Cembalo Genoese fortress is located on a mountaintop Kastron in south-eastern coast Balaklava bay 12 km south of the historical center of Sevastopol. Balaclava - one of the areas of modern Sevastopol, a beautiful corner of the Crimean coast of the specific climate and landscape and interesting historical monuments.
On the singularities of the local bay Simbolon also wrote the ancient Greek geographer Strabo. In a literal translation from the ancient Greek name means "Signal harbor" or "Harbor characters. The advantage of this harbor, located on the approaches to Chersones and securely sheltered ships from storms, led to the fact that not once or twice, she became the scene events about which memory is preserved in the history of Crimea. This left their ships insidious bosportsy who chose deception to capture the Chersonese in the reign of King Asander - only courage Gicia obliged the town to their salvation. Here camped came to the Crimea, the Romans, who built a fortress on the shore and the temple of Jupiter Dolihena. Nearly two hundred years they have lived in Simbolon, protecting the peace Chersonesites.
convenient location of the harbor, sheltered from storms, the abundance of fish in coastal waters, fertile land suitable for cultivation of vines and other crops, contributed to the development of the territory since ancient times.
Finds of coins, fragments of pottery and religious objects of ancient and medieval times show a constant presence of people in the districts of Balaklava.
far well preserved ruins of the majestic medieval fortress Cembalo, whose history is closely linked with the Genoese colonization of the Crimea in the XIV-XV centuries. The exact time of appearance of the Genoese in Balaklava harbor unknown. Obviously, this happened shortly before the devastating raid on the Crimean Tatar hordes in 1345.
After his Genoese spend considerable fortification work in their colonies and began to erect at the entrance to the Balaklava Bay fortress that became the most western district of Crimea - Consulate Cembalo whose boundaries are distributed along the coast from the mouth of the Black River in the vicinity of the fortress Kalamita (Inkerman) to Cape Sarich on the southern coast of Crimea (in the area smt. Foros).
At the top of the cliff, to disguise the entrance to the Balaklava Bay, where perhaps there were earlier buildings, the Italians built a fortified castle, received a name - the city of St. Nicholas. It housed the administrative part of the colony - Consular lock Massari (Customs), church and other buildings.
Built on the top of the cliff consular lock is a powerful tower more than 10 meters from the north, east and west, the castle was surrounded by a powerful defensive wall with towers. The ground floor of the tower occupied by a rectangular water tank.
On the slopes of the mountain, located lower city, bearing the name of St. George, where there were the main population of the fortress. Lower Town also had strong fortifications, radical reconstruction which was carried out in the early 60's. XV century. On the population of the fortress can be seen from the traces of building on the rocky ledges and specially constructed terraces. Of interest is the water system of the fortress.
the territory of the fortress of sources was not. Water is served by multiple threads ceramic water from the spurs of the adjacent plateau Cephalus Vries in special cisterns. Another tower (donjon), like the consular, was in the bottom floor of a tank. Tower remained at full height. In the bottom - the tank - there were two more floors. Second - was living in it are preserved the remains of the fireplace. The third patrol was located. In the dark and in bad weather, located on the dominant height of the Genoese dungeon was used as a lighthouse. At the foot of the mountain located port. It covered two powerful towers. At the bottom kept opening the gate.
Dates building fortifications Cembalo preserved in the building inscriptions consuls. The earliest of these dates from the 1357 year. And the completion of construction refers to 1467.
population consisted of a Genoese fortress, which belonged to the entire power and trade and local communities (Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Tatars), which was engaged in fishing, wine-making and various crafts.
In 1472 destiny brought here Russian explorer of Nikitin, who in his diary led Tatar (Turkish) title - Balikayya. In mid-1475 Cembalo fortress as other Genoese colonies of the Crimea was captured by troops of the Ottoman Porte. Since then, the name Balikayya (Balaklava) became the official name of this town.
Now Genoese fortress Cembalo is a branch of the National Reserve "Chersonesos" . Together with other Genoese colonies of the Crimea Kafa (Feodosia), and Soldayey (Sudak), this monument is of considerable interest to historians, archaeologists and tourists.