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Cave cities of Crimea

On the inner ridge of the Crimean Mountains in the southwestern part of the Crimean peninsula has 14 cave cities. Crimean mountains in this place characterized by steep southern slopes of the northern and gentle. The mountains in this part of the peninsula have a level plateau. The steep cliffs make approaches to the plateau impregnable. In ancient times, people have used these to create a mountain fortresses, reinforcing the walls of the only places available.

Today will be a story about a few well-preserved ancient cave cities of Crimea.

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Arriving by train from Sevastopol Bakhchisarai, take the bus, next to the village Staroselie. This is an extreme point, which can be reached by transport. Up the gorge rises footpath to the Sutro-Uspensky Cave Monastery:

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The place is worth attention. Straight cut in sheer cliffs carved caves, which house the monks’ cells:

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Uspensky Cave Monastery was founded by Byzantine monks ikonopochitateli no later VIII century. Located in the tract-Dere Mariam (Mary Gorge) near Bakhchisarai. During the first defense of Sevastopol in the Crimean War in the years 1854-1855 in the cells, the home of pilgrims and other buildings of the monastery housed a hospital. Died of wounds were buried in the monastery cemetery. In 1921, the monastery was closed by the Soviet authorities.

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After moving from the Crimea in other regions of the Soviet Union in 1941, Germans, Armenians, Bulgarians, Greeks, and in 1944 – the Crimean Tatars in the monastery for decades housed a mental hospital. In 1993 he returned to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Recovered three of the five monastic churches Exclusionary housing, deanery and the bell tower.

At the bottom of the gorge is now under construction on the expansion of the monastery complex.

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Could not take pictures inside because We go on with priors attacked arguing that pictures of the monastery has banned the lord …

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We go around to viewing all available space and head up the road to the cave city – fortress CHufut – Calais

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On the way to our attention comes nondescript direction sign, reading about the grand discovery of the 21st century:

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Discovery was an ancient 45-meter sediment pit fortress Chufut – Kale:

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The construction consists of a shaft with a suitable slant 120 – meter adit. The scope of work for that time are enormous:

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Fork in the road. Flooded tunnel on the right and through a dozen meters rests on a dead end:

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Nearby, at the foot of the fortress Chufut-kale, there is another, much more modest in scale, artesian well. Previously, he also was located deep in the rock, but whether a piece of rock fell off, or cut through the wall, archaeologists, and now it represents a cross-section at the foot of the fortress:

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Now is the time to look inside the fortress itself. Inside are two gates: Kiyuk Kapu (east) and Kucuk mouthpiece (south-west). On the other side virtually impregnable fortress. However, we do just for fun decided to climb over the wall, just to the north gate Kiyuk Kapu, where there is a weak spot. You can climb up having minimal mountaineering skills. Incidentally, the entrance to the fortress of charge.

Gates Kiyuk Kapu:

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A small note:

Calais – a medieval fortress town located 2.5 km from Bakhchisarai. The once-fortress was the capital of the Crimean Khanate. The name translates from the Crimean Tatar language as “Jewish fortress” because Tatars considered the Karaites Jews living there because of the similarity of their religion to Judaism.

City supposedly originated in the V century as a fortified settlement on the border of the Byzantine possessions. From the XIV century, the city began to settle and the Karaites, who at the time of formation of the Crimean Khanate were already a large part of the population of the city. Calais remained the main center of the Crimean Karaites to the middle of the XIX century, but gradually became empty – residents moved to the low-water plateau in a more comfortable place to live.

See inside the fort almost no matter what. Much of the area is covered with thickets. In the center of territory is an old stone road with embossed track of carts.

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From the south-west side is a small complex of caves and several commercial buildings. Big and Small kenassas (meeting house of the Karaites)

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Gates Kuchut Kapu (South Entrance)

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The former manor house with a rich system of underground facilities Chaush-Kobasy (“Caves Chief”) in the northern part of the fortress:

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On the way to descend into the grotto, I heard a beautiful violin melody wafting from the ground:

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Inside played violin. As soon as I wanted to take his picture, he immediately ran to the side 🙂 In the picture, left his bag. The acoustics here are just incredible! If it were not a violinist, I would have to shout it:

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I do not know how many lasted walk along the forest trails, we did not come across, to the parking lot of experienced travelers who prompted us to the right path. Do not take a chance to look at the mountain towns printouts of maps and satellite applications on smartphones. Almost all the space in the trees, the tops of which almost nothing is visible, and the satellite binding on the phone every now and then misses an improper distance. It is time for me to get a real gps-navigator.

By midnight we were still on top of the plateau. The rise of the hill by the way is not pleasant. The slope is very sharp and the footpath and then fray under his feet:

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A small note:

The cave city of Tepe-Kerman existed during the VI to XIV century and reached its greatest prosperity in XII-XIII centuries. The peculiarity of Tepe-Kerman is the highest compared to other cave cities, the concentration of caves. An area of ​​about 1 hectare there are more than 250. The main part of the city was at the top of the plateau (540 meters above sea level).

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The vast majority of vnutriskalnyh facilities here (about 85%) was used for domestic purposes. Of these, about 88%, or 170-180 premises were stables for animals. The rest of the farm buildings represented cellars estates, water storage tanks. Non-economic caves were used for shelter and burial.

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In many caves there is a hole in the ceiling (most likely to smoke). Taking a walk on the plateau should be extremely careful. Many of these holes are almost invisible among the thickets:

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One of the most remarkable caves cave complex – “The Church with a baptistery” (The Church with the baptismal). Located on the north-eastern edge of the plateau;

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The death of the city is tied in some versions to raid the Golden beklyaribeka Nogaja in 1299.

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Parking was decided to organize the so-called “Dragon Tooth” directly in one of the caves as All dresses are not weak blown by the wind. The place was very cozy and we mentally marked our last night of the trip in the Crimea small campfire:

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