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 Dilara
CRIMEAN KHANS
- Giray dynasty
- List by names
- List by reigns
MUSEUM IN PALACE
- The Preserve
- Contacts
- Work time

THE BAKHCHISARAY HISTORICAL & CULTURAL STATE PRESERVE

Khan Palace in Bakhchisaray

the museum website

 
 LIVING ROOMS

A part of the Living block seen from the Palace Square

The Living Rooms of the Crimean khans and their retinue were arranged at the second floor of the Main Part of the Palace. A complex of halls for official ceremonies and audiences made a separate block in the same area. Some of these numerous chambers of the second floor have their own names, like “Khans’ Dining room” or “Khans’ Bedroom”. However, it is difficult to state that the khans of Crimea did actually eat and rest exactly in these premises as the layout of the second floor has been considerably changed since the times of the Khanate. This happened because of visits of Russian emperors to Bakhchisaray when they stayed in the living rooms of the khans. Probably, it would be pleasant to them to spend a couple of days in exotic eastern interiors, still their zealous servants tried to please the czars, altering much in these rooms in a "European" manner. They didn’t succeed in their intention: having lost much of its initial stylistics, the apartments of the khans did not become “a Petersburg" either.

But despite all changes and replannings, the decoration of the chambers still keeps a lot of original features like stained-glass windows, ceilings with geometrical ornaments, carved fireplaces. An ethnographic exposition arranged in these rooms nowadays demonstrates various aspects of material and spiritual culture of the Crimean Tatar people.

Halls of official audiences

In comparison with the Living Rooms, the ceremonial halls (called the Ambassadorial Hall, the Coffee Room and the Golden Cabinet) keep much more from their initial look. The khans of the 18th century gave audiences to representatives of foreign governments there, held business negotiations and rested after official ceremonies together with their honourable guests. These halls are currently being restored and after a while will be opened for visiting by tourists.

Golden Cabinet

The interior of the Golden Cabinet is of a special interest. The walls of the Cabinet are richly decorated with beautiful wall-paintings and stucco-moulded images of fruits. A decorative Ta’aliq inscription on the walls gives a poem which glorifies in solemn phrases Qırım Giray (reigned in 1758-64 and 1768-69), who made the Palace a piece of Paradise by repairing it and inviting the best Crimean artists for its decoration:

Fragment of the inscription

Let the ruler enjoys pleasures every minute by the favour of God; let God prolongs his life and happiness. Qırım Giray khan; a son of venerable Devlet Giray; the source of peace and safety; a wise governor. 
Look! His majestic star rose over the horizon of glory and illuminated the entire world. The beauty of the Crimean throne; the lord of a great empire; the mine of mildness and magnanimity; the shadow of the Divine favour. Generosity and magnanimity are friends of him. The patron of talents, generous up to wastefulness, - the rich and the poor are witnesses to that. Let God blinds the sight of enemies with the brightness of his person! That proves the goodwill of God to Qırım Giray that the shadow of this goodwill, the favour of his
[khan’s] time, has spread its pleasure over the universe. 
Look! This beautiful Palace created by wisdom of the khan, justifies my laudatory song. This building lit up Bakhchisaray like sunlight by kindness of the khan. Looking at a picturesque view of the Palace, you would think that it is a dwelling-place of houries; that beauties transmitted their charm and brilliancy to it; that it is a string of sea pearls, an unwitnessed diamond.
Look! Here is a subject, worthy of a golden pen. The Chinese
[painter] Mani, looking at this Palace, would approve both choice of paintings and excellent refining of pictures. Fresh lilies, roses and hyacinths surround the Palace. The wisely arranged garden as though speaks with a tongue; this new idea [of the Palace] has blossomed in the flowerbed of the [khan’s] soul. The lover of the rose, the nightingale, would fall to the feet of the garden if he would see [its beauty] . So, if we call this beautiful place (as we should do) the mine of joy, then each sight at it should be [called] the sea of pleasure.
The servant of the ashes of the Court*, being like a shadow of eminence under the reign of Qırım Giray khan (let be open and happy his court of justice!), glorified in these words this beautiful Palace, loving it sincerely and being conscious of the gift of the parrot in himself. These full hemistichs give the chronogram.


___
* I.e. the poet, the author of the inscription. “The gift of the parrot” means the gift of eloquence and wisdom. Chronogram is a date ciphered with Arabic letters in the text of the poem (the date when the poem was written).

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