The only existing sample of the Tartar palace architecture, Khan Palace in Bakhchisaray steadily attracts Crimea visitors. The Palace was founded in 1532 as a patrimonial residence of Tartar sovereigns. And starting from then, during next two and a half hundred years, each Crimean Khanate ruler contributed a new building or renovated old ones in the Palace structure. Albeit the devastating invasions of the Crimea conquerors, demolishing renovations of 19th century which cut down the total area of the Palace almost 5 times, we still can enjoy seeing the magnificent monument of the Giray Dynasty. Big Khan’s Mosque including two 28-meter minarets is the largest and quite impressive part of the Palace ensemble. Nowadays it is the main Muslims shrine of the Crimea. Palace Square is beaded with various constructions and yards. State Council Hall has been the heart of political life of the state of the Crimean Tartars of those times. Summer Arbour, now decorated with stained-glass windows, has been a place for leisure and hasteless conversations on theology and philosophy or competitions in poetry. There were gifted scientists, writers and poets among Girays, and literature used to be a flourishing intellectual branch at their court. Exquisite Venetian Renaissance style Iron Door (why da Montagnana is worthwhile hearing on excursion) has lead to the Khan residence and used to be the main entrance for foreign envoys. Bath that have been functioning almost for four hundred years, used to be a place for restoring, leisure and vital part of the social life. Golden Fountain for Khan ritual ablution, Smaller Khan Mosque, the female part of the premises – Harem, living rooms, Khans cemetery – are other remaining sights. Falcon Tower for keeping tamed birds for popular in that days hunting today gives a wonderful opportunity to see the Khan Palace and surroundings from the height of the falcon’s flight. The most famous object is “Fountain of Tears”, true story of which was lost and lives legends only.
Worthwhile noting, during Empire times access to the Palace was limited to members of the Russian Emperor Family and VIPs only. Other visitors to the Palace should have had written Governor’s allowance for entrance. Khan Palace was treasured for dear guests. Be the one now!