Monthly Archives: February 2014

Lincoln’s great Cathedral


Lincoln (7)The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln was the tallest building on earth for 238 years. This magnificent cathedral built in a Gothic style 72 meters above sea level, can be seen far outside the city limits. The cathedral was built in the 14th century on the site of another one which was destroyed after an earthquake; its spire height of 160 meters exceeded that of the Great Pyramid of Egypt which was top of the list of skyscrapers for almost 4000 years but in 1549, this high tower and spire of the cathedral collapsed never to be rebuilt in the same way again. Nevertheless, the cathedral standing on this site today is one of the three largest cathedrals in England which includes Westminster and York.

Lincoln (22)The Cathedral is the most beautiful building in the city of Lincoln (21)Lincoln and despite the similarity of Gothic elements to other cathedrals in its architecture, there are two very unusual masterpieces which are not usually found in other English Cathedrals except in France such as Notre Dame in Paris. These are two round rose windows designed in a typical Gothic style with curvilinear openwork patterns. One round window looking to the north called “Dean’s Eye” symbolizing darkness or the devil and another looking south “Bishop’s Eye” symbolizes light or the Holy Spirit. I photographed these windows not realizing their philosophical meanings until I read the history of the cathedral. After reviewing the photos, I was surprised how I was able to aim my camera at such an interesting subject.

There is also an interesting legend about two imps which Satan sent to earth to commit evil deeds. One imp managed to escape but second one was turned to stone by an angel. Today the now petrified imp adorns the wall of the cathedral and has been adopted as the symbol of Lincoln. All around this magnificent Cathedral one can feel a mystical atmosphere, little wonder why it was used to film “The Da Vinci Code” movie.

Lincoln (16)Another interesting fact about this cathedral is that it is the Lincoln Imphome of one of four copies of the Magna Carta, signed in 1215 by King John solely because the bishop of Lincoln, Hugh of Wells, was one of the signatories. This copy has been temporarily lent to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. Two other copies are in the British Museum and one is in Salisbury Cathedral.

Thomas Woolsey was one of the most famous bishops of the cathedral, after King Henry VIII he was the most influential Cardinals in England until 1529. The cardinal made his fortune with the introduction of taxes and the closing of 29 monasteries, part of his funds were invested in the construction of the Palace at Hampton Court, which subsequently came into the possession of Henry VIII.

Lincoln (2)The history Lincoln dates back to the Iron Age. Celtic settlements from the 1st century BC have been found at the foot of the hill and in 48 AD the area was conquered by the Romans who built a fortress on the river bank, hence the name of Lincoln, which a combination of the word Lindon (the Pool) and Colonia. It is known that a Roman legion was located here, which later moved to York but Lincoln remained a place for the veterans of the legions.

Lincoln (12)After the Norman invasion in the 11th century a castle was Lincoln (44)built on the orders of William I on the site of the Roman settlement. Now it is a prison museum which houses evidence of severe medieval laws and conditions under which the prisoners lived.

In the 12th century the Bishop’s Palace was the administrative center of the city and one of the most important buildings in England.

The Cathedral the Bishop’s Palace and the Castle are the historic center of Lincoln. These historic buildings are separated from the main part of city, unlike cities in England and Europe. During Norman times the military and religious elite lived around the cathedral on the hill, while the poor people settled down the hill. Therefore, the main tourist attractions of the city are easy to find.

In the 12th century AD, this was one of the wealthiest cities in England; they produced woolen cloth in red and green as symbolically worn by Robin Hood. After the reforms of Henry VIII and the dissolution of the monasteries in the 15th century many religious institutions were closed down in the town, which brought considerable revenue to the city treasury. But, ever since the Cathedral spire had collapsed it was also the beginning of an economic decline for the city. However, many medieval buildings have been preserved in their original form. We walked around the city from the historic Castle square, down Steep Hill, whose title speaks for it self, to the city centre. I included some photos taken during our visit.

