The history of Crimea is full of interesting events, as they were influenced by different civilizations. Kerch, the oldest city in Russia, is located in Crimea. In different cities, you can visit Museums of the Crimea to get acquainted with the history of the peninsula.

In this review on the online  travel guide Geomerid you can read about the most interesting Museums of the Crimea:

1. Aivazovsky Gallery, Feodosia
2. Panorama Defense of Sevastopol, Sevastopol
3. Submarine Museum, Balaclava
4. Lapidarium, Kerch
5. Archaeological Museum, Kerch
6. Voloshin House Museum, Koktebel
7. Chekhov House Museum, Yalta
8. Museum of Antiquities, Feodosia
9. Diorama assault Sapun mountains, Sevastopol
10. Local History Museum, Yevpatoria

1.    Aivazovsky Gallery, Feodosia

The Aivazovsky Art Gallery is the main attraction of Feodosia. This is the largest collection of paintings by the great Russian artist in Russia. His paintings are in almost all Art galleries in Russia. Many people come to Feodosia from other resorts of the Crimea to visit this gallery. 

The Aivazovsky Art Gallery in his native Feodosia was first opened in 1845, where the artist presented 49 of his paintings. The Aivazovsky Art School also started its work here. In 1880, the private gallery became a public museum with a large collection of paintings by Aivazovsky. The gallery`s exhibition spaces have been significantly expanded. After the death of Ivan Aivazovsky, the gallery on the Embankment of Feodosia, according to the will of the artist, became the property of the city. 

The Sister`s House adjoins the art gallery. Ivan Aivazovsky`s sister lived there. There is a collection of paintings by Aivazovsky on biblical themes, as well as a collection of European marine artists. Currently, the Aivazovsky Art Gallery houses 417 paintings by the great Russian artist. Most of them are represented in the permanent exhibition. 

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2. Panorama Defense of Sevastopol, Sevastopol

Panorama "Defense of Sevastopol 1854-1855" is the main museum dedicated to the events of the Defense of Sevastopol during the Crimean War of Russia with a coalition of European states. It was opened in 1905 for the 50th anniversary of the defense of the city. The main exhibit of this memorial is a giant painting by Francois Roubaud.  

The building of the Panorama "Defense of Sevastopol" is located in the center of the Historical Boulevard, which was created on the site of the Fourth Bastion. This place and Malakhov Mound were the main centers of defense of the city. Around the panorama building, you can see the places of artillery batteries. There is a monument to military engineer Eduard Totleben lower down the hill.  

The idea of creating a battle panorama belongs to the artist Francois Roubaud, the founder of Russian panoramic art. The artist began work on the panorama in 1901, and finished it in 1904. The size of the painting canvas is 14 meters in height and 115 meters in length. It is installed in a circular room. Part of the exposition at the bottom of the canvas are real guns and uniforms of soldiers. This allows visitors to better feel the atmosphere when Russian soldiers defended the city for 330 days. 

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3.    Museum of Submarines, Balaklava

The Museum of Submarines in Balaklava is located in the thickness of the mountain on the right bank of the Balaklava Bay. It can be called one of the most interesting museums in the Crimea. Until 1993, this place was strictly classified and was called Facility 825 GTS. In the thickness of the rock there was a base of submarines that could be equipped with nuclear weapons. 

The secret strategic Facility 825 GTS was a navigable channel cut through Mount Tavros. It could accommodate up to 9 submarines. It was intended for their shelter in case of a nuclear strike. Adjacent to the underground tunnel 825 GTS, where submarines were located, was an even more secret facility 820 RTB of the USSR Navy, where nuclear warheads were stored. They were installed on torpedoes and missiles of submarines. 

The exposition of the Submarine Museum is very large. It is devoted to the stages of construction of the 825 GTS facility and the development of nuclear weapons of the USSR. There are models of various torpedoes, mines, missiles and other weapons that were used by the Navy in Soviet times. There is also an exhibition dedicated to the life of sailors on submarines. Models of submarines and warships are of great interest. 

