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The Republic of Crimea , Gaspra

Lastochkino Gnezdo

Ласточкино гнездо
Ласточкино гнездо
Ласточкино гнездо

According to legend, the first wooden structure here was built for a retired Russian army general after the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878, but there is no documentary evidence of this. In the 19th century, the court physician at the Emperor's palace in Livadia, Adalbert Karlovich Tobin, descendant of German immigrants, established a health resort that, its small size notwithstanding, was considered one of the best on the southern coast. The doctor's house itself is situated on a sheer cliff, and the cottages were built between the lighthouse and the middle cliff. Even then, the doctor's cottage, which resembles «those stone nests of Ossetian villages on the Georgian Military Road» has been called «Lastochkino Gnezdo» (Swallow's Nest).

In 1901, the dilapidated building captured the eye of the famous Russian painter L. Lagorio, who was visiting Crimea. Inspired by the picturesque ruins on the edge of the cliff, he painted his first watercolor «Lastochkino Gnezdo». The concolorous, slightly vague painting underlines the romanticism of the landscape.

In the period of 1898-1905, Tobin's widow sold the estate to a German Baron named von Shteingel. Baron von Shteingel invited the modernist architect from Moscow, Leonid Shervud, and asked him to design a new house — a miniature marvel of architectural art styled after the German medieval castles that line the banks of the Rhine. So, in 1912 a new stone building named Lastochkino Gnezdo appeared on the slope.

In 1967-1970, structural repairs were carried out. The project was designed architect I. Tatiyev and engineer V. Timoveyev, employees  of Yalta subsidiary of the  Giprograd State Institute of Urban Design.

The upper part of the tower (second floor) was carefully dismantled. All of the stones were numbered. The cliff was surrounded by a seismic-proof belt. Then a cast-in-place foundation of reinforced concrete was built. The tower was then reassembled, and spires were reconstructed on the basis of old photographs and blueprints.

The Lastochkino Gnezdo castle has appeared in several well-known films.  It was the scene of the iconic Soviet film «The Amphibian Man», as well as of Stanislav Govorukhin film adaptation of Agatha Christie's «And Then There Were None».

In July 2011 this architectural and historical monument was rebranded as the Lastochkina Gnezdo Crimea Republic Castle Mansion.


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