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Главная страница » Библиотека » Э.Н Доронина., Т.И. Яковлева. «Памятники Севастополя»

The monuments of Sevastopol

Sevastopol. It has long since been known all over the world as the city of the Russian naval glory as a firm stronghold in the South of Russia. Its name which translated from the Greek means «majestic», «worthy of admiration» has been justified by the whole more than two-century-long history of the city.

In remote times on the southern tip of the peninsula washed by the warm waters of the Black Sea there were Greek colonies that left on this land magnificent specimens of sublime Hellenic culture.

Numerous monuments of that period which have survived to this day have been gathered at the Chersonesus History and Archaeology Preserve, a museum of specific type, one of the few in the country.

Centuries passed by, tribes and kingdoms replaced one another on this blessed land abounding in picturesque and convenient bays. On the shores of one of them — the Bakhtiarskaya Bay in 1787 Sevastopol arose, founded by the Russian sailors as a naval fortress with hope and firm belief that from that time on Russia's southern frontiers would be protected from the encroachments of the Empire's enemies.

The history of Sevastopol inseparably connected with that of the Black Sea Fleet was being shaped out and enriched by the feats of the Russian sailors. It was no accident that the city's and Fleet's chronicle at the earliest period had to its credit the names of the illustrious Russian naval commanders — F.F. Ushakov, M.P. Lazarev, V.A. Kornilov, P.S. Nakhimov. It was no accident either that the first monument to be set up in Sevastopol was that to military valour — the feat of the small Russian brig «Mercury». On May 14, 1829, the crew of the brig under Lieutenant-Captain A.I. Kazarsky won unexampled victory over two large well-armed Turkish ships. It was a model of heroism, adherence to the military duty, a lofty example to be followed in all times.

Precisely such a laconic inscription did appear on the first monument erected on the soil of Sevastopol towards 1839: «To Kazarsky. An Example for Posterety». It sounds like a behest to the future generations and Sevastopolites and the Black Sea sailors in all subsequent times were true to this legacy displaying to the world in the crucial moments of history the unparalleled examples of courage and allegience to the Mothercountry.

Today Sevastopol is rightfully called a city of monuments. There are more than 1,400 of them on the legendary soil of the Black Sea sailors' capital. They stand on hills and at their feet, on the shores of the bays, in the city's streets and squares. This is a chronicle in stone that has immortalized unforgettable events, moments not only in the history of Sevastopol but in that of the whole country: the Crimean War and Defence in 1854—1855, the First Russian Revolution of 1905, the Great October and the Civil War. The unexampled valour and heroism of Sevastopolites displayed in the Great Patriotic War have been commemorated by hundreds of monuments.

The lines of this glorious chronicle are being written also nowadays — new obelisks and monuments are rising.

Standing on a high hill inside the city and seen from the sea at a great distance is the majestic monument to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Often sailors drawn up in accurate lines, merry red-tied Young Pioneers, veterans of war and labour can be seen here. At any season natural flowers are laid on the pedestal of the monument. But in April, on the leader's birthday there are heaps of them. The Sevastopolites of all generations go on this day to Ilyich, their hearts overflowing with love and gratitude, their thoughts drawn into the future.

The heroic past, the glorious present, the plans for the future are closely connected with each other and go hand in hand in this uncommon city.

The world came to know its name for the first time in the middle of the last century. The Anglo-French-Turkish troops having besieged Sevastopol tried for 349 days to break the resistance of its defenders. The Russian and foreign newspapers wrote with admiration that the defenders of Sevastopol both young and old had united In one impulse to hold out against the enemy attacks — a famous admiral, a sailor, a soldier — all were in the same ranks. Standing shoulder to shoulder with them were women and children. The world saw a remarkable example of mass heroism. The celebrated Panorama by Franz Rubo and many other monuments created for the 50th anniversary of the First Defence immortalized this glorious milestone in Sevastopol's history.

The revolutionary traditions of the Black Sea fortress that became an outpost of the Revolution in the South of Russia have been worthily perpetuated. The first Marxist circles that appeared in the end of the last century united the representatives of the Army and Navy as well as the city's proletariat in an effort of changing the unjust state order.

Towards the turn of the century the influence of Lenin's «Iskra» (Spark) newspaper was getting stronger, the Sevastopol Committee of the Russian Socialist Democratic Workers Party sprang up. The armed uprising that broke out in 1905 went down in history forever. Quite a few memorial places are associated with the names of the uprising's leaders — Lieutenant P.P. Schmidt and his comrades-in-arms, the sailors of the famous cruiser «Ochakov» and other ships which joined the uprising. The feat of those who were blazing trail to the Revolution, the titanic work done in Sevastopol and in the Black Sea Fleet by the envoys of Lenin's Central Committee brought about great effect. The workers and the Black Sea sailors welcomed the Great October spiritually matured and tempered in battles with tsarism they honourably held out in the severest struggle with the foreign interventionism. Sevastopol was the first city in the Crimea where on November 15, 1920, Soviet power was finally established.

The enthusiasm of the first five-year-plan periods raised the Soviet people to the unprecedented heights.

Sevastopol lived together with the whole of the country a creative life, the Black Sea Fleet gained strength. But on June, 22, 1941, the faithbreaking assault of the Nazi Germany upset the realisation of the peaceful plans of the Soviet people: the Great Patriotic War broke out.

The heroic defence of Sevastopol in 1941—1942 was destined to become one of the bright pages of the great battle our people fought for the honour and independence of the country, for the very existence of the Socialist system. Throughout 250 fiery days and nights the warriors of the Army and Navy, city's residents were accomplishing one uninterrupted feat containing the enemy at the approaches to Sevastopol, 300 thousand nazi men and officers were wiped out.

The country has called the Black Sea fortress a hero-city, the glory of Sevastopol became actually world-wide.

Both during the nazi occupation and in the bright hour of liberation that came in May, 1944, the Sevastopolites remained true to the motto inscribed on the city's first monument: to live up to «the example for the posterity». The monuments to the defenders and liberators of Sevastopol, to the partisans and underground fighters are a tribute to their feat that will endure through the ages.

The legendary Sapun-Gora through which the way to the liberation of Sevastopol in 1944 lay has become the place of homage to the heroes. In the same yea 1944 the first monuments to the Soviet warriors on this war-scorched land were erected, in 1959 the diorama showing the triumphant assault of the enemy fortifications was opened.

The effort of restoration was as great as the feat of arms: the city rose from the ruins and ashes built by the Sevastopolites with the aid of the young people from all the republics of the Soviet Union. Present-day white-stoned Sevastopol has become more beautiful than it was before the war, it is a great deal larger and has more amenities, its green attire has grown more luxurient.

The hero-city's banner bears the Mothercountry's high awards — the Order of the Red Banner of Labour in honour of the centenary of the First Defence, the Order of Lenin and the «Gold Star» Medal for the feats performed in the years of the Great Patriotic War, the Order of the October Revolution which was presented to Sevastopol in connection with its bicentenary.

The heart of glorious Sevastopol throbs ardently and youthfully. The city lies on the Black Sea coast as a brilliant chronicle of feats, inimitably beautiful, a symbol of valour and courage. Its monuments are unfading lines of this chronicle.

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