Simeiz

This is a tiny town (10 hectares) on the Southern shore of Crimea. It's famous for its mountanous rock formations and the beautifuly landscaped gardens. Furthermore, there are still some echoes of early 20th-century architecture.

Simeiz is practically overwhelmed with greenery - trees, bushes, and grass. There are pine trees, juniper and many other species, which makes the whole resort town look and feel like a park. It's enveloped by Mount Koshka from the west and the Crimean Mountains from the north. Other significant rocks include Diva, Pan, and the Swan Wing rock.

In 1913, at the World Exhibition, the Russians turned Simeiz into a world-famous resort. The "Garden City" competition brought it all the fame it ever needed. It lost only to the French Nice but did manage to "beat" the Baden-Baden resort (Germany). As for Simeiz Park, it was founded in 1930 and completed in '35.

Now, even though it was created in the USSR, the officials made sure it was just as fancy and luxurious as the rest of the village. It was full of pines, hornbeams, and oaks from the beautiful Crimean nature. Plus, it had (and still has) imported trees and such, including cedar, palms, cypress, and more.

Right on the Cat Mountain (Mount Koshka), there is the famed Simeiz Observatory. The Soviets put the very first tracking station on planet Earth right there on the mountain. Its duties included flight control of lunar ships (in 1959), keeping track of any kind of movement in space and taking pics of the dark side of the moon.

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