MANGUP-KALE CAVE TOWN – THE CAPITAL OF THE MEDIEVAL STATE THEODORO (6-14th CEN., ENTERED INTO THE UNESCO LIST)
construction of fortifications on the Mangup plateau, most likely, began
in the last decade of Justinian 1`s rule ( the 50-60s of the 6th C.)
The grand fortress ensemble made the best use of natural inaccessibility
of the forbidding mesa. The fortified area totaled about 90
hectares. This was the way the biggest fortress of the Crimea was
The crisis was reached by the end of the 8th
C., when the Khaszars seized Doros-Mangup. It was followed by an
uprising of the Christian Gothic population resulting in a failure due
to the treacherous actions of the people who gave away their leaders to
But already in the 2nd part of the 9th cen.
Byzantine regained its control over the territiry to keep it up till the
mid 11th century.
By the late 13th C the majority of the
settled population of Tauricka practiced Christianity, spoke Greek and
belonged to provincial Byzantine culture.
The invasion of the Tatars in the January of
1223 and the subsequent annexation of the Crimea to the Golden Horde led
to the migration of some of the Christian Greek-speaking population to
the less accessible for the nomads areas at the foothills - to those in
the inner Mountain Ridge and in the south coastal part of the peninsula. By the late 13th C the majority of the settled
population of Tauricka practiced Christianity, spoke Greek and belonged
to provincial Byzantine culture.
The Orthodox Christians of Taurika
occupied only the territory between Chersonesus and the Alma upstream,
which is studded with so-called "cave towns" and which, according to the
archeologocal data, during the entire mediaval epoch (especially in the
13th - 15th cen) saw the greatest concentration of the settled
In the mid 1390s the Crimea got involved into
a huge intestine war between Tokhtamysh and Timur, which resulted in
the south-west of the peninsula being completely devastated, the
restored Feodoro principality having been turned into ruins.
The early 15th C saw a new upsurge of the
principality and its capital. The population might have totaled 150,000,
according to a Genoese document mentioning 30,000 houses existing on
the Feodoro`s territory.
And the small Christian principality in the
far-away Crimea was the last splinter of Byzantine in the Black Sea
area, after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
After the capital located on the forbidding
Mangup plateu was seized by Turks in 1475, the memory of the
principality was soon blotted out.
We can suggest a lunch at the Crimean Tatar cafehttp://alie.com.ua/foto after excursion: local
cuisine, oriental flavor, natural products, Crimean Tatar music, riding.