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Part 2 of Novyi Svet (the lost Paradise)


Noviy Svet The “Champagne” history of Novyi Svet in Crimea is more then one hundred years old. A Russian aristocrat named Lev Golitsyn in the 19th century turned an unknown small village in the mountains to a prominent player in the Russian sparkling wine industry. You can visit the winery to view the champagne processes and taste some of their finest wines. Novyi Svet attracts loads of tourists because of its subtropical climate which is very similar to the Mediterranean. There is also a 400 acres nature reserve with very unique plants such as curved leaf pine trees, pistachio, dogwood, hornbeam, blackthorn, 300 year old oaks and 500 year old juniper trees. You can walk up from the town to a the nature reserve through a forest of juniper trees, around the hill of Koba-Kaya (cave mountain) to the north or come into it after the completion of your trip around the bays when returning to the town.

 Novyi Svet (the lost Paradise)The Golitsyn Trail cut into the rock above the sea, leads from Zelenaya (green) Bay along coves and grottos skirting Koba-Kaya (cave mountain) from the east and south.

In the Chaliapin Grotto ( mentioned in part one) there was once a Christian temple in the Middle ages and later recesses were carved out in the rock by Prince Golitsyn for the storage of his wines. From here the trail takes you along the coast, which has amazing breathtaking views at every turn, worthy of the best artistic landscape paintings and photographs. During sunny weather, each one of these bays reflects its own particular color.

 Novyi Svet (the lost Paradise)The Sinyaya (blue) bay is our next destination, which is also called the Razboinichya (“pirates”) bay. According to legend, these shores were rife with pirates in the old days and they hid their treasures in the Skvoznoi (through) Grotto at the base of Kapchik Cape, which juts out to sea and divides the coast in two, the Sinyaya (blue) bay and the Delilimanskaya (light blue) bay. This area is also a favourite for filmmakers as they are often seen here filming movies about pirates.

Skvoznoi the (through) Grotto is a unique natural cave with a length of some 77 meters and a height of about 20 meters which was neither formed by the sea or underground waters but by the movement of rock blocks along the Kapchik Cape fault. This grotto can only be accessed from the Golubaya (blue) bay, as the other side of the passage is not easily accessible. But this grotto is now closed due a few recent accidents. According to history Prince Golitsyn celebrated the 25th anniversary of his wine debut in this grotto.

Golubaya Bay is sometimes called Tsarskaya (Emperor) bay because of it’s Tsarskiy (shingle) beach. The Emperor Tsar Nicholas II visited Novyi Svet in 1912, when the wine factory was granted to him by Prince Golytsin. This particular trail along the mountain which Nicholas II used to go down and swim on the shingle beach is named the Tsarskaya Trail.

 Novyi Svet (the lost Paradise)From the Kapchik Cape the Golitsyn trail leads directly to the juniper forest which encircles the Koba Kaya Mount from the north side. But you can continue your spectacular nature hike for a few more hours and go past another landmark, the Karaulnaya Mountain once used as a look out post which is situated west of the Golubaya Bay.

Further along on mount Karaulnaya you will find a bench carved out of stone named the  Novyi Svet (the lost Paradise)Golitsyn bench overlooking the lagoon and the cliffs of Novyi Svet. Going down the pass along steps created by tree roots you will reach the Valley of Hell. Not sure why it was named so but there are cleft in the rocks where cold icy air flows. Maybe the ancient Tauri people who used to inhabit this area knew more about this. The earliest known history of Crimea is from the IX BC when Herodotus described the ancient “wild” tribes inhabiting Crimea the Tauri who had established their temples in these canyons. There are prehistoric ivy-covered stairs cut in the rocks at a place called the “Adamovo loge” (“Adam’s bed”). If you continue along this trail you will eventually reach the next village named Veseloe.

Veseloe (2)The Village of Veseloe is a small coastal resort with a shingle Noviy Svet 2p  (3)beach and a few cafes. Here you can swim, relax and have a snack. You can also climb up the hill to the ruins of the ancient Kutlakskaya fortress facing Kutlaksky bay witch dates back to the 1st century BC during the time of the Bosporus kingdom. You can go back on to your original trail from this fortress by climbing up the mountain to reach Paradise Valley, then through the juniper forest back you will reach Noviy Svet. It is necessary to note that you need to know all the best viewing points along the route as you may miss some of the most beautiful places without a guide or a map.

