of a staircase carved out of the rock by the ancient inhabitants. A Byzantine Monastery of the 8th and 9th centuries was built in a large grotto of the mountain and the ruins of Asandra Fortress (from the 1st century A.C., during the Bosporan Kingdom) are to be found on the western slope of Mount Karaul-Oba in Kutlakskaya Bay.
Mount Sandikh-Kaya, overgrown with juniper, rises from the north and to the north-west Mounts Sikht-Lar and Perchem can be seen in the distance.
Finally, the enormous rock massif of Mount Sokol, known as Kush-Kaya by the Tatars, hangs from the east and which is 477 metres in height. At the top of the Mountain a beautiful view over the panorama of the southern shore opens out in front of you and the highest mountain sheep pasture of the Crimean Mountains, the Babugan Plateau with its two Sokolyata Cliffs, can clearly be seen.
It is impossible to pass directly through the town. There is the only scenic winding mountain road from Sudak that stretches for 7 kilometres above the sea. The film maker Leonid Gaidai loved Crimea so much that he shot film scenes with Ostap Bender and Kisa Vorobyaninov travelling along the Georgian Military Highway on this very road.
After Crimea was annexed to Russia, Catherine II gifted the territory to Galere, the French nobleman. It can be assumed that the area was given the name "Paradis" translated from the French as "garden" or "park" at this time; however Galere soon sold his present.
In the 1820s, Duchess A. S. Golitsina owned the Paradis; however she also then sold the estate to Duke Kherkheulidze.
In 1858, Karl Kessler, a professor at Kiev University, visited Novyi Svet on the invitation of Christian von Steven. He described the town and mentioned the fish factory of Gafner: "The factory team, who caught mackerel and mullet, was made up of people from various countries: the leader came from Armenia; the fishermen were Greeks, Tatars, Ukrainians, one German and one retired soldier from the Russian province". Kessler said that it was Kherkheulidze who gave the town its rather pompous name of Novyi Svet (which literally translates as "new world"). The Sudak historian V. F. Salamatova believes that by doing so, the Duke wanted to draw a comparison between his properties in the Gurzuf and Yalta Regions and his new one near Sudak. Kherkheulidze's intention was to establish a winemaking commune here; however these plans went no further than the planting of 3.5 tithes of vines. After the Duke died, his heirs sold Novyi Svet to Duke Lev Galitsyn in 1878. As it turned out, it was actually the destiny of Lev Sergeyevich to raise the wine industry of Crimea to unprecedented levels.
In 1878, Duke Lev Golitsin founded a factory of sparkling wines in Novyi Svet. The local natural conditions favoured the growing of the grapes and the Duke made great efforts to ensure that the traditional technology of champagne production introduced by the famous widow Clicquot was strictly followed at the factory. As a result, the quality of wines was wonderful.
In 1912, Nicholas II visited the Golitsin's factories and after drinking more than one bottle of wine, as we may assume, he told his party that he now saw the world in a new light — "Novyi Svet". It is possible that it was this event that led to the town being officially granted this name.
Duke Golitsin intensively developed the surrounding areas and it is thanks to his efforts that a path was cut out around Mount Koba-Kaya (a 7 km long tunnel was also made by cutting through the Mountain that was used to store champagne) that bypasses the local bays. Today a walk along the path is a necessary part of your visit.
The Golitsin Path begins on the shore of Green Bay. Carved into the limestone mass, the path follows the coast at 30 to 50 metres above sea level and is 5.47 kilometres long. The second path leads to the top of Mount Karaul-Oba.
Along the path you will find a giant cavern, the Chaliapin Grotto. In the Middle Ages, a Christian cave monastery was located here and on one of the walls some of the wall paintings survived up until the 19th century. Later on, the Grotto housed a collection of Golitsin's wines and the remains of the stone veranda can be seen to the right. It was there that Golitsin played host to his honourable guests and served them wine from his collection. Up until the Russian Revolution, the Grotto had tables and armchairs but the stone arches that stored bottles of champagne have survived until today. Concerts also used to be held here and legend has it that Chaliapin himself sang here, hence the name Chaliapin Grotto. Tradition is being restored now with concerts sometimes held here with champagne and magnificent fireworks as before. The strong hurricane of 1992 almost completely destroyed the wall covering the Grotto that was built in Golitsin's time but later restored. The collection of wines was also damaged and the spring in the centre of the Grotto was buried under earth. After it was cleared out several years later, the water supply was much lower than before.
Two more bays separated by the long Kapchik Cape are found further towards the west. The first one is Dark Blue or Razboynichiya Bay (literally "Pirate Bay"). In ancient times, when the Taurus and Hellenes inhibited the area, pirate ships were hidden here. The Bay is deep and has a small beach.
The next bay is Blue Bay where the famous Tsarsky Beach (literally "Imperial Beach") is located.
It is not for nothing that Novyi Svet is referred to as a region of contrasts. The Novyi Svet forests and groves are a living monument to the geological periods of the past. Ancient plants that once covered Europe during the 60 million year Cainozoic Era can be found here.
Several species of juniper, the Crimean pine (Pinus pallasiana), and the Sudak pine grow in the area and the latter can be found in Sudak and Aya Cape only. The Russian botanist V. N. Stankevich was the first to study the Sudak pine and the academic V. N. Sukachev named the pine Stankevich in 1906 in his honour. S. Stankov, who researched the botany of the south coast of Crimea, said, "The whole vegetation complex of this area is a completely different nature... We should speak not only of the juniper forest of the south coast but the different variants (associations) of the south Crimean forests. And these variants should be studied from west to east.".
The nature reserve has numerous species of fauna over 50 of which are considered to be rare and endangered. It is for that reason that the forests belong to the National Landscape Botanical Reserve "Novyi Svet" which covers an area of 470 hectares.
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