"French Castle"


   A favorite place for cyclists and offroad drivers. Yes, and lovers of hiking here are not uncommon. When I first heard about the ruins of the “French castle” (by the way, the local people generally call it “the French hill”), which is located in the forest behind the Novotagilka and Naily villages located along the Miass river, I thought: “Yes, some kind of nonsense. We have almost half of the cities in such a state that they look there. ” However, I made a note for myself, and, as it turned out, for good reason. This is really a very interesting attraction of the Urals, the object of an unusually exciting walks.

   First of all, the place itself is quite beautiful: a mixed forest, singing birds, a river nearby. The road to the village of Naila winds along the river right along the shore. I could not help but note to myself this wonderful circumstance even though this road before us, due to spring features, appeared as an incredible mixture of ice, snow, mud and water.

   Secondly, this place is also a small, but rather curious page in the history of Russian-French relations, an illustration of human greed and, I want to believe, triumphant justice. The web describes in some detail the events that accompanied the appearance and further fate of this “castle”. Here is their summary: in the XIX century, enterprising French from a certain private company decided to start developing asbestos deposits here. However, "under the guise of" began to wash gold in the Miass River (apparently, this explains the good fortification of buildings). For some time they managed to buy off bribes from local officials (something familiar in this is heard), but later the authorities decided that such impudence could not be tolerated anymore and covered the shop for the French. The years went by, the fortress collapsed and gradually began to resemble some ancient castle. So it stuck the name "French Castle".

   So, having passed through the village of Naila, we stop at the last house and, with the kind permission of the owners, leave the car at the gate. In principle, if there is a quad or SUV, you can go further. But at this moment for some reason, we didn’t have one or the other)))

   We did not take any chances and went on foot, the weather was quite favorable for this, and it was not far to go. Especially for many tourists, the whole path is marked with tags on the trees so that you do not have to wander for a long time. Forest after all. Under the singing of birds and idle talk, we are quietly approaching the goal. And now, many kilometers from the city, among the seemingly virgin forest before our eyes, a solid stone staircase appears completely (only part of it is visible from under the snow).

   What it is needed from a technical point of view is not very clear. Apparently, the French missed their homeland a bit and wanted to do something similar to what they saw in their lands.


   Having rejoiced at such an outlandish find and, of course, perpetuating it in the digital memory of the camera, we go forward. Further discoveries follow one after the other, not giving bored a second. After a few steps we get to the descent into the mine.

   I do not know how deep he was before, now he is bombarded. Nevertheless, even when he is bombarded he gives an understanding of the serious approach of the miners. It is curious that the formwork remained almost intact. I wonder if you can dig there, will there be any artifacts of those years? Or maybe hidden gold? ..


   Having studied the entrance to the mine, we take a few more steps and the walls of the first construction appear behind the trees.

Indeed, it looks like the walls of the castle))) This laying ...

Of course, here we arrange a photoset. Climbing the ruins from and to, look around. What is there on the hill, you have to climb and look. Wow! And this is the castle itself !!!

   We freeze for a moment in order to cover the whole panorama with our eyes, and we go to the fortress by storm.
Pretty impressive building.

   It is seen that the walls are strong, in such you can keep the defense for a long time. And yet time is time, it is inexorable, and the wall is gradually destroyed. In one of the niches, the stones are ready to collapse, but still hold on to the transverse glands, the functionality of which I could not explain for myself.

   It is curious that there are no barbaric inscriptions on the walls like “Kisa and Osya were here,” with which almost all the places of interest we visited during the years of our adventures are littered with.
But I still found one inscription.

   It is made on a stone that lies at the top of a crumbling niche. What the inscription "Arona" means, I can not say for certain. At first I thought it was a tourist nickname, but they usually left more sloppy and large inscriptions. In general, this inscription was left either by a very modest tourist, or a not very modest Frenchman (it seems they have such last names or he loved Italy). Riddles, riddles ...)))

   Places on the walls are visible and other artifacts of human activity a hundred and fifty years ago - wall fasteners. Surprisingly, it was also perfectly preserved: the thread is almost not broken.

   What?! It's getting dark already ?! Time to go home. Yes, this place is worth a visit. Amazing atmosphere of a Gothic, medieval among forests and marshes. Very interesting historical portal.



Address: Russia, Chelyabinsk region, Miass, p. Naily

Coordinates: 55 ° 17'6 "N 60 ° 10'9" E

The route is designed for off-road vehicles and hiking. Special equipment is not required. There is no age limit.

© Владимир Субботин. Россия, Челябинская область.

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