HISTORY
- Bakhchisaray
- Khan Palace
  SIGHTS OF PALACE

- Scheme of Palace

MAIN OBJECTS

Palace Square

Khan Mosque

Sarı Güzel Bath

Demir Qapı Portal

Divan Hall

Summer Arbour

Smaller Mosque
Golden Fountain

"Fountain of Tears"

Harem

Living Rooms

Falcon Tower
Cemetery of Khans

DURBE OF DİLARA

CRIMEAN KHANS
- Giray dynasty
- List by names
- List by reigns

 

Khan Palace in Bakhchisaray

 
 
 DURBE OF DİLARA BİKEÇ 

The Mausoleum of Dilâra bikeç

A mausoleum placed in a corner of the Palace Garden Terraces is known as the Durbe of Dilara bikeç. Hidden by the leafage of surrounding garden, this mausoleum stands far from usual excursion routes and could be seen in full from the only place in the Palace: from the arch of the Southern gate. The mausoleum was built in 1764 at a small cemetery (no tombstones by its walls remain now). Probably it was the place which the famous “Fountain of Tears” was moved from to the Fountain Court after 1783.

A laconic inscription “Pray for the soul of deceased Dilara” was placed above the entrance into the mausoleum in the past. The same name was mentioned in inscriptions on the Green Mosque which faced the Khan Palace from an opposite hill slope (destroyed by the Soviet regime in the 1950s). It should be supposed that the women, which two fine buildings (and, if the legends are correct, also the famed “Fountain of Tears”) in the state capital were devoted to should be an outstanding person.

Unfortunately, any reliable information about Dilara bikeç left in historical sources. It's only her title bikeç which lets us know that she hold a high position in the court hierarchy ( bikeç was a female court housekeeper of a higher rank, a khan could have up to 4 bikeces at the court). 

Certainly, people of the khans' epochue knew well such an important women, but already in the 19th century any real memory about her real personality had completely disappeared, being replaced by legends. Local residents and, after them, writers who visited Bakhchisaray transferred to the Bakhchisaray scenery the world-wide-spread topic of the Loving Ruler and his Untimely Died Beloved. The local legend tells about khan Qırım Giray who built a mausoleum and a fountain in commemoration of his beloved spouse Dilara bikeç, poisoned by a jealous woman of the Harem. Different versions of the legend identify Dilara bikeç as a noble Pole Maryja Potocka, either as a Georgian or Circassian woman...

The image of Dilara as of a young beauty is legendary as well. Dilara bikeç was buried in a special mausoleum - it meant that her funeral was surrounded with such an extraordinary piety which khan’s “passion” could not be any kind of sufficient ground to. Rather we may expect that women honoured so high could be a much-respected one, famous for her piety (for instance, because of building the Green Mosque) and most probably elderly woman.

Texts © Oleksa Haiworonski, 2004