Another way the “goat” trail (only recommended for experienced hikers) along these Noviy Svet 2p (14)mountains takes you down to the sea by where you can visit the three monk’s rock sticking out of the sea, from which you can dive into the amazingly clear water where in calm weather you can actually see the sandy bottom. There are many rocks around this area with fantastic shapes, each with individual names. One particular rock called The Frog Princess cannot be missed because of its unmistakable “crown”.

Noviy Svet 2p (29)There is a legend that the real Paradise, of Adam and Eve Noviy Svet 2p  (4)actually existed in Crimea. I do believe that some legends and names were not accidentally created but bear some facts based on truth. Paradise Valley close to the northern mountain named Golova loshadi (Horse’s head), is always very quiet during the summer the complete silence is only broken with beautiful birdsong and the sound of crickets, this is when you get a feeling that maybe this was really Paradise once and why the village (now town  Novyi svet ) was called Paradise and still remains paradise to me.

Some photos made by Artem Galinskiy, traveller, and Mariya Kuvshynkina, Crimean guide

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The Paradise called Novyi Svet

Noviy Svet 1p (2)I always remember with a special thrill this small town on the Black Sea coast of Crimea, because this place has an exceptional appeal and I try to visit there at least one day a year. Novyi Svet has an extraordinary natural energy; I get a new charge of vital energy for the year ahead after visiting this place. This town has a turquoise sea, blue skies with a piney and juniper forest, no wonder it was previously known by the name of Paradise

Noviy Svet 1p (3)The only road leading out of the city of Sudak to Novyi Svet, The Paradise called Novyi Svethangs over the sea along the mountain cliffs and only experienced drivers should use this beautiful meandering road around the mountains. You can take a bus from Sudak to the town of Novyi Svet and get there in just 15 to 20 minutes. I recommend hiking along this road which is only about 6 km as the combination of pine aromas and pleasant sea breezes contribute to the delight of the pedestrian with its unusual and natural beauty.

Noviy Svet 1p (20)At the end of the road you will reach the east side of the town dominated by Mount Sokol “falcon” in Russian also known by the ancient name of Kush-Kaya “bird rock”, standing at a height of some 477 m, it is called so, because of it’s shape in the form of the folded wings of a bird. Sokol is Europe’s largest ancient coral reef, same as all the other mountains in this area. They contain fossilized coral and shell fossils in their limestone composition. In bright sunlight the rock appears white and at sunset or after rain it becomes a shade of purple. In any case, do not try to conquer this mountain, as there have been occasions in the past where the most courageous tourists had to be rescued by helicopter. On the northern slopes there is a small trail leading to the top but you can only go there with an experienced guide. This mountain is only to be attempted by experienced climbers. Mountaineers from around the world go there to train on its steep southern slopes with special equipment.

At the bottom of Mount Sokol you will enjoy a view overlooking the town. Novyi Svet winds Noviy Svet 1p (4)down like a beautiful natural amphitheater to a Green bay with a sand and pebble beach. The water in the local bay is considered a benchmark for seawater cleanliness throughout Crimea. From the east, north and west the settlement is surrounded by mountains, that’s why there is always a unique microclimate in Novyi Svet.

On the west side of the bay we have another Mount called Oryol known as “eagle” in Russian and the ancient name Koba-Kaya “Cave Mountain”. In this mountain there is a 7 km tunnel hacked out of the rock and where sparkling wines are stored. This is why it’s necessary for me to tell you something about the history of this area as it is directly related to the development of Russian wine making in Crimea.

Lev GolitsynAccording to the history of Crimea, after its conquest by Russia in The Paradise called Novyi Svet 1783, this area named Paradise for some unknown reason was presented to a Savoy nobleman named Galere by Catherine the Great of Russia which was then bought by Princess Galitzina a religious woman who liked the fact that it was called Paradise. She eventually sold it to Prince Kherhulidze who changed the name of Paradise to Novyi Svet (Exact Russian translation meaning New Light, or New World) and tried to set up the first winery in Crimea. When he died it was inherited by his two daughters, one of the daughters Nadejda Zasetskaya who was then married with children in Russia fell in love with the neighbor, a rich Russian Prince named Lev Sergeyevich Golitsyn.

They often came to her inherited estate “Paradise” now named Novyi Swet on Holidays. Prince Lev GolitsynGolitsyn fell in love with the beauty of this natural landscape and in 1878 moved there permanently with Nadejda as his common-law wife. When the romance was over and they finally parted, he bought the land from her and her sister which was then simply a wild landscape.

