The name of the town in translation from the Crimean Tatar means "garden-palace". Once it was the capital of the Crimean Khanate, and today it is one of the tourist magnets of the peninsula, attracting travelers from all over the world with its history and incredible architecture. Attractions abound there, but many tourists do not have much time, because they want to see as much as possible during their Crimean vacation. That is why today we will tell you about what to see in Bakhchisaray in one day.
The main historical and tourist attraction of Bakhchisaray is the Khan's Palace. This is one of the ID cards of the peninsula, which is a cultural monument of global significance as the only example of the Crimean Tatar palace architecture in the world. Its construction began at the beginning of the 16th century during the reign of Khan Sahib I Geray, and Bakhchisaray was under construction together with the palace.
The palace complex includes more than 20 buildings. Among them are the northern and southern gates, the palace's courtyard, the servants' building and the main building, the harem, the khan's kitchen and the stable, the falcon tower, the library and much more. By the way, it is there that the 'Fountain of Tears' widely known by Alexander Pushkin poem is located. In the palace the khans made significant political decisions that influenced the fate of hundreds of thousands of people. Today the palace is part of the Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Reserve and is one of the most visited places on the peninsula.
Mile pillars, historical and architectural monuments, are road signs made of stone on the route of Catherine the Great from St. Petersburg to Crimea. For more than two centuries, most of the Catherine's Miles were destroyed, and only eight have been fully or partially preserved to this day, five of them are in Crimea. And one such mile stones stands near the Khan's Palace, being one of the local attractions.
Another important historical monument of the town is the Zinjirli Medrese, which was founded in 1500 by Khan Mengli I Geray. This is a Muslim educational institution that was both a secondary school and a theological seminary. The building has a rather strict and serious exterior, an iron chain hangs in the opening of the only door − everyone who entered the medrese had to bow his head. The medrese was completely restored and now welcomes tourists with a museum hospitability. Today it is an object of cultural heritage of federal significance.
The Devlet-Saray historical and cultural complex is also interesting for tourists. This is a place with a long history, storing a variety of documents of long gone days. Today, the Crimean Historical Museum and Reserve is located there, within the walls of which a unique collection of ancient manuscripts and books of that period, various maps, lithographs and engravings are presented.
Holy Assumption Monastery
This Cave Monastery is a truly significant place for local residents and guests of the peninsula. It is located on the outskirts of the town in a ravine named after the Most Holy Virgin Mary. Some researchers believe that monks settled to live there as early as the 8th century AD. And the reason for the creation of the temple was the miraculous discovery of the Virgin Mary icon, which later received the name of the 'Mother of God Icon from Bakhchisaray'. Now the monastery is revered as one of the main Orthodox shrines in Crimea, every year it is visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from different countries.
In addition to the monastery complex, on the adjacent territory there are cemetery of soldiers killed in action during the Crimean War of 1853-1856, and the burial place of the heroes of the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War.
Chufut-Kaleh cave town
If you still have time and energy left after visiting the Holy Assumption Monastery, you can climb right from there to the remains of the medieval fortified cave town of Chufut-Kaleh. It arose approximately in the 5th-6th centuries and played the role of a fortified settlement on the border of the Byzantine possessions. Over the years, it was the center of the Kyrk-Or principality, and the residence of the first Crimean Khan Hadji I Gerai in and a place where high-ranking prisoners of war were kept.
Now it is an object of cultural heritage of federal significance. In its most ancient, the western part you can see utility rooms carved in caves, the ruins of a mosque and the mausoleum of Dzhanyke-Khanym − the daughter of the Golden Horde Khan Tokhtamysh. Tourists will also see Karaite kenassas and a residential estate. By the way, the ascent is relatively short, the highest point is 581 meters. There is a convenient hiking trail for tourists, so you definitely won't get lost and have enough time for acquiring new and interesting experience.
Of course, this is only a part of what you can and should see in Bakhchisaray. But to accomplish the entire extensive program in one day is very difficult. If you have more time, you can also see the Karaite cemetery not far from Chufut-Kaleh, the 'Crimea in Miniature in the Palm of your Hand' park on the territory of which there is also a zoo with a variety of animals and birds, cave towns located at some distance from Bakhchisaray: Eski-Kermen, Mangup-Kaleh and much more.
And finally, to complete the impression of visiting this wonderful town, visit one of the local cafés that prepare incomparable dishes of oriental cuisine. Be sure, the local flavor will make an indelible impression on you and keep your visit to Bakhchisaray forever in your memory.