It amazes me, how the place where hundreds of people were killed or tortured, turned out to be now a popular place for barbecue, games and lots of fun. But here it is – Maksimova Dacha (Maksimov villa) in Sevastopol, Crimea.
PS: There will be no photos, as I visited this place when I was a kid. So just text.
How to reach
You can reach this place easily by the 12th micro-bus that will take you here. You need to get out of the bus in the very last stop so you won’t miss it. After the stop you need to walk a little bit inside through the forest. Not to be lost – you will need to ask locals how to get inside.
The place was organised by very famous at that time millionaire Alexey Maksimov. Here he built his country house with lots of fountains, ponds, parks. The place was very-well organised. Everything was interesting here: house with columns, covered by ivy, conservatory with a swimming pool and, of course, the park complex with flower beds, ponds, park with animals, croquet ground, pine and dogwood trees where small architectural structures were picturesquely located.
Everything was good. Maksimov was elected as the head of Sevastopol, he always helped for poor people, as well as his wife.
And then comes 1905 year…big times in Russian Empire began to happen. Revolution came.
The October Manifesto was issued by Emperor Nicholas II on 30 October, 1905, as a response to the Russian Revolution of 1905.
Maksimov and his children took part in the Revolution. They also helped to hide in their villa some sailors. Because of this and many other reasons, Maksimov was suspended from Sevastopol governance in 1908. This was really hard for Maksimov. Later, in august, 1908, he shot himself.
But with the death of the owner the history of his villa doesn’t finish.
1917 year comes, and brings the Great Russian Revolution with it. Here the Russian Empire collapsed with the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II, and Soviet Union raised.
During this black period of Russian history the family of Maksimov was put away from their villa. Instead comes Cheka (“The All-Russian Emergency Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage”) and The State Political Directorate.
They used villa for executions of political criminals. There is no exact evidence of how many people were shot here, but they say that just in one week ca. 8.000 people were killed. Including one son of Maksimov.
In 1924, the colony of homeless children was established here.
And only four years later, in 1927 an attempt was made to restore farming on this distressful villa… In 1935 the sanatorium for shipbuilders was constructed here. People from all over Soviet Union came to rest here.
But then 1941 came. The Great Patriotic War. On the territory of Maximov villa military hospital and the medical battalion of the Black Sea Fleet was organized. Grottoes and tunnels of the territory were converted into the air-raid shelters. It was quite obvious that Germans will bomb this place what actually happened in the end. It caused a great damage to the villa. Still nowadays you can find the traces of craters from bombs there.
Despite the courage of Soviet soldiers, Maksimov villa was captured by Germans. And again mass executions began here…
After the war there were a lot of talks to repair Maksimov villa. But the talks were just talks.
Today Maksimov villa is a popular resting-place for locals. They come here in the weekend during summer, or in some National holidays, make fire with sausages or meat, play games.
Today all villa is just ruins. All ponds – silted. Around – tonnes of rubbish. And nothing more.
If you will go a little bit around, you could be lucky to find some artefacts from the WWII. Father – there are some abandoned caves that are also quite interesting to visit.
Maksimov villa is a huge territory with lots of things to see.
And always while going you have this strange and unique atmosphere around. It is quite hard ro explain, but you just need to see it.
And here it is how it was. Who is to blame? Here lived the man who helped a lot to the city, who did everything he could. He loved, he worked, he had children. And then in one day – nothing. Was it War? Revolution? Destiny? Or maybe just that period of time, that nobody can choose.