The rocky peak of the Stavry-Kaya Cliff climbs to 663 meters above sea level. The name is translated from Greek and Turkic as a “cross cliff”. A legend relates to a massive stone cross that was built by Taur, an extremely strong man who had lived here in the remote past. Taur had fallen ill after an unfortunate hunt, started losing his notorious strength and had grown very sad. His mother had been dying, and from the deathbed she had sent her weakened son to mountains for building a cross in the highest place. When the work had been accomplished the strength, vigor and good mood had returned to Taur. It had been his mother’s last will. The old woman had known this task would have cured her son: the mountains, hiking, fresh air and some work make miracles and keep people healthy.
By the way, the Stavry-Kaya Cliff is one of the highlights of the Botkinskaya Trail, also named as the Trail of Health.
Nowadays a wooden Orthodox cross is planted on the top of the cliff, from where the miraculous views open - Big Yalta, green mountains and the endless sea. If you follow the Taur’s example in the part of mountain climbing and do ascend the steep Stavry-Kaya Cliff, beware there are neither barriers nor roomy viewing platform at the top, so be very cautious and focused.
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co-author Language and Travel Guide to Ukraine, Hodges and Chumak, Hippocrene
Books, Inc. 2000.