1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bakhchi-sarai

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BAKHCHI-SARAI (Turk. for "garden-palace"), a town of Russia, in the government of Taurida, situated in a narrow gorge in the Crimea, 20 m. by rail S.S.W. of Simferopol. From the close of the 15th century down to 1783 it was the residence of the Tatar khans of the Crimea; and its streets wear a decidedly oriental look. The principal building, the palace, or Khan-sarai, was originally erected in 1519 by Abdul-Sahal-Ghirai, destroyed in 1736, and restored at Potemkin's command for the reception of Catherine II. Attached to it is a mausoleum, which contains the tombs of many of the khans. There are in the place no fewer then thirty-six mosques. The population consists for the most part of Tatars. Bakhchi-sarai manufactures morocco, sheepskin cloaks, agricultural implements, sabres and cutlery. Pop. (1897) 12,955. Two and a half miles to the east is Chufut-Kaleh (or Jews' city), formerly the chief seat of the Karaite Jews of the Crimea, situated on lofty and almost inaccessible cliffs; it is now deserted except by the rabbi. Between Bakhchi-sarai and Chufut-kaleh is the Uspenskiy monastery, clinging like a swallow's nest to the face of the cliffs, and the scene of a great pilgrimage on the 15th (29th) of August every year.