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( 8.10.04)




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    .. " " / .. . - : , 2005. - 192 : . - ( ).ISBN 966-8111-52-4

Summary (. 190-191)

     The 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 featureexistence of man-made caves carved into the pearlwort and nummulitic rocks alongside the remains of the above-ground structures.

     In 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 monumentscells of monks-hermitsappeared here as early as the 10th century. Most of the rooms were carved in the 14th15th centuries.

     The 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 14th15th centuries, the fortress became a major sea port and a stronghold of Theodoro Principality. In 1475, Kalamita was seized by the Turks.

     The 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 13thI4th century and at the end of the 14thbeginning of the 15th century was substantially rebuilt. At that time, Shuldan became one of the residences of the Gothic Metropolitan.

     The 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 14th15th 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.

     Eski-Kcrmen (the Old Fortress) is 6 km to the southwest of the village of Krasny . 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 12th13th 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 churchesthe Three Horsemen Church, the Assumption Church, the Donators' Church, etc.

     Mangup 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 14th15th 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 6th16th centuries, the largest in the mountainous Crimea basilica of the 6th16th centuries, the palace of Theodora's rulers of the 15th century, the ruins of the citadel of Mangup princes of the 14th15th centuries, the Karaite cemetery of the 15th18th centuries, the cave orthodox monastery of the 15th century at the foot of the southern cliff.

     The 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.

     Chilter-koba 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 14th15th century, and it could accommodate not more than 1416 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.

     The 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 12th13th centuries, a small urban settlement appeared on the plateau, and the whole area was densely built up. At the end of the 13thmiddle of the 14th century, Tepe-Kermen suffered an enemy attack, after that the life on the plateau decayed.

     This 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.

     The 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 8thmiddle 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.

     Kachi-kalion (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.

     The 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 6thbeginning of the 7th century). In the 11thmiddle 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.

     To the east of the monastery, in the Valley of Jehosaphat, there is a huge cemetery (19th20th centuries) of the Judaic community of Chufut-Kale with a lot of interesting tombstones.

     The site of ancient settlement Bakla (4th14th 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 10th14th centuries, Bakla was one of the small towns of the Southwest Crimea. At the end of the 13thmiddle 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.


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