Khan’s palace in Bakhchisaray

Khan's palace in Bakhchisaray

Khan’s palace in Bakhchisaray Crimea

The question of how to get to the Khan’s palace in Bakhchisarai, the heart of the Crimean Gireys, was relevant for all Zaporozhye atamans. It is still actual, however, the priorities for the last 450 years have changed greatly – if the Cossacks dreamed of it a couple of hundred years ago, now everything is done to save it. The brilliant castle of the Crimean lords is the oldest and most important historical and architectural object on the territory of the peninsula, its significance for both contemporaries and descendants is very great. Indeed, this is one of the most visited places in the Crimea, interest in it has not cooled since the reign of the Romanovs.

Where is the palace in Bakhchisaray?

Bakhchisaray stands out as an unusual color. The Khan Palace in Crimea is located in this district center of the southern part of the peninsula, midway from Simferopol to Inkerman, 30 km south-west of the Crimean capital. It is located in the river valley of Churuk-Su, in the foothills of the Inner Crimean ridge.
History of the ensemble’s construction

The construction of the palace began at Mengli-Giray I in 1503 in parallel with the new Khan capital, this time period includes the construction of Demir-Kapa. But the main work on its creation was conducted during the reign of Sahib-Girey I: from 1532 to 1551. most of the beautiful buildings were built.

Old photos of the Khansky Palace. However, it was wrong to say that the construction of it was completed shortly before Sahib-Giray’s death. In fact, each of the khans added something of their own – and continued until the elimination of the Crimean Khanate in 1785. During the Russian-Turkish war of 1735-1739. in 1736 Bakhchisaray was taken by Russian troops, and the khan’s residence was burnt by the order of Field Marshal Minich.

Khan's palace in Bakhchisaray

Restoration work in the XVIII-XX centuries.

As a result of the fire, the Khan’s palace in Bakhchisarai was severely damaged, and some of its buildings were completely destroyed. Almost immediately, repair work began: in 1741, an attempt was made to restore the palace of Salamat-Giray II, but his reign was short-lived, he did not have much time. Following him, Arslan-Giray and Kyrym-Girey tried to rebuild the residence: as a result of their activities, new structures appeared, and the old ones suffered even more damage.

The modern appearance of the palace in BakhchisarayAfter the accession of the Crimea to Russia during the XIX century, the palace complex was rebuilt several times and the original form it lost completely, changing beyond recognition. The last restoration work was carried out in 1961-1964. Thanks to the fact that the team of specialists used the description of the palace of Captain Manstein, made by him before the burning, the khan’s residence actually returned a pristine appearance that can be seen today.
Our days

The Legend of Snakes

At the end of the XV century. The Crimean Khanate has not completely freed itself from the power of the Golden Horde. On the eve of the decisive battle between the Horde Khan Akhmat and the Ottoman Sultan Bayazid II, in which the fate of the Crimea was decided, the son of Mengli-Girey was poisoned by a hunt in order to escape from serious thoughts. During this time, he wandered the Arms of Bakhchisarayas the thicket and stopped to rest and drink water near the Churuk-Su River.

Suddenly, a rustling sounded, the khan’s son turned and saw two snakes emerging from the bushes clinging to a deadly battle. He saw it at the very moment when one of the serpents inflicted another last, mortal blow. Suddenly a third serpent attacked the winner and the battle began to boil again. But the son of Mengli-Giray did not take his eyes off the dead snake-very much it reminded him of the fate of his homeland. Suddenly she moved and slowly crawled to the river, until she disappeared into the water.

In a moment she appeared on the other side, strengthened and without a single scratch. The young khan immediately hurried to his father and told him about what had been seen, and a few hours later the messengers brought good news: the Horde were completely defeated by the Ottomans. Mengli-Girey considered this a good sign, and in the place where the healed snake crawled out, he ordered to build a palace, and in memory of this event to carve a coat of arms – two interlaced snakes.

Khan's palace in Bakhchisaray

Khan’s Palace – a huge open-air museum

Every year, many tourists from all over the world come to admire the Khan’s Palace in Bakhchisaray – these beautiful buildings open to visitors. It is very difficult to single out anything among all the diversity – they are all unique and bear the imprint of different eras. But more importantly, after the restoration of 1961-1964. the complex has acquired the appearance of a single architectural ensemble, lost for many years, a combination of harmony and spirituality. The most interesting palace objects:
The northern gates – have a very picturesque view due to the bridge over Churuk-Su leading to the entrance, where the same coat of arms with snakes is carved.
Palace Square – drowning in the greenery of the garden and surrounded by majestic structures.
A large khan’s mosque – decorated with a lancet arcade, built by Sahib-Giray I.
Sary-Gyuzel is a complex of khan’s baths, one of the oldest structures on the territory of the palace.
The fountain of tears is one of the most beautiful buildings, which appeared during the restoration of Kyrym-Girey in 1764, a favorite place for tourists to be photographed.
Harem building – consists of four buildings with a garden, gazebos and beautiful fountains.
The Demir-Kapa portal is the front gate, the first building of the palace, erected at Mengli-Giray.
Every day Bakhchisaray’s sightseeing tours take place here, you can visit separate buildings that are not included in the program, but prices sometimes bite.

How to get there?

How to get to the Khan’s Palace is an often asked question, and all thanks to such popularity of the landmark. From the bus station and the railway station of Bakhchisarai there is a minibus No. 2 to it. You need to leave at the “Palace-Museum” stop.

Many tourists who visited the Khan Palace in Bakhchisarai celebrate with enthusiasm that this is the best that the Crimea has to offer. It is a historical and cultural monument of international significance. But even if you drop all of his loud epithets – he is unique and nothing like that is anywhere else!