Могаричев Ю.М. "Пещерные
города" в Крыму /
Ю.М. Могаричев. - Симферополь : Сонат, 2005. - 192 с : ил.
- (Новый крымский путеводитель).—ISBN
mountainous Southwest of the Crimean Peninsula is a unique
historic and geographical complex. Fertile valleys and towering
above them rock formations, suitable both for protection
in case of external threat and as pastures for cattle, attracted
people since olden days. The Byzantine Empire, the Turkic
and the Khazar Khaganates, the Pechenegs and the Polovets,
the Golden Horde, the Crimean Khanate, and the Ottoman Empire
extended their power over this territory succeeding each
other and, sometimes, neighboring with each other. The orthodox
Principality of Theodoro existed in Taurica during two centuries.
All peoples that lived here or passed through this land
left memory behind them existing today as ruins of cities,
fortresses, village settlements, burial grounds. Among them,
the unique monuments of the Middle Ages, the so-called "cave
cities," deserve special attention. They differ in
size, status (fortresses, towns, villages, monasteries),
history, but they all have one common feature–existence
of man-made caves carved into the pearlwort and nummulitic
rocks alongside the remains of the above-ground structures.
the Middle Ages, eight monasteries occupying more than three
hundred rooms carved into cliffs functioned in Inkerman
Valley. About thirty churches are known among these caves.
The first cliff monuments–cells of monks-hermits–appeared
here as early as the 10th century. Most of the rooms were
carved in the 14th–15th centuries.
fortress of Kalamita is located at the southwestern extremity
of Monastery Rock overhanging Inkerman Valley. It was built
during the Early Middle Ages by the Byzantine government
of Taurica. In the 14th–15th centuries, the fortress became
a major sea port and a stronghold of Theodoro Principality.
In 1475, Kalamita was seized by the Turks.
monastery of Shuldan (Returning Echo) is located to the
north of the village of Ternovka of Sevastopol Municipality
in the steeps of Shuldan Rock towering above Shula Valley.
The monastery consists of two cave temples and utility premises
numbering up to 20 in total. They are arranged in two levels.
The monastery had two building periods. It appeared in the
13th–I4th century and at the end of the 14th–beginning of
the 15th century was substantially rebuilt. At that time,
Shuldan became one of the residences of the Gothic Metropolitan.
monastery of Chilter (Lattice) or Chilter-Marmara is located
1.5 km to the northwest of the village of Ternovka of Sevastopol
Municipality in the sheer side of Chilter-Kaya cliff (the
Lattice Rock). More than eighty caves are known here arranged
in five levels. Most probably, the monastery appeared in
the 12th century in the place of a more ancient hermit's
cell. Its heyday was in the 14th–15th centuries. After the
capture of the Crimea by the Turks in 1475, the monastery
fell into decay. Four cave churches are the most outstanding
monuments of Chilter, of which the best known is the one
on the second level in a natural cliff grotto.
(the Old Fortress) is 6 km to the southwest of the village
of Krasny Мак. It is located on a plateau of a flat-top
mountain with sheer slopes. It is one of the most interesting
"cave cities." It appeared at the end of the 6th
century as a Byzantine fortress and existed up to the middle
of the 14th century. In the 12th–13th century, a medieval
city appeared here. A basilica, built in the 6th century,
the remains of estates and defense walls attract special
attention in Eski-Kermen. The monument boasts its four hundred
caves including a siege well cut in the rock from the surface
down to the foot of the plateau, the North Outpost defenses,
and several cave churches–the Three Horsemen Church, the
Assumption Church, the Donators' Church, etc.
is located near the village of Hajji-sala of Bakhchsarai
District. It is the largest "cave city" covering
an area of 90 ha. It appeared in the 6th century as a Byzantine
fortress. In the 7th century it was seized by the Khazars
for a short time. In the 14th–15th centuries, it was the
capital of Theodoro Principality, which was seized by the
Turks in 1475. The most remarkable monuments of Mangup are
the remains of defense walls of the 6th–16th centuries,
the largest in the mountainous Crimea basilica of the 6th–16th
centuries, the palace of Theodora's rulers of the 15th century,
the ruins of the citadel of Mangup princes of the 14th–15th
centuries, the Karaite cemetery of the 15th–18th centuries,
the cave orthodox monastery of the 15th century at the foot
of the southern cliff.
fortress of Siuyren (the Sharp Pike) is located on Cape
Kule-Burun (the Cape Tower) overhanging the village of Malosadovoye
of Bakhchsarai District. The fortress was built here by
the Byzantines in the middle of the 9th century for protection
of the approaches to the center of the Crimean Gothia, Mangup,
and existed till 1475 when it was destroyed by the Turks.
monastery (the Cave with a Lattice) is located in the Belbek
river valley in the sheer cliff of Cape Ay-Todor (St. Theodoras)
near the village of Malosadovoye of Bakhchisarai District.
The architectural ensemble of the monastery consists of
twenty-three rooms carved into the rock, including one cave
temple. It is an archeological monument of only one time
period, without traces of significant repairs and renovations.
The monastery was founded in the 14th–15th century, and
it could accommodate not more than 14–16 monks. Most probably,
it bore the name of St. Theodorus and was destroyed in 1475
by the Turks during the capture of the Crimea. A temple
fitted in a natural cliff grotto is the most significant
monument of Chilter-koba.
site of ancient settlement Tepe-Kermen (the Fortress on
a Mountain) is located in the valley of the river Kacha,
7 km to the southeast of Bakhchisarai. It appeared in the
6th century as a fortress on the border of the Byzantine
possessions in Taurica. In the 12th–13th centuries, a small
urban settlement appeared on the plateau, and the whole
area was densely built up. At the end of the 13th–middle
of the 14th century, Tepe-Kermen suffered an enemy attack,
after that the life on the plateau decayed.
site is particularly noteworthy for a high concentration
of cave structures. There are about 250 known of them within
an area of about l ha.
site of ancient settlement Kyz-Kermen is 5 km to the southeast
of Bakhchisarai, near the village of Mashino. It is a one-layer
archeological monument dated by the second half of the 8th–middle
of the 9th century which was founded by the incomers from
the Khazar Khaganate. The life in the settlement ceased
in the middle of the 9th century with Byzantium's regaining
its control of the mountainous Crimea.
(the Cross-like Ship) is located on the right bank of the
river Kacha 0.5 km to the northwest of the village of Bashtanovka
of Bakhchsarai District. The total area of the settlement
is about 25 ha. Most probably, it is a composite monument:
an unprotected rural settlement, one or several fortifications,
a monastery (at a later stage) existed here at different
times starting from the Middle Ages till the beginning of
the 20th century. The most famous attractions of Kachi-kalion
are grouped around five natural grottos. The most noteworthy
here are a small cave church located near the First grotto,
remains of winepresses, more than a hundred of caves that
were used mainly for economic activities. The ruins of the
hermitage of St. Anastasia that functioned from the middle
of the 19th till the beginning of the 20th century can be
seen in the Fourth grotto and below it on the mountain side.
site of ancient settlement Chufut-Kale is located on the
southeast outskirts of Bakhchisarai. A fortress built by
the Byzantines appeared here during the Early Middle Ages
(end of the 6th–beginning of the 7th century). In the 11th–middle
of the 14th centuries, this settlement was known as the
center of the Crimean Alans' area. In the mid 14th century,
it was seized by the Golden Horde and became a center of
their beylik (principality). In the mid 15th century, Chufut-Kale
became the first capital of the Crimean Khanate. After the
founding of Bakhchisarai, the fortress gradually lost its
importance, and from the 17th century only Judaic and Armenian
communities remained there. From the 1780s, only the Karaites
(followers of the Karaite sect in Judaism) lived on the
plateau of Chufut-Kale. By the early 20th century, all inhabitants
finally abandoned this place. The nowadays revived orthodox
Uspensky (Assumption) monastery can be seen farther to the
east. It was founded in the 15th century and in the second
half of the 19th century was thoroughly rebuilt. The monastery
was closed in 1920 and was reopened in the early 1990s.
the east of the monastery, in the Valley of Jehosaphat,
there is a huge cemetery (19th–20th centuries) of the Judaic
community of Chufut-Kale with a lot of interesting tombstones.
site of ancient settlement Bakla (4th–14th centuries) is
located in 2.5 km to the north of the village of Skalistoye
of Bakhchsarai District. The settlement consists of a citadel
built by the Byzantines on the northern border of their
possessions in Taurica at the end of the 6th century and
the adjacent to it suburb. In the 10th–14th centuries, Bakla
was one of the small towns of the Southwest Crimea. At the
end of the 13th–middle of the 14th century, the life in
the settlement decayed. Today, one can see here the remains
of estates, of a defense wall, and more than 90 caves that
were used for religious, economic, and burial purposes.