What about First Crimean Khans' Tomb to Tell?

What about First Crimean Khans' Tomb to Tell?
What about First Crimean Khans' Tomb to Tell?
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Suburb of Bakhchisarai Salachik, hidden from an external world by mountains, fed with springs, a picturesque, cozy valley at the bottom of a medieval fortress of Kyrk-Er, almost for a century (the middle of the XV – 30th years of the XVI century) was the capital of the Crimean Khanate. In the beginning of the XVI century in the Salachiksky valley, among shady gardens the Crimean Khan Mengli Giray, and his son Sahib Giray, build up the new palace complex including Khan's Palace, a Palace of Justice, Zyndzhyrly medrese, a Cathedral mosque, Dyurbe-mausoleum, a bath. Nowadays in Salachik are preserved just Zyndzhyrly medrese and the mausoleum.

In 2007 the Turkish government allocated means for restoration of these monuments which were in the emergency condition. Nowadays restoration works are finishing. Simultaneously in the nearby territory to the restoration objects were carried out archaeological researches which led to the important scientific discoveries about which the Voice of Crimea was informed by the scientific employee of the Department of Archeology of a medieval city of the Bakhchsarai Historical and Cultural Reserve (BHCR) Timur Bekirov.

On the basis of the open letter, issued by the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine by the head of the Department of Archeology of a medieval city and the cave cities of BHCR Alie Ibragimova, archaeological researches are conducted in the Khan's Palace and Salachik. In 2007 experts of Turkish restoration firm "Usra" from the city of Bursa started restoration of Zyndzhyrly medrese, the only preserved monument of such a kind of national value in Crimea. The monumental building constructed in 1500 by the order of Mengli Giray was in emergency condition. The huge amount of works is executed. All cracks and hollows of massive walls are filled with special solutions, three (out of ten) ready to fail domes are completely disassembled and restored, other seven are restored, too. For the purpose of protection from rains all domes are covered by special lead plates. Vaulted ceilings and fireplaces in premises are restored, too. Floors are covered by plates from limestone and warmed by bedding. Under the floors are laid metal-plastic pipes for hot water and heating. All premises of the medrese are restored in full conformity with a medieval lay-out. Just before the open internal court yard of the medrese was blocked by moving apart (depending on weather) light metal construction with the big glass apertures for good illumination. In the internal court yard it is still necessary to restore the lost fountain. Simultaneously with restoration works we also carried out archeological excavations on the whole perimeter of the building, internal premises, and also the area between Zyndzhyrly medrese and the mausoleum are investigated. In 2007 was found a Muslim cemetery dated XVII-XVII centuries and some fragments of tomb plates, several of which containing Arabic ligatured script.

In 2008 started a full-scale excavation, the basis for which was studying of lithographs of the XIX century, descriptions of monuments of Salachik made in 1578 by Polish ambassador Martin Bronevskiy and in 1666-1667 by a well-known Turkish traveler Evliey Chelebi, mentioning presence here of a Khan's Palace, a Palace of Justice, a medrese, a mosque, dyurbe-mausoleum, a bath. The specified monuments with an adjoining cemetery of the nobility, ecclesiastics and a garden make in the east the finished palace complex. Similar palace complexes in XIV-XV centuries were built up in the first capital of Giray Eski Kyrym, in a fortress of Kyrk-Er and later in XVI century in Bakhchisarai.

The result was immediate. For two months of excavation was opened the area of 1000 sq. m., the average depth of excavation made two meters.

In the neighborhood of Zyndzhyrly medrese were found (expectedly) rests of constructions of a bath complex divided into male and female parts. It is remarkable that the premise named "kulhan" (stoke-hold) where a huge tub for water heating was found and cleared away. From the huge hearth in cellar of premises of the bath complex is deduced the system of low tunnels in which comes the hot air which warms floors and premises. Hot and cold water was fed in bath halls by ceramic pipes which were built in walls, directly in carved, ornamented marble bowls (one, broken, is found out during excavation). Floors of premises were covered by plates from limestone. The bath complex, possibly, was crowned with domes with apertures for light. Medieval baths were a difficult engineering construction, "temples of cleanliness and rest".

In the neighborhood with Zyndzhyrly medrese were found fragments of a bath complex – a medieval "temple of cleanliness and rest".

In immediate proximity from a bath (at the left), from an outer side is found the well, having cleared away on 12 meters, we found out a water level.

In a palace complex of Salachik is preserved the mausoleum of the founder of the Crimean Khanate of Hadzhi Giray (died in 1466), constructed by his son Mengli Giray in 1501. In the next months together with Turkish experts we are going to finish restoring and archaeological works on this object. Restorers excellently recreated a rich external interior of the mausoleum, magnificently stone ornament of the portal, performed in Seljuk traditions. The internal interior of the mausoleum is restored too, walls are strengthened, and the floor is anew covered by the limestone plates. The dome and the roof of dyurbe are covered by lead plates that will prevent the future influence of atmospheric precipitation on a monument of national value.

On all perimeter of the mausoleum were carried out archaeological researches. As a result the socle premise of the mausoleum with an input from the eastern was cleared away.

In the socle premise of dyurbe (mausoleum) are found out 18 decayed remains covered with the rests of medieval gold-woven fabrics. Earlier it was considered that in this dyurbe are buried Hadzhi Giray, Mengli Giray and Sahib Giray. Nowadays with carrying out of archaeological and restoration works it is possible to assert that the mausoleum is a dynastic tomb of Giray Khlans (second half of the XV – first half of the XVI centuries).

According to M.Bronevskiy's messages (XVI century) and E.Chelebi (XVII century) on the nearby to medrese, dyurbe territories is conducted search of the rests of the Khan's Palace, Justice Palace and the mosque. It is possible to tell, that this direction is successful. At building inspection, which before was used as a dining room of a psychoneurological clinic, and plaster removal in several halls are found massive walls executed by a characteristic medieval laying and the entrance (laid) doorway. At clinic building a medieval monumental edifice was divided inside by partitions and from both sides was "stuck round" by extensions. According to our assumptions, the found is the building of the mosque constructed in 1274. But it is just an assumption. Still it is necessary to do a great amount of work on pulling down of the extensions and carrying out of archaeological researches.

But do not think that all constructions of a clinic will face the same fate. One of sleeping blocks will be re-planned into laboratory for researchers-archeologists. After all, there is so much work for years ahead.

In conclusion we will state that in Salachik at the above-named monuments, in the two-storied building constructed in 1905 by I.Gasprinskiy Association of the Crimean-Tatar Artists (the chairman is Irfan Nafeev) with assistance of the Bakhchsarai district state administration is going to open a national art gallery.

By Voice of Crimea

Related Links:

Mosques of Crimea

Zyndzhyrly - Madrasa

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