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le immagini:  pag. 1    cenni storici

Veduta dall'alto dei resti della fortezza genovese di Cembalo

  clicca sulle immagini in basso per ingrandirle

Balaklava in un'antica stampa  Balaklava in un'antica stampa  Il mare di Balaklava


Pianta della fortezza


I resti della fortezza genovese visti dal porto di Balaklava  La linea delle torri vista dall'insediamento di Balaklava  Tre delle torri superstiti


Resti di due torri  Due torri della fortezza: i resti di quella di destra ospitano una stazione radio  I resti di una torre

Cenni storici (dal sito

«The ancient Greeks found the narrow bay and named it Cimbalon (bay of Sirens) because it reminded them of the legend of Odysseus. The locale also became connected with the story of Iphigenea. At the end of the 14th century the Genoese were expanding their influence along the Crimean coast from their initial bases at Kaffa and Sogdia (Sudak) and found this sheltered bay to be ideal as a trading post. They captured the Greek fishing village, that was then part of the Feodoro principality and held it between 1357 and 1433. They turned the Greek name into the Italian sounding Chembalo. To defend it they constructed a fortress at the narrow entrance overlooking the sea on the high ground on the northeast side. It consisted of two fortresses. The lower one, named St. George, had a wall that followed the coastline and climbed the mountain to the upper city. The lower fortress had two square towers with narrow firing ports. The upper one, or citadel, named St Nicholas, was on the plateau above the cliffs. It was separated from the lower fort by a wall, with towers that completely surrounded the citadel. It was entered from the north and west. The consul's tower was the most impressive. The fortress was significant as the western Genoese outpost and was intended to participate in their continual conflict with the Feodoro princes. 

The Feodorites captured Chembalo in 1433, the same year in which the Genoese burned the Feodorite fortress at Kalimata, on the opposite side of Crimea. But the Genoese mounted a large scale amphibious operation to retake Chembalo. In 1475 with the fall of Kaffa and other Genoese cities to the Ottoman Turks, Chembalo also was lost. With that it lost its significance and was abandoned».



L'immagine di apertura di questa pagina, insieme con la segnalazione della fortezza, č stata fornita dal prof. Paul Arthur, docente di Archeologia medievale nell'Universitą di Lecce, in visita di studio a Cembalo nell'estate 2001. Le ultime 7 foto sono tratte dal sito Chembalo.


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