Chaliapin's Grotto is included in the popular hiking routes along the Crimean Peninsula. It is located in the village of Novy Svet, which belongs to the urban district of Sudak. The walking trail runs along the slope of Mount Orel (Koba-Kaya) and stretches for 6 km. Alternative names - Falcon Trail, Variety Grotto, Golitsin Grotto.
Created by nature
In Crimea there are many amazing places created by nature, such as Chaliapin’s Grotto. Carved into the rock by sea waves over thousands of years, Prince Golitsyn liked the grotto, and he ennobled it. Golitsyn was famous as a Russian winemaker. He found a use for the grotto as a wine cellar, where the treated sandstone walls still remain. There were 45 niches made for storing bottles of wine. The height of the Chaliapin Grotto reaches 30 meters, and its width is about 17 meters. In the depths of the grotto there is a source with clean and fresh water, indicating the movement of groundwater occurring in the cracks of the rock.
In 1912, Emperor Nicholas II and his family decided to visit the estates of a wealthy prince and part-time winemaker, who was much talked about in society. The prince decided to meet the emperor with dignity, to improve the path running along the mountainside and make it easily passable. Turkish specialists, specially invited for this purpose, were engaged in the improvement. They built observation decks, stone stairs, and wine storage facilities.
Walking along the path, the prince and his guests entered the grotto, in which aged champagne was stored. The emperor was delighted with the beauty of the trail. Being an expert in wine, the emperor appreciated the taste of the famous champagne, and as an endorsement, he said that after a glass of good wine, everything is seen in a new light. After this, the area at the winemaker’s farm was renamed from Paradise to New World.
The Legend of Chaliapin
Since concerts were often held in the grotto for guests, a kind of stage was erected for the performing artists, and the acoustics did their job. There is information that Fyodor Chaliapin stayed in the wine cellar. All guests were served sparkling champagne, but Chaliapin never got a chance to try it. Holding a crystal glass of champagne in one hand, he decided to sing one of his arias, but his bass resonated with the acoustics so much that the crystal glass in his hand simply shattered. Thus, some local historians began to call the place Chaliapin’s Grotto.
In 1927, an earthquake occurred in the Yalta Mountains, as a result of which the trail was partially damaged. Today it remains attractive to tourists and easily accessible, and the grotto contains a reception area and a wine cellar, which is closed by a metal door. During the walk, tourists will have a stop in a grotto, during which they will be treated to a glass of Crimean wine.
Chaliapin's Grotto today
For travelers arriving in the New World, visiting the Chaliapin Grotto is a must. Since the territory is a nature reserve, you cannot get here alone, only with an organized group. Sometimes evening concerts are held here, accompanied by wine tasting, and ending with fireworks. Singers do not need microphones to perform, as the acoustic capabilities of the room cope with sound amplification better than new-fangled microphones. They say it is better to see once than to hear a hundred times. According to the residents of Crimea, Chaliapin's Grotto is worth visiting at least once in your life.