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Автор: Eugene Shmidt, Yalta

Au-Dag — from the ancient times to our days

Au-Dag is covered with legends. In ancient times the mountain caused the sacred feeling of nature's power. According to an old legend, a giant bear who lived here became a stone, trying to drink the sea and to stop fugitives. On bear's back there is a real forest where you can loose. Narrow paths go to its summit, where a magnificent view opens to your eyes.
Au-Dag is a unique place for archeologists. Here they found the ruins of 7 christian churches, built on the place of earlier pagan temples. There is an opinion that part of its name Ay which is translated from turkic as bear, is changed Aj which means holy from Greek.
The mountain is 572 m high, its length is 2.5 km. It appeared in middle-Jurassic stage of geological history, tat was about 160 million years ago. Hot magma (molten rock that sometimes forms beneath the surface of the earth) hardened in the sedimentary rocks. Such mountains are called «laccolith». A laccolith is an igneous intrusion (or concordant pluton) that has been injected between two layers of sedimentary rock. On the top of the mountain there are remaining of a fortress. It was a big village with about 100 houses which had 2 stores. Walls were 1 m wide. The village was protected on its North-Western side by a wall.

People lived by fishing and trading. On Ay-Konstant glade there is a foundation of a high tower which served as a house for local feudalist.
In spring Au-Dag is covered by flowers of peony and lily of the valley. Many birds live here: tits, nightingales and many other birds. As for animals, here you can meet foxes, badgers, hares, martens and squirrels. Ascent takes 1.5-2 hours. Slopes in the sea side are rocky, with many bays.

In the center of the glade near a forgotten road there are ruins of small medieval church.
Au-Dag was a residence of bishop Ioann Gothic.

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