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The Land of Blue Hills: Koktebel, Ukraine

Koktebel is the small town in the East part of Crimea, Ukraine. Is located near Thedosiya. The original name Köktöbel is of Turkic origin: in Crimean Tatar it means “Land of the Blue Hills.”

A century ago Koktebel was a small village. Everyone who got here, was struck by the beauty of the place, with the cool blue waves of the sea and the velvety green mountains that seem to gently hugs Koktebel on both sides. Famous Junge argued that the climate of Koktebel has healing qualities. Progressive representatives of Russian society — scientists, artists, writers — listened to his advice and began acquiring housing in Koktebel. The mother of Maximilian was no exception, and bought house for herself and her son. All this caused the popularization of Koktebel.

If you want to visit Koktebel, you need to first travel by plane or train to Symferopol, where you should ride a bus or taxi to Koktebel.

Interesting fact that sign of Koktebel is a volcano Kara-Dag, whose lines transformed to lines of Maximilian Voloshin’ profile. It’s happened after mighty earthquake in 1927.

Now Koktebel is a crowded resort. This brings a steady income to the locals. However, with tourists also bring problems aside from money. For example, the most beautiful part of Koktebel, the crypt of its founder Junge, began to turn into a trash site. But now the situation has gone better.

Every year, a lot of cultural event happen in Koktebel. There’s a famous jazz festival featuring some big jazz and electronic bands and artists around the world. There’s also a poetry festival dedicated to Maxilian Voloshin.

Modern visual art submitted of the Koktebel Art Residence in house-museum of Maximilan Voloshin where artists from Ukraine, Russia and Europe, whose projects selects to participate, should arrive to Koktebel for inspiration and create the new works of art.

Everything, as if at the beginning of the last century, when in this house appeared bohemians and created his masterpiece works that have survived to the present day and were recognized the immortal classics.
More info of this event you find on

For lomographers will be interesting two analogue photo-projects – lomowalls by Krolikowski Art and wet-plate installation by Olexander Malyy.

Koktebel is full of people during summer, festivals, and especially in September. These are very good times for street photography. There are lots of interesting characters, freaks, hippies, street-musicians, music stars, and artists there.

But, from October to April, this small town is nearly empty and you can enjoy of the beauty of the Cimmerian hills without people. It’s the best time for taking landscape photos of the unique scenery of East Crimea.

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch.