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Chufut-Kale - Ancient Cave Town

Chufut Kale
Operation: year round
Location: Bakhchisaray, Bakhchisaray
Included in the following tours:
 
Chufut-Kale is the best preserved cave town in the Crimea. It is located on a plateau at 200-meter height above the surrounding valleys and bordered with 50-meter steep cliffs. One still can see defense towers, walls, gates, narrow streets and residential estate consisting of two buildings, Karaite shrines – kenesa, Janike-Kanym Mausoleum, cells and storage rooms carved in rocks.
Having been founded as a Byzantine Fortress and named supposedly Fully somewhere back in 6th century, the place had become home for Kypchaks and renamed Kyrk-Er (40 fortifications) in the 13-14th centuries. Later it had become Khan Janibeck Princedom .And this was Janibeck’s granddaughter – Janike-Kanym- whose Mausoleum we can see nowadays in the cave town. Most probably she had been a ruler of Kyrk-Er. Janike-Kanym is widely known as a savior of the Fortress, legends relate about her outstanding personality and popularity among her people.
In the 15th century Kyrk-Er becomes a capital of the Crimean Khanate and residence for the first Crimean Khans – Giray Dinasty. And some hundred years later, when the capital and the Khan Residence have been moved to the new location, Bakhchisaray, the Fortress still had the Mint there and was a place for high-ranked prisoners of war. Population of Kyrk-Er consisted of a small Armenian community and Karaite inhabitants majorly. Karaits belonged to pre-Talmudic Judaic confession. Thus the Fortress name changes for Chufut-Kale (Judaic-Fortress). It happens in the 17th century, by the end of which the population becomes Karaite solely due to the Christian resettlement in 1778.
When the Crimea becomes a part of the Russian Empire Karaite start leaving Chufut-Kale and settling in other places in the Crimea. By the end of the 19th century there were no inhabitants left, the last one was the Karaite archeologist Fyrkovych who lived there till the end of his days. It is the house he lived in you will see in Chufut-Kale. Karaite cuture and history exposition is located inside of it. Karaite temples kenesa are restored by the Crimean Karaite Community numbering 800 persons. Another 1000 of people of this small nation live now in the Western Ukraine, Poland and Baltic countries.
Chufut-Kale is the most visited cave town of the Peninsula. And it is not surprising – the age of the place and what has still remained there is outstanding.
 
 
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Hello Irina!! I apologize for taking so long to write you with my thanks & gratitude for the most flawless, amazing, wonderful trip throughout Ukraine. I have told everyone how beautiful Ukraine is & how tourist friendly
complete with the hotel & restaurant infra-structure needed for a comfortable journey. But I mostly tell them about the best travel agency experience I have ever had from plans without a problem, to guides & drivers of high professional standards who were incredibly flexible & became our
friends, to you who always responded within days to any inquiry with details & patience plus, once we were in Ukraine, checked in with our progress daily to make sure your "American ladies" were well cared for. We were!!

We will never forget all the people that helped us with this family quest & travel adventure. Our guide in Lviv stayed up all night checking with friends about Jewish history in the area so she could add sites of interest to us in addition to all the other historical places. We learned about things together & we cried together when we left. That is the type of person who works with Unipress. But most especially you, Dima, Toly, & Eugene have a place in our hearts. Our invitation for any of you to visit us in America
is sincere. It would be a joy to spend time with any of you giving back just a little of what we received. Please say hello to them & send our good will the next time you see or speak to them.

I think you already know that we recommend you highly & will be glad to sing your earned praise to anyone who will listen. I hope all is going well for you.

Fondly,

Ellen, USA

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