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4. Lapidarium, Kerch

Kerch is the oldest city in Russia. The first Greek colony on this site was founded in the 7th century BC. Since then, life in the city has not been interrupted. It was under the rule of many peoples and countries, so archaeologists were able to collect one of the richest collections of tombstones and other artifacts in the world in the cemeteries and burial mounds of the Kerch Peninsula to study epigraphy. 

The basis of the collection of the Kerch Lapidarium were the finds of the French archaeologist Paul Debrux, who studied the ancient Panticapaeum in the first half of the 19th century. His findings formed the basis of the Museum of Antiquities, which was built on the slope of Mount Mithridates in the form of an exact replica of the Athenian temple of Hephaestus. During the Crimean War of 1853-55, the British looted the museum. Now some artifacts of that collection can be seen in the British Museum in London. The British could not take away most of the tombstones because of their weight, so they were later transferred to the Kerch Lapidary. 

The Lapidarium collection has more than 3,000 items, but no more than 100 exhibits are on display in the halls. For a long time they were available only to specialists, but in 2011 a separate building was built for the Kerch Lapidarium. Now it has become a museum open to the public. Here you can see tombstones with anthropological signs, as well as inscriptions in various languages: Greek, Turkic, Latin and others. 

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5. Archaeological Museum, Kerch

The Kerch Historical and Archaeological Museum is located on Sverdlov Street near the Kerch Embankment. It contains numerous artifacts found during the excavations of the ancient Panticapaeum, as well as in other ancient Greek polis in the vicinity of Kerch. Here you can get acquainted with the history of the development of the oldest city in Russia. 

For the first time, excavations on the Kerch Peninsula in 1810 were carried out by the French archaeologist-enthusiast Paul Debrusk. He was engaged in excavations not only of Mount Mithridates, but also of mounds on the Kerch Peninsula. He discovered the Royal Mound 8 kilometers north of the city. His collection formed the basis of the Museum of Antiquities, which was built in 1834. 

The first Museum of Antiquities was located on the slope of Mount Mithridates. architect Georgy Toricelli from Odessa proposed to make it as an exact copy of the temple of Hephaestus in Athens. The Greek temple looked very beautiful on the mountainside and became a symbol of the city. 

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6. Voloshin House Museum, Koktebel

Maximilian Voloshin House-Museum is located on the Koktebel Embankment. The famous poet, artist and literary critic Maximilian Voloshin lived here permanently from 1917 to 1932. He was a very hospitable person and dozens of poets and writers came to visit him every summer. So, thanks to Voloshin, Koktebel became a bohemian resort and continues to be one today.

Voloshin died in 1932, but his wife lived in this house until 1976. She continued to keep the traditions of Voloshin and received guests every summer. During the WWII and the German occupation, she kept the house intact. The museum in the Voloshin house was established in 1984. The interiors of the rooms are preserved the same as they were during Voloshin`s lifetime. There are many artistic and graphic works by Voloshin. Also, many of Voloshin`s personal belongings have been preserved in the house. 

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7. Chekhov House Museum, Yalta

The Anton Pavlovich Chekhov House-Museum in Yalta is located 2 kilometers from the sea in a dense urban development. The writer moved to the Crimea from his Melikhovo Estate near Moscow in 1899 and lived here for the last 6 years of his life. The museum in Chekhov`s house was opened in 1921. In the summer season, hundreds of tourists visit it daily.  

Anton Chekhov sold the rights to his works to the book publisher Adolf Marx in 1899. Having received 95 thousand rubles from him, he bought land on the outskirts of Yalta, in the village of Outka. He built there a large two-storey house made of white stone, which the locals called the White Cottage.  

