The famous Valley of ghosts and chaos on the hillside of Demerji, a natural monument of national importance, is located on the eastern outskirts of Alushta amphitheater.
Slopes of the mountain are dotted with quaint stone sculptures, resembling either people or animals, and more often – towers and columns. In the evening and night-time these shapes are striking for their fantastic outlines.
At the southern tip of the mountain one of the shapes of weathering resembles a woman’s bust from the trolleybus line. Tourists call it the “profile of Catherine II”. However, close up this stone statue has no resemblance to the human shape – rather, it resembles the head of a sphinx.
There are especially many bizarre pyramids, columns, mushrooms, towers on the southwest slope of Mount Demerji, in the Valley of ghosts. One of the pillars – Giant – is a stone bulk with a diameter of 5 m, heaving upward by 25 m. Smaller pillars and columns, up to 10-20 m, are piled at its sides. There are more than a hundred such stone “ghosts” here. Stone sculptures resemble idols, a monk in the hood, a strange bird, fantastic animals, castle ramparts...
At the top of Demerji weathering has not yet “processed” completely some other statues: like in a sculptor’s studio they passed only rough pre-treatment; from distance these pillars resemble giant fossil belemnites – “devil’s fingers”.
Here again we find ourselves in a fabulous stone town. Rocks constantly blown by the wind are indented with bays and cells. In some rocks they are so numerous that they look like a giant honeycomb.
The vertex of Demerji is 1240 meters above sea level. The flat area is covered with thick tall grass as if inviting to relax. Striking silence reigns here; noisy roads are left far aside. Bear Mountain is visible to the west; tooth crown of Ai-Petri – even further in bluish haze. To the east there is flat and long cape Meganom; in front of it you can see conical rock Sokol in Novyi Svet, at Sudak, like a sugar loaf.
At times, grandiose landslides occur on the weathered slopes as a result of earthquakes, forming huge stone chaos. Such is the chaos near the Valley of ghosts as a result of landslides in 1894, 1968 and 1982.
The vast territory along the steep slope of Demerji was cluttered with a chaotic bulk of sharp conglomerate blocks; some of them have the size of a three-storey house. The total volume of the block chaos exceeds 4 million cubic meters. This is the entire stone “sea”.
Pebbles and boulders of local conglomerates are of great scientific interest. These are ancient formations, the age of which is determined in 800 million – 1.1 billion years. They are found only here; these are riddles of the geological history and pre-history of the Crimea. Tract Demerji always attracts scientists, tourists and motion-picture groups with its pristine beauty.
Literature: V.G. Yena. Protected landscapes of the Crimea. – Simferopol: Tavriya, 1989.