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The Republic of Crimea , Евпатория

Gezlev Fortress Gates

Крепостные ворота Гезлёва
Фотобанк Лори

The city gates of ancient Gezlev are located in the historical part of Yevpatoria, not far from the Han Jami Mosque and St. Nicholas Cathedral.

The destruction of Kirkinitida brought a nearly thousand-year standstill to Yevpatoria's shores. In the 14th century, the Gezlev Fortress was established on the ruins of Kirkinitida. Slavs called it «Kozlov». It was like most medieval cities.

The name of the fortress comes from the combination of two Turkish words: «ghez» — eye, and «lev» — house. The Gezlev city center was protected with a wall, powerful for the time, with gates, towers and a moat, which shielded the town's multilingual neighborhoods. The city fortress was huge and shaped like a pentagon.

Over time, the city became the second marine capital of the Crimean Khanate. Gezlev was built up densely. Narrow, winding streets divided the city into blocks: Muslim, Armenian, Crimean Karaite, Greek, and Romani. The city of Gezlev was famous for its mosques, beautiful fountains, a convenient water supply, and Turkish baths. Asik Omer, one of the most famous Turkic poets, was born here. More than two thousand of his verses and poems are known. Beside romance, they touch upon social, philosophical, religious, and mystical (Sufi) subjects.

Gezlev was one of the most important cities in the Crimean Khanate. Having been a major center of trade, including the slave trade, by the number of houses, Gezlev was second only to Bakhchisarai.

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Address: Republic of Crimea, Yevpatoria, Karaev street, 13a

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