Catherine's mile, Bakhchisaray
Bakhchisaray means the "palace of gardens" (Tatar). It was a capital of the Crimean Khanate (XV-XVIII). When the Crimea was absorbed by Russia, Bakhchisaray became a standard provincial town. Now, Bakhchisaray is popular town of more than 30,000, and is centered in the large agricultural region of the Crimea. Bakhchisaray is the town of excursions. The main tourist attraction is Khan's Palace. This is a "must see" for any visitor to the Crimea. Although this city is growing in population, the old portion of the city is most interesting for tourists. This old part of the Bakhchisaray has retained a medieval atmosphere with its narrow and curved streets, as well as many other medieval attributes, including Khan's Palace. The people here are really friendly. The Town is settled by Tatars mostly which will provide you a room in their houses with great pleasure. Bakhchisaray is small and you can get almost everywhere on foot.

Bakhchisaray Attractions

Bakhchisaray ( Khan's ) Palace
Bakhchisaray ( Khan's ) Palace
situated on the left bank of the Churuksu River and occupies territory of 4 hectares. Enjoy numerous buildings and sights which represent the unique ensemble, created by Italian, Persian, Turkish, Ukrainian and Russian masters in XVI-XVIII centuries, and telling about historical events of Crimea in the Middle Ages. Khan Palace is a whole town in miniature. It's a complex of buildings of every different purpose. Till now there remain two mosques, a house of mufti, a khan's cemetery with two mausoleums-durbe, edifices of official function, living quarters of khan, servants and guests, a harem, two over-gate and survey towers, kitchen yard, bath-houses, a stable and 14 wonderful fountains of different periods.
Uspensky (Assumption) Monastery
Uspensky ( Assumption ) Cave Monastery
supposed to be built at the end of the VIII - beginning of the IX centuries and considered to be one of the oldest in Crimea. It's foundation connected with appearance of icon-admirers - monks and seculars, who escaped the Byzantine icon fighters' prosecutions after the ecclesiastical Council in 754 A.D.. After the peninsula seizure by the Golden Horde inhabitants, most of the monasteries stopped their existence. Uspensky monastery was preserved, and since the XV century it had become the Crimean centre of the Orthodox. It had been existing till 1778. When the bulk of the Christian population had been resettled by the Russian Government, the monastery became deserted. Since 1850 the gradual revival of Crimean Christian monasteries began; after the restoration, the Orthodox Uspensky convent was opened. During the Crimean war the hospital was settled in it and till now graves of the Sevastopol defence participants lying at the ancient monastery cemetery.
In 1921 the monastery was closed by Bolsheviks, and little by little it had fallen into a state of neglection and began to collapse. Over the past years the main monastery church has been partly restored named after The Virgin Mary Assumption, and in 1993 the male monastery was opened here.
Eski-Kermen
Eski-Kermen
is one of the big Crimean cave-towns. Now it is neglected and mute, but in the Middle Ages it was taking dominant position in economic life of nearby settlements, it was the big centre of trade and handicrafts. Eski-Kermen is founded on the plateau which was difficult to access at the beginning of the 6 century by scyth-sarmats probably. In translation from Tatar language it means "Old Fortress". Eski-Kermen was well fortified. Defensive walls made from big lime-stone blocks of 2m wide and 3,5m of height were stretching above the precipices. Towers-casemates were carved in rocks or made with stone. In case of siege the deep well on 70 cubic metres of water was cut. The most part of precipice territory was not built as a reserve of protected area and refuge for the inhabitants of valley in case of war danger. Dwelling town was taking 10 hectares area and almost everywhere was built with two-stored houses covered with tile. The ground floor with cellars cut in the rock served for economical needs, the first dwelling floor was wooden and with balconies as a rule. The town had water-pipe made from potter's pipes bringing water from springs of neighbouring hill beyond 4 kilometres; several cult constructions, necropolis. Eski-Kermen slopes are cut by caves. There are about 350 caves that mainly dated from XII-XIII cc. The caves served as housing for livestock, craft-work shops, grape press-houses and reservoirs for grape juice. There were a lot of hard trials in fortune of fortress. In the 8c the first destroy of Eski-Kermen happened. At the end of the 13c the town stopped existing finally: in 1299 it was burnt by Nogay hordes...
Chufut-Kale
Chufut-Kale
One of the contemporary of A.S.Pushkin called Chufut-Kale "Airy town". It seems as if houses and serf walls of this medieval town are stacked to a inaccessible bluff rock likewise aquiline nests. The rock is situated on the plateau of the mountain offshoot, dominated over the three deep valleys. The nature prepared an inaccessible constructive stand, but the human being created the town on it. The fortifications amplified a natural protection. In XIII century fortress was inhabited with Alans who considered to be the most powerful tribe of Iranian origin. However, Tartar troops of Golden Horde conquered the fortress. Men-warriors, as usual, were killed and the last population was slaved. Tartars overran the town, and allocated a garrison in it and called it 'Kirk-Or' ('40 fortifications'). The first Crimean khan Hadji-Girey in XV c. invalued the fortress with great dignity. He turned it into his fortified residency and created a dependable shelter in a period of fighting khans with Golden Horde for their independence. After Crimean Khans migrated to a new capital - Bakhchisaray, Kirk-Or was a citadel of the capital and a prison of the famous captives: Lithuanian ambassador Lez, polish hetman Potozkiy, a favourite of Ivan-the-Terrible - Vasiliy Griaznoy. Russian ambassadors, Vasiliy Aytemirov and a prince Romodanovskiy spent 3 years in the khan's prison, one of the favourites of the Tsar, a Russian voivode, Vasiliy Sheremetyev was forced to spent 21 years in a dungeon. During this time 4 Khans were replaced in Bakhchisaray. In the middle of XVII c. tartars left Kirk-Or. Only Karaimes stayed there. Tartars considered them to be Jewry. Since that time they began to call the town Chufut-Kale that means 'Jewish Fortress'. Karaimes lived there more than 2 centuries. Since that time Chufut-Kale became deserted. Population left the severe plateau and migrated to Bakhchisaray, Simferopol, Yevpatoria. In 1852 last inhabitants quitted Chufut-Kale.

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