- Bakhchisaray
- Khan Palace

- Scheme of Palace


Palace Square

Khan Mosque

Sarı Güzel Bath

Demir Qapı Portal

Divan Hall


Smaller Mosque
Golden Fountain
"Fountain of Tears"
Living Rooms
Falcon Tower
Cemetery of Khans
Durbe of Dilara
- Giray dynasty
- List by names
- List by reigns
- The Preserve
- Contacts
- Work time


Khan Palace in Bakhchisaray

web-site of museum


Interior of the Summer Arbour

photo by Paul Barker

Until the 19th century when barriers and stained-glass windows were installed between the columns of the Summer Arbour this open chamber was the single complex with the Pool Court, which is seen now behind its windows. The Arbour and the Court together were one of those recreational complexes that were much characteristic for the Khan Palace. Similar places for rest had a look of shady closed courtyards surrounded with walls, filled with plants and flowerbeds. Decorative gardens were important components of the architectural ensemble of the Palace, embracing a significant part of its area.

A fragment of the marble fountain in the Pool Court

There are two white marble fountains in the Arbour and in the Pool Court. One of them, placed in the Summer Arbour, stands in the centre of a small square pool. The second, located in the Pool Court and much resembling the famous “Fountain of Tears”, is added with a unique marble cascade directing flowing water to a decorative basin.
The complex of the Pool Court and the Summer Arbour was a perfect place for rest where khans took conversations with their guests and listened soft music.

A page of a Crimean Tatar hand-written book of the 18th century

Court life at the Khan Palace was distinguished with intellectualism in the style of that epoch. Quite popular topics for polite conversations at the court were theology, astrology, philosophy and also poetry – sometimes a kind of poetical competitions took place between the poets, many of which lived at the court. Names of some of them are known from their signatures under epitaphs of the Khan Cemetery, from inscriptions on the Big Khan Mosque.

Generally, literature (and particularly fine poetry) was a flourishing branch of Crimean Tatar culture. Historical works (like biographies of khans by Rammal Hoca and Muhammed Riza), descriptions of separate episodes of history (like the work by Mehmed Senayi), scientific tractates on theology, jurisprudence, linguistic were compiled in Crimea in the times of the Khanate.

Ğazı II Giray (Ğazayi) - a great ruler and a famous poet

Some of the Crimean khans were poets themselves. Several representatives of the ruling dynasty were gifted with poetical talent creating fine poetical works. Most often they hid their royal names under pseudonyms. For example, Ğazı II Giray was known to admirers of poetry and music as Ğazayi; Mehmed IV Giray as Kamil or Sofu; readers recognized Bahadır I Giray under the name of Rezmi while the poet named Remzi was famous in the history of Crimea as Hacı Selim Giray. Some princesses from the dynasty were poetesses like, for instance, Han Zade hanım – a sister of Ğazayi, a spouse of Rezmi and the mother of Remzi.

Historical chronicles by the authors of the Crimean Khanate epoch are priceless sources of information for present historians, and poetical works by Crimean Tatar poets (rather little-known aspect of cultural heritage of the Crimean Tatars) nowadays are published in Crimea in poetical translations to Ukrainian and Russian languages.

© B.H.C.S.P. 2004
Texts © Oleksa Haiworonski, 2004