The Khan’s Palace in Bakhchisaray is one of the most striking sights of the Crimea, the only surviving residence of the Crimean Tatar rulers. The total area of the Palace territory exceeds 4 hectares, on which there are more than 20 objects of Cultural Heritage of Russia, the oldest of which date back to the 16th century, in the heyday of the Khanates.

The Khan’s Palace was built as the capital residence of the Crimean Khanate and the Palace complex of representatives of the Gerai dynasty. For centuries, the Bakhchisarai Palace served as the center of political, spiritual and cultural life of the Crimean Tatar state.

Surrounded by mountains with sharp lines of limestone cliffs, smooth curves of forest slopes and orchards, the Khan’s Palace with its majestic mosques, formidable courtrooms, secret harem, the Fountain of tears sung by poets and sad tombs is located in the heart of the Crimean Peninsula — in the city of Bakhchisaray.

An extensive garden and Park area adjoined the Palace. In the time of the Girai’s, it was 12 hectares, while the modern day, the area is no more than 4 hectares.

In 1917, the first national Museum of Crimean Tatars was established in the Khan’s Palace. The funds of the Palace contain more than 100 thousand exhibits: fabrics, clothing, chased dishes, wood and ceramics — everything that the Crimean Tatars used and decorated their life. There are rare books in the Museum, printed in the first printing house of the Crimea-the old Karaite printing house in Chufut-Kala.

The Khan-Jami mosque is the most magnificent structure of the Khan’s Palace, built in 1532 by Sahib I Gerai. The architectural style of the Palace continues the traditions of Ottoman architecture of the XVI—XVII centuries. The mosque is directly adjacent to the old cemetery, the oldest burial of which is dated 1592.

The Khan’s Palace, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, is considered one of the best examples of Moorish architecture, which puts it on a par with the Alhamra Palace complex in Spain and Top Capa in Turkey.

Location : Crimea

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