Outside of town
Bakhchisaray, cut into the rocky cliffs of the Crimean Mountains, is the Assumption Cave Monasrery, an Orthodox Christian mens' monastery. (The
monastery is also known, in English, as the Uspensky Cave Monastery, or
the Assumption Monastery of the Caves.) By some accounts, the monastery
was founded in the 8th or early 9th century by Byzantine monks devoted
to the veneration of religious icons after the Council of Hieria in 754
decreed that all such icons should be destroyed (the first of two
"iconoclastic" periods in early Christianity). This early monastery fell
into disuse as Byzantium, and its influence on Crimea, declined.
The monastery as it
exists today dates to the 15th century. It was closed, however, by the
Soviets in 1921 and fell into disrepair. After Ukrainian independence,
the monastery was restored and in it reopened in 1993. The complex
consists of a number of separate buildings, but the most interesting
feature is a church built in a cave in the solid rock. Unfortunately,
photography is not permitted inside the church.