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Minaret of a mosque in Bakhchisaray palace
Minaret of a mosque in Bakhchisaray palace
Coat of arms of Bakhchysarai
Coat of arms
Bakhchysarai is located in Crimea
Location of Bakhchysarai on a map of Crimea.
Country Disputed:
Autonomous Republic  Crimea
District Bakhchysarai Raion
Founded 1532[1]
Founded by Sahib I Giray
Elevation 300 m (1,000 ft)
 • Total 26,482
Time zone EET (occupation authorities use MSK) (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (occupation authorities don't use daylight saving time) (UTC+3)
Postal code 98400 — 98408
Area code(s) +380-6554
The Bakhchisaray Palace in Bakhchisaray

Bakhchysarai (Ukrainian: Бахчисарáй; Crimean Tatar: Bağçasaray; Russian: Бахчисарáй; Turkish: Bahçesaray; Persian: باغچه سرای‎‎) is a city in central Crimea, a territory recognized by a majority of countries as part of Ukraine and incorporated by Russia as the Republic of Crimea. It is the administrative center of the Bakhchysarai Raion (district), as well as the former capital of the Crimean Khanate. Its main landmark is Hansaray, the only extant palace of the Crimean Khans, currently opened to tourists as a museum. Population: 26,482 (2013 est.)[2].


  • History 1
  • Name and associations 2
  • Attractions 3
  • Demographics 4
  • International relations 5
    • Twin towns – Sister cities 5.1
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The city in 1856, by Carlo Bossoli.

Located in a narrow valley of the Çürük Suv river, the first artifacts of human presence in the valley date from the Mesolithic period. Settlements existed in the valley since Late Antiquity. The founding of Bakhchisaray was preceded by the Qırq Yer fortress (modern Çufut Qale), Salaçıq, and Eski Yurt — these are incorporated into the urban area of modern Bakhchisaray.

Bakhchysarai, first mentioned 1502, was established as the new khan's residence by the Crimean Khan Sahib I Giray in 1532. Since then, it was the capital of the Crimean Khanate and the center of political and cultural life of the Crimean Tatar people. After several wars with Russia from 1737 when Burkhard Christoph von Münnich burnt down the capital of the Khanate and the annexation of the Crimean Khanate by the Russian Empire in 1783, it was turned into an ordinary town, having lost administrative significance. However, it remained the cultural center of the Crimean Tatars until the Sürgün (deportation on 18 May 1944).

Name and associations

Spellings of the town's name in different languages include: original Crimean Tatar: Bağçasaray, Turkish: Bahçesaray, Russian: Бахчисарай - Bakhchisaray, and Ukrainian: Бахчисарай - Bakhchysaray. The name comes from Persian باغچه سرای bāghche-sarāy which means the Garden Palace. In Crimean Tatar, bağça means "garden" and saray means "palace".

Russian speakers associate the town with the Romantic connotations of Alexander Pushkin's poem The Fountain of Bakhchisaray (1822). Adam Mickiewicz dedicated some of the finest poems in his Crimean Sonnets (1825) to the landmarks of Bakhchisaray.

An asteroid, 3242 Bakhchisaraj, discovered by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh in 1979, takes its name after the town.[3]


Famous attractions within or near Bakhchysarai are:

There is a network of well marked hiking trails around the town. All the main attractions are connected with red-marked trail.

Since 2011 thanks to the support of the Czech Government and USAID the Tourist information centre has been working.


In 1930 the population of the city was 10,450. The ethnic groups represented were 7,420 Crimean Tatars, 1,850 Russians, 315 Jews, 205 Greeks, 185 Ukrainians, 50 Germans, 30 Armenians, 30 Bulgarians, and 365 others.

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Bakhchysarai is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ Khan Palace in Bakhchisaray
  2. ^ "Чисельність наявного населення України (Actual population of Ukraine)" (in Ukrainian).  
  3. ^ Dictionary of Minor Planet Names - p.269
  4. ^ "Kardeş Şehirler". Bursa Büyükşehir Belediyesi Basın Koordinasyon Merkez. Tüm Hakları Saklıdır. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 

External links

  • Official site of the Palace (English)/(Ukrainian)/(Russian)
  • History and monuments of Bakhchisaray (Russian)
  • The murder of the Jews of Bakhchysarai during World War II, at Yad Vashem website.
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