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Bakhchisaray Sights | Khan Palace | Fountain of Tears
Individual and group tours to Bakhchisaray

Ukraine Bakhchisaray Sights - Khan Palace - Fountain of Tears
Bakhchisaray Palace means "palace in the gardens" and existed since the end of the XIV century. In the XV century became the capital of the Crimean Khanate. Khan Mengli Giray long struggled with the Golden Horde for the independence. In 1502 the Golden Horde disappeared completely and in 1503 Khan Mengli Giray built a palace on the left bank of the river Tchuruk-Su.

There is interesting legend about the origin of Bakhchisaray Palace. Once the son of Khan Mengli Giray went hunting. To hunt turned out to be a good day - he hunted down a lot of foxes, hares and wild goats. Khan's son tired and wanted to be alone. He sent his servants back to the castle and leaped from his horse and sat down on a stump by the Tchuruk-Su river.

Suddenly he heard a rustle. A snake crawled from the bush . It pursued the other one. Mortal combat ensued ... One snake which had been bitten stopped resisting and lifeless hung its head. Suddenly third snake hurry to the battlefield from the thicket. It pounced on the winner - and began a new battle. But Khan's son does not take his eyes off the defeated snake. He thought about his father and of a kind. His family is now like this half-dead snake. Somewhere there is a fight and who will win: Golden Horde or Turks or vice versa? And he and his father did not rise as this snake...

It took some time. The young Khan saw that defeated snake started to move with difficulty and crawled to the water. It reach the river and plunged into it. Defeated snake started move faster and faster. When it crawled ashore - there were no traces of the wounds. Rejoiced the son of Mengli Giray - it was a lucky sign! His Giray family will return its power as same as this snake!

He mounted his horse and rushed into the fortress. He told his father that he saw by the river. They waited for news from the battlefield. Then came the welcome news that the Turks overcame the Tartar Khan Ahmed. At the place where was deadly battle of two snakes the old Khan ordered to build Bakhchisarai palace. The fight between two snakes Khan Girey ordered to palace on coat of arms of the palace. At the gate of the Khan's palace in Bakhchisarai still can look at coat of arms with two fighting snakes.

The main attraction of the Khan's palace in Bakhchisarai is world-famous Fountain of Tears. Its creation is also related to the amazing legend of the love of Khan Krim (Qirim) Giray.

Khan Krim (Qirim) Girey - an outstanding leader and fearless warrior - in his old age fell in love with a beautiful princess named Dilara. This Indian summer love became one of the most important to the Khan that he ever had in his life. But his happiness was short-lived: a beautiful princess prematurely died poisoned by a jealous rival in the harem. Deeply grieved Khan Krim (Qirim) Girey had buried his beloved with the greatest honor and built above her ashes the mausoleum perched at the mausoleum and the fountain. This fountain according to legend was designed to express the painful feelings of Khan (Qirim) Girey about the death of his beloved Dilara.

Legend poetically interprets the symbolism of the fountain: marble flower is like the eye that sheds tears. Tears filled the cup of sorrow of the heart (upper large bowl). Time heals sorrow and she calms down (a couple of smaller bowls). However the memory revives the pain again (the average large bowl). So life goes on - sufferings are replaced by enlightenments and vice versa - as long as people do not end up their way and become close to the threshold of eternity (the spiral symbol of eternity is at the foot of the fountain).

This is only a interpretation of legend. Master Umer which created this fountain may put into its creation a different meaning. The fountain is decorated with two inscriptions. Upper - the poem the poet Sheikhiy glorifying Khan Krim (Qirim) Giray, the lower the inscription of sutra of the Koran: "In heaven the righteous drink water from a source called Selsebil".

In 1820 during his brief visit to the Khan's palace Alexander Pushkin saw Fountain of Tears. It is noteworthy that from the poet's letters should: Fountain of Tears did not make much impression. Subsequently however Alexander Pushkin creatively reworked his Crimean experiences and wrote his poem "Bakhchisarai Fountain" which was published in 1824 and made Bakhchisarai widest fame.

Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide

Pavel Korsun
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