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Crimea, Big Yalta, Katsiveli, Shuleikina str., 2zh
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Crimean excursions

The cave cathedral of Eski Kermen

Excursion route:

Miskhor – Alupka – Simeiz – Katsiveli – along the highway to Sevastopol – turning to Ternovka – Krasnyi Mak – Eski-Kermen – Cathedral of Three Riders – returning back.

Type of excursion:

country trip, automobile and walking tour, 3 km walking.

Length:

8 hours (3 hours walking and 1 hour for dinner).

Conditions:

  • shoes (boots or athletic shoes), comfortable apparel, a headwear;
  • a bottle of water, and a camera;
  • there will be a gentle ascent to the mountain.

The most breathtaking excursions in Crimea are excursions to its cave cities. Artificially made holes in monoliths of stone blocks at the plateau edge or next to the breathtaking steep are habitations of ancient people. It was dangerous to be settled in some other comfortable and rich place because this was the very place where nomadic tribes attacked. That is why the most secluded, wild and forbidding territories were the most suitable places for safe life of ancient peoples.

Eski-Kermen (translated from Crimean-Tartar as an ‘old fortress’) includes the Bakhchysarai cultural-historic reserve. This is the most picturesque and most visited archeological city of Crimea. The main difference of the city from the other ones is a subtle interconnection of powerful mountain blocks with magnificent variety of nature being buried in verdure. During the period of its existence Eski-Kermen was an important administrative point of Taurida, a big handicraft and a trading center. Long time ago plantations of vineyards were situated there; the breeds are still used as a selection material.

A special attention was paid to an irrigation system of the ancient settlement, and a ‘siege well’ which provided the city with water in case of the city siege. The cave capital existed from the VI century to the Tartar-Mongol yoke in VIII-IX centuries. On the space of 8.5 hectares of the ancient city 350 known caves are situated (the biggest number of caves in Crimea). In these cave cathedrals you can see frescos dated back to the XIII century, ruins of the basilica of the VI century, and many other historic-cultural attractions, as well as icons of our times. It is surprisingly clean in the caves, so we recommend you to maintain the order being set during centuries.

Visiting such cave cities as Eski-Kermen, Chufut-Kale and Mangup-Kale will definitely give you ideas of the events taking place millenniums ago, of people and peoples living on the territory of the Crimean peninsula. When spending your vacations in Yalta do not miss the chance to look into the encyclopedia of the Crimean ancient history.