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Dear Reader,

Let me have the pleasure to invite you for a tour around a marvelous place. It is located at the Black Sea, at the very south of the Crimean peninsula. It's name is Foros. Foros is a Greek word and at different times it was translated as «wind», «toll», «lighthouse» or «marketplace». The author recently began to tend to think that the name originates from the name of the isle of Pharos, where the ancient lighthouse - one of the seven wonders of the world - was located, in ancient Alexandria. It turns out that the Russian words Фарос, Форос and Фара (a car headlight) have the same root and origin.

Foros is the southernmost resort in Crimea and in Ukraine. The cape of Sarych - the southernmost Crimean point, just 263 km away from the nearest Turkish shore - is located near Foros.

Mountains in the vicinity of Foros are considered to be the most beautiful mountains in the whole Black Sea area. They are not very high though, just 600-700 m. On a sheer rock above Foros, 421 m above the sea level stands a beautiful cathedral, which was built in 1892 in commemoration of the rescue of Russian Emperor Alexander III and his family in the railway wreckage in October 1888. Some people were killed or injured in this crash, but miraculously, the czar's family survived. The church on the rock became a symbol of both Foros itself and, together with the Skylark's Nest castle, of the entire South Coast of Crimea. After the revolution of 1917 the cathedral was ransacked, and it was not until «perestroika» that it was restored and reopened for parishioners and tourists.

The marvelous antique park built by the «king of tea» A.Kuznetsov in late XIX century is a real gem of Foros. Nowadays more than 300 rare species of trees and bushes from all over the world grow in the park. The Paradise with its cascading lakes and waterfalls is believed to be the most beautiful spot of the park. Kuznetsov's mansion built in the Italian Renaissance style stands in the park's center. The mansion is famous for its ceramic and marble fireplaces. Yet, the 15 romantic paintings by Yury Klever - a famous landscapist - are the most valuable treasure of the mansion. I have always wondered by what miracle they could manage to survive till today!

Anna, Kuznetsov's niece, married A.Naumov, who then was aapointed the Russian minister of agriculture and wrote a book about Foros, Crimea and Russia in 1951, when he was living in New-York in emigration. Another niece - Natalia - married S.Kusevitskyi, who in emigration became the conductor of Boston Symphony Orchestra. Anna and Natalia's father's second wife was Theresa Eluchen. Her sister Maria became the second wife of the famous Russian singer Fyodor Shalyapin. After the revolution they emigrated to France with their children.

In 2003 Marina Freddy, Shalyapin's daughter, visited Foros to celebrate the 130-th anniversary of her famous father. The author of this book had a pleasure to meet her. In this year Fyodor Shalyapin's daughter is 97, and she lives in Rome.

Many celebrities visited Foros in the course of time. For example, in September 1961 the first astronaut of our planet - Yury Gagarin - came to Foros, to Tessely estate, for recreation after his flight to the outer space. All of the first 10 astronauts of the USSR visited Foros.

For many years, «Foros» Health Resort has been the recreation center of the USSR Communist Party's Central Committee administration department and only the party's executives would come here for recreation. A new modern resort center was built in 1988.

Foros is different from many other Crimean resorts both by its unique location and the most favorable environmental situation. Here you will find the most clean air, sea water and tap water. It explains very simply - there is not a single factory within dozens of kilometers around. Hence, there are no emissions to the air and no discharge to the sea. Not only is Foros air the most clean, it is also the most healing, thanks to its unique relict juniper trees.

The city of Lomé in Togo

Oh well, Foros doesn't really need to be advertized - it is well known worldwide. This happened because of the events of August 1991, when Mikhail Gorbachev - the first and the last president of the USSR - got arrested here, in his summer residence.