(fortress on a summit)
6th to 14th centuries
"…high, standing separately mountain in the form of sugar-loaf, with ruins of a fortress, probably of the most extreme antiquity, still visible on its top. The entire cliff is covered with countless number of grottos and artificial caves…" (Johann Erick Tunmann, 18th century)
Medieval site of Tepe-Kermen (Tartar for "fortress on a summit") is located in the vicinity of the present city of Bakhchisaray, at the top of a mountain which raises on 540 m above the sea level. On its south and west, there are precipices up to 12 m high.
This is one of the worst studied sites of the Crimean Middle Ages. For example, it is still unknown how the dwellers of Tepe-Kermen solved the problem of water supplying. The scholars have presumably interpreted some caves as churches and defensive casemates with embrasures. The site still keeps the traces of residential buildings, which were erected above the ground. Some scholars incline to interpret Tepe-Kermen as a cave monastery; others explain it as a feudal fortification, which dominated over the valley of Kacha river.
© T. Yashaeva