The Prince then married Countess Maria Orlova-Denisova in Chaliapin Grotto1883 and invested all her money buying additional land to expand his vineyards. He erected a wine factory on the slopes of mount Koba-Koya and constructed a road along the mountain track with tunnels through the rock from Sudak to Novyi Svet. He employed specialists from Greece to build underground tunnels so he can safely store his wines in a constant temperature. There is a natural grotto carved out by the sea The Paradise called Novyi Sveton the south side of Koba-Koya were he created niches along the walls to lay down his wines for guests. A stage The Paradise called Novyi Svet was erected in this cave for the entertainment of his visitors and legend has it that the great Russian opera singer Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin sang there once. To this day this cave is known as the Chaliapin Grotto. Although, there is no evidence that Chaliapin had ever visited the town. If you walk along a stone path by the sea next to the rock of Koba-Koya you can reach this grotto where you can still see the niches where wines were once stored.

The Paradise called Novyi Svet Prince Golitsyn studied at the Sorbone in Paris when he was young and as a student of science and medicine soon acquired the art of wine-making becoming an excellent connoisseur of French wines. The first batch of sparkling wine was produced using the French method in 1882. The quality of this wine improved over the years and in 1900 at the World Exhibition in Paris, this Russian sparkling wine from the Golitsyn factory in Novyi Svet won the gold medal in the nomination of sparkling wines. The celebration dinner was held in the restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. A well known story tells about a French aristocrat at the dinner who owned a French champagne factory that he could not distinguish the Crimean champagne from his own. After his speech thanking everyone for serving his excellent French champagne, he was informed that in fact he had been drinking Crimean sparkling wine not his champagne. Prince Golitsyn thanked him for the high praise as it proved a magnificent triumph for his Crimean wine.

In 1896 a special batch of this Crimean wine was named “Coronation” and was sent to Moscow for the ceremonial dinner in honor of the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II.

The biggest batch of 60 thousand bottles with the brand name “Paradise” was bottled in 1899 which eventually became known as the sparkling wine “Novyi Svet” and still sold to this day.

To implement his goals in the development and production of this great wine, Prince Golitsyn needed huge funds but these would not be recouped except after the wine was sold in the future. After a period of successful triumphs he ran out of money and was unable to complete his dream of a Great Russian Champagne. The prince then decided to offer his factory as a gift to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia who during his stay in the Livadia Palace in Crimea in 1912 visited the Golitsyn estates where a banquet was held in honor of his first visit. There is an entry in the Tsar’s diary: “…examined grottos which were lit with sparklers, tasted a lot of wine …” As the Tsar left the Cave he was reported to have said, “Now I see everything in a new light!” which is in fact the name “Novyi Svet” in Russian. Prince Lev S. Golitsyn awarded all the wine certificates to Tsar Nicholas II and remained the surveyor of the imperial vineyards at Abrau-Dyurso.

The Paradise called Novyi Svet Unfortunately, after the death of Prince Golitsyn the factory The Paradise called Novyi Svet fell into disrepair due to the Russian revolution in 1917 but production of this great wine was once again resumed in 1936. This Crimean sparkling wine has received many high international awards for quality over the years and today produces 17 brands of sparkling wines with various names like “Crimea”, “Prince Lev The Paradise called Novyi Svet Golitsyn”, “Noviy Svet“, etc. One can visit the tasting room The Paradise called Novyi Svet at the factory and try these sparkling wines produced from various grapes such as “Pinot noir”, “Cabernet”, “Chardonnay”, “Aliquot”, “Riesling” and “Sauvignon”. The palace built in a Moorish style, where Prince Lev. S. Golitsyn lived, is now a Museum dedicated to the history of the Crimean sparkling wines factory.

That’s all about this amazing story of the Russian aristocrat who devoted his entire life in the development of the Novyi Svet sparkling wine for the whole world to enjoy.

Noviy SvetLev Golitsyn once quoted “The science of winemaking depends on the knowledge of the locality where the grape is grown.” Next time I will write about the amazing nature reserves of Crimea.



Some photos made by Artem Galinskiy, traveller, and Mariya Kuvshynkina, Crimean guide

Russian version

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