In the early years, there were practically no trees growing around Chekhov`s house in Yalta. His white cottage was visible from afar. Anton Chekhov personally planted trees around the house and created a garden. These days, all trees have grown and completely hidden the house. Chekhov moved here in 1899 and has lived in this house for the last 6 years. In those years, Chekhov was a famous writer, so many guests came to his house in Yalta. To hide from them, he bought a small house on the seashore in Gurzuf, and now the Chekhov Museum in Gurzuf is also open there. 

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9.    Museum of Antiquities, Feodosia

The Museum of Antiquities in Feodosia is located near the railway station. The next building houses the most famous landmark of Feodosia - the Aivazovsky Art Gallery. In the Museum of Antiquities, you can get acquainted with the history of Feodosia and the whole Crimea from ancient times to the present day. The Museum of Antiquities in Feodosia was established in 1811. It is the oldest museum in the south of Russia. In the 18th century, museums were opened only in two capitals: St. Petersburg and Moscow. 

Considering that people in the area of Feodosia lived since the 4th century BC, and in the Middle Ages Kafa was one of the largest cities in Europe, archaeologists during excavations in the vicinity of Feodosia found many interesting artifacts. These finds became the basis for the formation of the collection of the Museum of Antiquities of Feodosia. In 1871, the great artist Ivan Aivazovsky built a new building for the Museum of Antiquities, next door to his family home, where the Aivazovsky Art Gallery was located. The collections of the Museum of Antiquities of Feodosia are constantly replenished. A very large exposition of the Museum is dedicated to the defense of the Crimea during the WWII. 

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9. Diorama assault Sapun mountains, Sevastopol

The Assault of Sapun Mountain museum-diorama is dedicated to the battle for Sevastopol, when city was liberated from German troops on May 9, 1944. On May 5, 1944, a general assault on the city began, and on May 7, a fierce battle on Sapun Mountain began. 14 thousand Russian soldiers died during the assault on Sapun Mountain, but the mountain was taken in just 2 days. On May 9, Russian troops installed artillery on it. The remnants of the German 17th army retreated to the ruins of Tauric Chersonesos, but were defeated or captured there. Thus, the Germans could not defend Sevastopol even for 1 week. 

The Assault of Sapun Mountain diorama was opened on November 4, 1959. It is the main war memorial dedicated to one of the most important battles of the WWII. On the first floor of the diorama there is a museum exposition dedicated to both stages of the Battle for Sevastopol.  The first stage – 250 days of defense of Sevastopol in 1942, the second stage - the liberation of Sevastopol in 1944. 

The height of the painting of the Assault on Sapun Mountain diorama is 5.5 meters in height and 25 meters in length. The painting was painted by the Grekov’s studio of battle artists. It depicts the decisive moment of the battle when the soldiers of the Russian 51st Seaside Army were able to break through all the fortifications of the Germans and climb the crest of the Sapun Mountain.

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10. Local History Museum, Yevpatoria

The Yevpatoria Museum of Local History is located on Duvanovskaya Street near Gorky Embankment. Here you can see an interesting exposition on the history of Yevpatoria from ancient times to the present day. The ancient Kerkinitida Greek polis was founded on the site of Yevpatoria in the 5th century BC. Archaeological excavations were made in the vicinity of Yevpatoria. Their findings became the basis for the creation of the Yevpatoria Museum of Local History. 

The Museum of Local History of Yevpatoria was founded in 1921. Its collection was placed in one of the most beautiful buildings on Duvanovskaya Street, which was built in 1912 by the Karaite merchant Yufuda Gelelovich. Most of the mansions on Duvanovskaya Street are built in the Art Nouveau style, and the Gelelovich mansion is built in the Moorish style.  

The collections of the Yevpatoria Museum of Local History were divided into several expositions. Artefacts of archaeological excavations were of great interest. There were also exhibitions on ethnography and painting. During the WWII, most of the museum`s collections were removed, so after the war the exposition had to be restored anew thanks to the findings in new archaeological excavations.

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