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The Republic of Crimea , Bakhchisaray

Khan's Palace

Khan's Palace was built as the capital residence of the Crimean Khanate and a palace for representatives of the Giray dynasty.  For centuries Bakhchisarai palace served as the center of political, spiritual, and cultural life of the Crimean Tatars.

Surrounded by mountains with sharp lines of limestone precipices, smooth bends of forest slopes, and orchards, Khan's Palace -- with its majestic mosques, menacing court rooms, hidden harem, fountain of tears (glorified by poets) and sorrowful tombs -- is located in the very heart of the Crimean peninsula, the town of Bakhchisarai.

A vast garden and park zone is adjoined to the Palace. In the days of the Giray dynasty, its area was 12 hectares, although now it is no more than four hectares.

In 1917, the first National Museum of the Crimean Tatars was established in the Khan's Palace.  The palace collection holds more than 100,000 items, including: fabrics, clothes, hammered tableware, wooden items,s and ceramics — everything that the Crimean Tatars used in everyday life.  In the museum there are rare books printed in the first typography of the Crimea — the ancient Karaim typography in Chufut-Kale.

The Khan Jami Mosque, built in 1532 by Sahib I Giray, is the most magnificent structure in the Khan's Palace The architectural style of the palace continues traditions of Ottoman architecture of the 16th-17th centuries. The mosque adjoins an old cemetery, whose oldest burial is dated 1592.

The Khan's Palace is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Moorish architecture, which puts the Palace on par with the Alhambra palace complex in Spain and Topkapi in Turkey.





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