Crimean cave cities

Сrimea is a medal on the planet Earth’s chest, one of the most amazing places in the world. An unique combination of relief forms and climate zones in a small territory make Crimea specially original. It’s famous not only for unique nature monuments, but also for numerous architecture and historical sights, interesting museums, brilliant palace complexes…

The so-called “cave” cities and monasteries are the most impressive historical monuments of Bakhchisaraisky region. They were called so, because the structures saved till our days are mainly cut in the rocks, and the ground buildings (houses, churches, defensive and farm buildings) were destroyed. These fortress-cities (somewhat like medieval European castles) were build by the locals in 6th – 7th centuries, when the threat of nomad invasion existed. The Byzantine Empire also took part in the construction of “cave” cities, having Tavrika in their area of interest.

Day 1: Bakhchisaray

Bakhchisaray (Bakche-saray) in translation that means “palace in the garden”, “city in the garden”, it was a residence of Crimean khans Gireys. They ruled the khanat for all the time of its existence since 1420 till 1783, more than 350 years. In the Middle Ages Bakhchisaray was a large trade and craft center of Crimea.

●  Bakhchisaray. Introduction, the Khans Palace view, a walk into the Old City, stone sphinxes.

Day 2: Cave city Chufut-Kale

The most intact cave city of them all in Crimea. Nobody knows the exact date when it was founded. It was built between 8th and 10th centuries. The Byzantine architecture style can be clearly seen in these buildings. More than that the seal of Byzantine master was found inside a hydro-technical construction not far from the southern entrance of the fortress.
The place of construction is very convenient . The city is situated on the small plateau surrounded by perpendicular cliffs of 200 meters height. And only from the east the plateau is connected to Beshik-Tau mountain with a passage.

●  A sightseeing walk to Chufut-Kale cave city.
●  A view of Svyato-Uspenski male monastery with a holy spring. A walk across Beshik-Tau (“The Cradle Mountain”) and Kyz-Kermen (“Maid’s fortress”). Amazing views of Maryam-dere valley.

Day 3: Cave castle Tepe-Kermen

This castle-fortress appeared in 6th – 7th century and apparently belonged to a local lord. The settlement is situated on the separate cliff, its height is 535 meters. The name Tepe-Kermen means “fortress on the top”. 250 caves were cut into the cliff walls for different needs. The caves were made in groups of two-four vertical rows. On the plateau there are few caves and they are seen at the cliff edges.
You can enter the fortress from the north-west by a narrow road cut through the rocks. The most interesting places are farm and religious constructions, a cave temple and a church.

●  A walk through the medieval cave castle Tepe-Kermen into the Kacha river valley.

Day 4: Cave city Kachi-Kalyon

The settlement appeared here in the 6th century, and later in 8th – 9th century it gained a monastery. The largest part of the cave constructions is near four large grottoes. A small stone bench remains near walls, a cross is cut below the ceiling. On the top floor of Church grotto there is a spring with a pond. It is supposed to be holy curing and named after holy Anastasia of Sirmium.
Near the entrance to the grotto a holy cherry tree which is 150 years old. There remained a church cut into a separate piece of rock, multilevel caves – ex-chapels and cells, utility rooms, grape presses – tarapans, cut in the rock.

●  A walk into cave city Kachi-Kalyon, visits to cave temples and Holy Anastasia spring.
●  A visit into a Tash-Aihr with mysterious cave paintings.
●  A lift by Alimov valley. Alimov shelter. Tavrs’ boxes and ancient drawings.

Day 5: Baydarskaya valley

Baydarskaya valley means “rich” in Tartarian reaches out from Bakhchisaray till Sevastopol itself from north-east to south west. This valley is the most famous camp of prehistorical people near the Sevastopol. In the middle of the valley there are skalski menhirs. They are vertical standing rocks resembling obelisks. Menhirs are the first sample of sapient building by the man, they are the first architecture. Another architectural form can be seen in the valley is dolmen. It is the next step of primitive architecture: construction consisting of vertical stone plates and covered with another stone plate serving as a roof.

●  Transfer to the Baydarskaya valley.
●  Radial sightseeing walk.
●  Lift to the viewpoint.

Day 6: Baydar Yayla

Byadarskaya yayla is the most western of ten yaylas situated in the Main chain of Crimean Mountains. It is a curved ridge lying from east to north-west. It starts behind Foros and reaches Kizilovoye and Tylovoe settlements.A deep pass called “baydar” is to the west from Baydarskie gates place and to the east from Kokiya-Bel ridge. This pass gave the name to the whole yayla.
Yayla (Yaylak) is the name given to summer highland pastures in Turkic languages. All words beginning with «Yayla», have a common root word in Turkic languages with suffixes to make other words. It and its derivatives are also used as place names, person names, and brand names.

●  An ascent to Baydarskaya yayla.
●  A walk along the plateau. From the top of the mountain there is a splendid panoramic view from Laspi till Yalta.

Day 7: The temple of Sun

The temple of the sun is surrounded with numerous myths and legends. They say this place is one of the most powerful energetic points of Crimea. They say this is a place of incredible power and it constantly attracts many tourists. It is believed that Temple of Sun can charge the man with energy and can help to accomplish the most sacred dreams and wishes.

●  Lift to Iliyas-Kaya mountain.
●  Visiting places of Power, sightseeing in the Temple of Sun.

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