If, during a boat ride along Balaklava Bay, one asks the locals what strange construction is located high above the silver beach, they will answer: the Barrel of Death. Many of them have been there and this place, they say, causes mixed feelings. The fortification on the top bulges over the rock in the form of a barrel made of sheet armor 1.8 meters in diameter and 2 meters in height with observation slits and loopholes. The barrel is attached to the rock over a precipice.
The Barrel of Death is not the only building of the South Balaklava fort. The first fortifications in the mountains near Balaklava were built by the British allied forces in the middle of the 19th century. In the early 20th century, the fort itself -- which was a part of the system of southern forts for the defense of Sevastopol -- was a system of reinforced concrete structures with loopholes for rifle fire and vaults that were interconnected by ditches. When World War II started, the fortifications were improved by an engineer by the name of Polyansky.
South Balaklava or rather the Barrel of Death gained popularity among locals and tourists due to a creepy legend that in 1941-1942 Nazis dumped captured Red Army sailors and soldiers there. Such a scene is depicted on one of paintings by Sevastopol artist V.K. Kovalenko. However the credibility of such stories has not been confirmed so far: rock climbers who examined the area under the Barrel of Death have never found any remains of possible victims.