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Uspensky Cave Monastery

Uspensky Monastery
Operation: year round
Location: Bakhchisaray, Bakhchisaray
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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.
 
 
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We can honestly say we both had an absolutely fabulous time in the Ukraine - so many wonderful sights, so many interesting people, so many wonderful memories; a country with so much history. Oh, how we wish we were both still there - even with the snow and minus 10°C!

We owe a very big thank you to all of you at Unipress for making our travels in the Ukraine so special for us. All the arrangements, everything, went absolutely according to plan and we would thoroughly recommend your Company's services to anyone who is even remotely thinking of visiting the Ukraine. Also, before we forget, please send a big thank you to all of the driver / guides who looked after us both so well on our travels:- Alex in Kiev, Denis in L'viv, Victor in Odessa and Eugene in Yalta. Professionals everyone of them!

The hotels we stayed at were all excellent. The Kozatsky in Kiev (right on Independence Square on the day of Yushenko's inauguration), the George in L'viv (largest hotel room we've ever stayed in), Frapolli in Odessa (the only hotel we've ever stayed in that had a computer in the room) and the Bristol in Yalta (another beautiful, huge room). We ate in all four hotel restaurants and in each of them the food (and drink!) was simply to die for! We were just spoilt rotten! The internal flight we took and the overnight trains we used were also huge fun - and also a great way of seeing a lot of the country in such a relatively short space of time.

So that's it. Once again, many, many thanks to all at Unipress. We look forward to coming back to see again one day!

Kindest regards to you all
from Ukraine travel veterans!

Edward & Julie, U.K.

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