|Founded by||Sahib I Giray|
|Elevation||300 m (1,000 ft)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Postal code||98400 — 98408|
Bakhchysarai (Ukrainian: Бахчисарай; Crimean Tatar: Bağçasaray; Russian: Бахчисарай; Turkish: Bahçesaray) is a city in central Crimea, located in southern Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Bakhchysarai Raion (district), as well as the former capital of the Crimean Khanate. Its main landmark is Hansaray, the only extant palace of the Crimean Khans, currently opened to tourists as a museum.
Located in a narrow valley of the Çürük Suv river which is known as an old local center of civilization (the first artifacts of human presence in the valley date up to the Mesolithic). The settlements which existed in the valley before Bakhchisaray was founded - Qırq Yer fortress (modern Çufut Qale), Salaçıq, and Eski Yurt—are nowadays incorporated into the urban area of the modern Bakhchisaray.
Bakhchysarai, first mentioned 1502, was established as the new khan's residence by the Crimean Khan Sahib I Giray in 1532. Since then, it was the capital of the Crimean Khanate and the center of political and cultural life of the Crimean Tatar people. After several wars with Russia from 1737 when Burkhard Christoph von Münnich burnt down the capital of Khanate and occupation of the Crimean Khanate by the Russian Empire in 1783, it was turned into an ordinary town, having lost administrative significance. However, it remained the cultural center of the Crimean Tatars until the Sürgün (deportation on 18 May 1944).
Name and associations
There are various ways to spell the town's name: original Crimean Tatar: Bağçasaray, Turkish: Bahçesaray, Russian: Бахчисарай - Bakhchisaray, and Ukrainian: Бахчисарай - Bakhchysaray. The name comes from Turkish باغچه سرای (UniPers bâqce sarây) and means the Garden Palace.
The town is best known among Russian speakers for its Romantic associations with Alexander Pushkin's poem The Fountain of Bakhchisaray (1822). Adam Mickiewicz dedicated some of the finest poems in his Crimean Sonnets (1825) to the landmarks of Bakhchisaray.
Famous attractions within or near Bakhchysarai are:
- Eski Yurt
- Khan's Palace
- Orta Juma Jami
- Tahtali-Jami Mosque
- Uspensky Cave Monastery
- Zincirli Madrasa
There is a network of well marked hiking trails around the town. All the main attractions are connected with red-marked trail.
Since 2011 thanks to the support of the Czech Government and USAID the Tourist information centre has been working.
In 1930 the population of the city was 10,450. The ethnic groups represented were 7,420 Crimean Tatars, 1,850 Russians, 315 Jews, 205 Greeks, 185 Ukrainians, 50 Germans, 30 Armenians, 30 Bulgarians, and 365 others.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Bakhchysarai is twinned with:
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bakhchysarai.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bakhchisaray.|
- Official site of the Palace (English)/(Ukrainian)/(Russian)
- History and monuments of Bakhchisaray (Russian)
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bakhchi-sarai". Encyclopædia Britannica 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press