The Saint Yelisaveta and Zakhary orthodox church


In the 30-ties of the XIX century Mikhail Vorontsov moved a part of his peasants to his estate in the north-west of the Crimea. In order to fix the migrants at the new place the count had ordered to build a church in Ak-Mechet. The stone temple in pseudo-Gothic style with a beautiful fence and a high tower was erected in 1838 by the project of the architect G. Torichelli. The church was sanctified in honour of the Saint Yelisaveta - the countess Yelisaveta Ksaveryevna Vorontsova (nee Branitskaya) was a woman educated, clever, charming, enjoyed love and respect of her encirclement. A. Pushkin was in love with countess Vorontsova and dedicated to her the poem "A burnt letter".

The high tower acted as a reference-point for the vessels coming in the Ak-Mechet bay and had been included in marine international sailing directions, that is why it has not been destroyed during the Soviet power years. They have decided to "dress" the belfry in a concrete housing, mounted the sheathing and poured concrete for the whole height. The reference-point for vessels has remained, but it has somewhat changed its appearance. A sports school has been accommodated in the church premises. After the Soviet Union's collapse the temple was returned to believers. There were attempts at taking off the concrete "clothes", but nothing has come of it - concrete has stuck too strongly to the belfry walls. The small "windows" near the top of the parallelepiped on which they again mounted a cross are the signs of these attempts. The fact that its bells are suspended on a metal horizontal bar mounted next to the entrance reminds one of the church "sports" past.