The "Swallows' Nest", the Neogothic Castle Which is a Symbol of Crimea

Castello Nido di Rondine,Ucraina


The "Swallows' Nest", also known as Swallow's Nest Castle, is a decorative fortress located not far from Yalta on the Crimean Peninsula. Situated on a 40-meter cliff, wonderfully overlooking the Black Sea, it is one of the most visited places in the Ukraine.

This miniature Gothic Castle is a small structure but is well known for its neogothic architecture and of course for its incredible panoramic position just over the promontory of Ai-Todor. Designed by the Russian architect Leonid Sherwood, the castle measures only 20 meters in length and 10 meters in width, but it still remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Crimea.

The history of the Swallow's Nest begins in 1895, when it was just a small wooden house on the top of the cliff, built for an old Russian general. It was called "Castle of Love", but soon the property belonged to a doctor of the Tsar's Court, and then later to the wife of a merchant who turned it into a castle with a medieval architectural appearance. In 1911 the German Baron von Steingel, an industrialist who had made his fortune from the Caspian Sea oil. He bought the structure and it was later restructured in the Gothic style that we see today.

In 1914, with the beginning of the First World War, the baron decided to sell the castle to a restaurateur. Upon his death the restaurant was closed and was then used as a reading room by the nearby marine colony. Later in 1927, the castle survived a very strong earthquake and, despite no serious structural damage, the entire building was considered dangerous and closed to the public for the next forty years.

Today the "Swallow’s Nest” has been completely restored and is once again a restaurant – this time a renowned Italian restaurant with a magnificent and unparalleled sea view.