The swallow’s nest is actually a tiny castle situated in Crimea, which is near to Yalta, Ukraine. This castle is said to stand on the Avrorianska rock just over the sea-abyss. The Swallow’s nest in its current form was constructed in 1912 by A. Shervud, the son of V. Shervud, a popular architect and author of the historical museum at the Red Square, Moscow. The castle actually overlooks Cape of Ai Todor in the Black Sea, situated near the remaining of Charax, the Roman castrum. The Swallow’s Nest is considered to be a major tourist puller from across the globe and has become Crimea’s southern coastline symbol.
Swallow’s Nest’s legend is said to date back to the medieval period. A well known Russian general had brought in a beautiful captive from one of the wars. He is said to have built this castle for this woman, whom he loved the most. Not much is known about the history of the woman, but this beautiful still stands as a sign of romance that has no boundaries. The locals residing nearby tell this medieval tale to the tourists who throng to have a glimpse of this beautiful place. The local residents call it the Generalif or simply the ‘Castle of Love’. This magnificent and romantic castle has been immortalized in the works of the great marine painter Aivazovskyi and artists Bogoliubov and Lagorio. This castle is quite compact in size and measures around 10 m wide and 20 m in length. The original design of Swallow’s Nest is that of two bedrooms, staircase to the tower, guest room and foyer. The guest room interior is beautifully decorated with wooden panels and the walls of the remaining rooms are painted and stuccoes. There is also an observation deck that rings the structure and provides a clear view of the sea and also Yalta’s far-away shoreline.
Before the Russian revolution, the Swallow’s Nest was owned by a merchant Shelaputin, who was the also the owner of a nearby cottage named ‘Pearl’. The castle was empty during the civil war, but was occupied during the Soviet era. A portion of the balcony was ruined due to a seven ball storm that occurred in 1927, but luckily, the main structure did not suffer any serious damage. Between the years, 1930-40, the Swallow’s Nest was made to be a tourist reading hall and was completely renovated and reopened for the visitors in the year 1968.
One can find plenty of white winged seagulls and swallows near this castle of love. If the tourist bends down over the balcony to look down, he could feel himself to be a bird that is flying in the sky and trying to touch the horizon. This must be the reason why this castle got its name ‘Swallow’s Nest’. As a matter of fact, this magnificent structure is considered to be one of the most glorious emblems of love in entire Crimea. Such is the importance of this castle of love that it featured in some of the Soviet movies.