Named Palmnicken until 1946, Yantarny has been known for its amber deposits since the Middle Ages. Currently, this happens to be where 90% of the world’s amber is mined. In 1871, the firm Stantien & Becker created the first open-pit amber mine, making the town grow and forever associating the name of the Beckers with this place.
Today, Yantarny is a picturesque resort, with the widest stretches of sandy coastline on the Baltic seashore – up to 250 m2. As it’s blue flagged, you can expect good quality water, with umbrellas, lounge chairs and playgrounds.
The landmarks demonstrate the town’s connection with the ‘sunny stone’, and even the lagoon on the beach is actually a flooded amber quarry. The Amber Combine (1 Ulitsa Balebina) arranges tours: you will be able to see the entire process from mining to finished items like unique fossils and amber artwork. It’s best to check out the quarry from the 50-meter viewing platform. Here, you can also see the amber pyramid and try out a new profession – amber artisan miner.
The Lutheran Сhurch (67a Ulitsa Sovetskaya), now the Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God was erected in 1892 for the miners of Stantien & Becker. The building still functions as an Orthodox church. Nearby, there’s the ‘Town of all trades’ and a fair where you can buy amber souvenirs and beauty products.
Maurice Becker, the founder of Stantien & Becker, built a fancy mansion (68 Ulitsa Sovetskaya) and surrounded it with a beautiful garden. The mansion now houses the Sсhloss-Hotel Yantarny. The garden was turned into the Maurice Becker Park that preserves a collection of plants – American red oaks, katsuras, tulip poplars, Oregon Douglas firs, among others. The central path leads to the sea, where you can continue your stroll along the 2 kilometer wooden promenade and enjoy the marine views.
It may seem that Yanyarny is too small a place for sightseeing, but this town is special and memorable for its amber-colored and sea-blown flair. It has many more sights to visits apart from the amber mines and the beach, like the Amber Lock Museum Exhibition Complex, Amber Pyramid, Water Tower Palmnikena, and of course, the statue of the Yantarnyy Mermaid in the sea waves.
Last but not least, don’t forget to visit one of the local shops to take away an amber souvenir…or two.