Inkerman Cave Monastery around 1910
|Elevation||50 m (160 ft)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Postal code||99703 — 99709|
|Former names||Kalamita (until 1475), Belokamensk (1976 — 1991)|
Inkerman (Ukrainian: Інкерман, Russian: Инкерман, Crimean Tatar: İnkerman) is a town in Crimea, Ukraine. It is situated 5 kilometres east of Sevastopol, at the mouth of the Chernaya River that flows into Sevastopol Inlet (aka the North Inlet). Administratively, Inkerman is subordinate to the municipality of Sevastopol which does not constitute part of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
Inkerman is said to mean a "cave fortress" in Turkish. During the Soviet era (in 1976-1991) it was known as Bilokamiansk (Ukrainian: Білокам'янськ) or Belokamensk (Russian: Белокаменск), which literally means "White Stone City", as a reference to soft white stone quarried in the area and commonly used for construction, but has since been returned its pre-Soviet name.
The area has been inhabited since ancient times. A cave monastery of St. Clement was founded near Inkerman in the 8th century by Byzantine icon-worshippers fleeing persecution in their homeland. The monastery was closed during the Soviet era but has now been restored and brought back into use.
Kalamita, a medieval fortress expanded in the 14th century, now lying in ruins, was built at a strategic clifftop overlooking Inkerman and the Inlet. It was abandoned by a Turkish garrison in the 18th century after the raids by the Cossacks ended but a small settlement at the base of the cliff remained.
The town became the centre of worldwide attention in 1854 during the Crimean War, when Inkerman was the scene of the Battle of Inkerman and the Battle of Chernaya River, both victorious for the French and the British troops.
During the Soviet times, a large underground ammunition warehouse of the Black Sea Fleet was situated under rocky cliffs in the Inkerman area. The storage was abandoned in 1970s after an explosion that damaged the facility but did not detonate all its stockpiles. However, no efforts to secure the site have been made until 1990s when local residents began salvaging explosives for sale which led to a number of deaths. Ukrainian Army engineer corps started extracting and demolishing outdated ammunitions in 2000 under a special government program.
Inkerman has since largely returned to its pre-war obscurity, serving as a suburb of Sevastopol linked to the downtown core by commuter ferries. One of the major Crimean wineries featuring the Inkerman label is located in the adjacent area. A popular hiking trail leading into Crimean Mountains begins just east of the town.
The left Flank company of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, which holds the traditions of the disbanded 3rd Battalion (which played a large part of the battle) is named after the town and battle. Now known as the Inkerman Company, or its Nickname "The Ribs".
- (English) (Russian) (Ukrainian) Official Sevastopol city website
- (Russian) Inkerman
- (Russian) Panorams of Inkerman