Monday, September 27, 2010

Monument to the Scuttled Ships, Sebastopol

This monument in Sebastopol harbour is the symbol of the city and commemorates an event in the heroic defence of Sebastopol during the Crimean War of 1853-56. Realising they were overpowered by the larger and more modern British and French fleets sent to attack them, the Russian commanders decided to remove the guns and troops from seven ships and scuttle them in the harbour, making it more difficult for the enemy to bombard the city from the sea.
Sebastopol today is a pleasant, well-kept city that is headquarters to both the Russian and the (much smaller) Ukranian Black Sea fleets. A closed city until the 1990s, it now welcomes visitors from all over the world. Locals and visitors enjoy swimming right beside the monument to this long ago war, an interesting chapter in the bloody saga of struggles among European powers during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Today everyone can enjoy a walk along the embankment where in Czarist times only officers and noble ladies were allowed to take the sea air.


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