Swallow’s Nest – "Maya Lastochka" – Yalta, Ukraine
Swallow’s Nest is one of the tourist icons that you’ll see on any visit to Yalta, especially if you are arriving by boat. The famous Swallow’s Nest was built in 1911 by Baron von Steingel for his ballerina mistress. It was a trend at that time for men of standing to have ballerinas as mistresses. In Ukrainian, “Maya Lastochka” or My Swallow is a term of endearment used to refer to your sweetheart.
Baron Steingel was a German oil magnate who lived in St. Petersburg. His Castle of Love is a miniature castle which resembles a medieval knight’s castle. Perched precariously on the sheer Aurora cliff on the west of Yalta, it can be accessed by boat or car.
In 1927 a terrible earthquake caused massive destruction in Yalta and sections of the castle collapsed into the sea, but the most impressive part survived. The castle was restored in the 1970s and it is now a popular tourist attraction, although there is nothing to see inside. This tinsel castle has been the scene of many films. An Italian restaurant now operates there however we were told that the food is expensive and not highly rated.
Our shots were taken from across the bay and we got a different angle of it as our boat was leaving Yalta.