This edition of Happening now we want to devote to Crimea. On 26 February, Ukraine marks the Day of Crimean Resistance to Russian Occupation. Seven years ago, the beloved Ukrainian peninsula became occupied by the Russian Federation.
Once a peninsula of freedom and joy. Now turned into an island entirely lacking in freedom under the temporarily Russian occupation.
Our lovely place of freedom where one could explore noble palaces, enjoy a unique climate, drink special house wines and of course swim at the Black Sea has become a militarized base where human rights are being violated on a daily basis.
It’s a unique peninsula with beautiful nature and historical sites. Place of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Chersonese – the only completely preserved ancient city in the Northern Black Sea region which existed from the 5th century BC to the 14th century AD. Its remains – urban planning of streets, residential, commercial and cultural buildings are fully preserved. This site is the only one in Europe that provides a rare opportunity to understand how the economic activity and life of the citizens of the ancient city were organized.
Crimea can surprise you with many other historical and cultural sites – the remains of ancient Greek city-states and cave cities, fortifications and fortresses, ancient temples and landmarks, memorial buildings and museums. Just to name the few:
- The Khan’s Palace in Bakhchisarai – a unique example of Crimean Tatar palace architecture of XVI-XVII centuries. The palace is surrounded by a harem, mosque, Persian garden and promenade along the seaside – a truly inspiring place to visit once the occupation is over.
- Sudak Fortress – a trade post and fortification on the Genoese trade routes from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, an exceptional example of human interaction with the natural landscape in the field of fortification art and development of cities and seaports.
You can also find many fine examples of Islamic art culture and outstanding masterpieces of eastern architecture in Crimea. Its cultural heritage formed by different ethnic groups is a unique part of the world heritage.
Sadly, during the occupation, Russia caused significant material damage to Ukraine’s cultural heritage – there are numerous facts of destruction of historical sites, including the Khan’s Palace in Bakhchisarai, stairs to Mount Mithridates in Kerch, illegal relocation of Ukraine’s museum funds to Russia and third countries.
Join us on this virtual journey to Crimea. Unfortunately, right now we don’t have the possibility to invite you to the Ukrainian peninsula. But rest assured that one day Crimea will be Ukrainian once again and we will warmly welcome you here.
Cover photo: Mliss, Deposithotos