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Uspensky Cave Monastery

Uspensky Monastery
Operation: year round
Location: Bakhchisaray, Bakhchisaray
Included in the following tours:
Golden-domed Uspensky Monastery stands out on the rocks with its white walls and beautiful frescoes. Broad, carved in cliffs, staircase leads to this magnificent temple. Scenic surroundings of the Mariam-Dere gorge add exquisite charm to the Churches and Monastery.
There are plenty of legends about miraculous icon of the Virgin appearance and scientific versions as to time of the foundation of the Monastery on the cliffs. One of the versions supposes the Monastery was founded already in the 8th century by Byzantine monks.
In 15-17th centuries the Monastery becomes a center of the Christian life on the Crimean peninsula, with parish of thousands. It should be noted, though then this land was under Crimean Khanate with Sunni Islam state religion, its rulers were very tolerant, respectful and supportive to other faith representatives, even rendering financial help to the Monastery.
The Russian rulers contributed greatly to the Monastery development on the other end.
Due to various reasons, among which were weakening Khanate economy and bringing population to new territories of the Russian Empire, the Russian Government influenced Christians of the Crimea to abandon their homes and move to the North Azov and River Don regions. Resettlement of Christians was lead by Suvorov in 1778 and involved more than 30000 migrants at a time!
The Monastery was left without parish and monks. According to some sources, the only inhabitant of the Monastery was a 60-year old Greek priest. The deserted Monastery came to desolation and disruption.
In the middle of 19th century monks appeared there again and breathed new life into the shattered walls, yet only to be officially closed in 1921 by the Soviet Regimen, with another disaster of an earthquake in 1927 to bring their work down.
So, by 1993 there was a lot of restoration and construction to revive the Monastery. And it was very well done! You will see. Nowadays the Uspensky Monastery is one of the most charming and often visited tourist sights of the Crimea. At the same time it is one of the major Orthodox shrines on the peninsula, which attracts thousands of pilgrims from around the world.

The itinerary I planned on my trip to Ukraine was quite complicated, covering diverse parts of the county. Unipress not only anticipated all my needs, it was sensitive to my desires and flexible in cheerfully providing just the services I requested and no more, making the trip flawless from the first train ride to the final escort to the airport. Tanya, Igor and their staff are caring as well as competent and reliable It's a joy to work with them and I can highly recommend their services.

Linda Hodges co-author Language and Travel Guide to Ukraine, Hodges and Chumak, Hippocrene Books, Inc. 2000.

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