One of the masterpieces of the late medieval East
architecture mosque Djuma-Djami is found in Crimea. It is the only
multidomed mosque in our country. It was built in the mid-sixteenth
century in Gezlev (Evpatoria). Prominent Turkish architect of Greek
origin Hodja Sinan created it. He created more than 300 architectural
buildings including famous Suleymanie, Selimie, Shah-Zade in different
East towns. Djuma-Djami is the excellent sample of dome mosques and it
is well-known all over the world.
The Karaites Kenasas
A faded example of Crimea's exotic past, Evpatoriya's attractions are Christian, Jewish and Muslim. Although in the Soviet era the town became a major health resort for ill children, and its western waterfront is still a dense grid of such sanatoria, since celebrating its 2500th birthday in 2003 it's been reclaiming its historic multkultuialism.
Most intriguing is the former Dervish Monastery, dating from the Crimean Khanate's 15th- to 18th century lies to the Ottoman Empire. Although today's complex is dilapidated, you'll get an insight into Sufi mysticism as you retreat into the arched niches the monks used lor days and weeks of isolated meditation. Most people also have fun standing on the spot used to 'channel' energy from the heavens. ( The monastery insists women cover their hair and shoulders to enter, so bring a scarf).
Diagonally across the road from the monastery is the refurbished Main Gate of Medieval Kezlev, the Crimean Khanate name for Yevpatoriya. Inside the gate is a fantastic cafe, whose gorgeous-looking and -tasting Crimean Tatar sweets, plus coffee, hookahs and souvenirs, are alone almost worth visiting the city for. The interior also houses a small museum with a new, skilfully created 3-D model of the walled medieval city.
Stay with the proceedings through the ruin of the Armenian Cathedral (1885), so the tour at least brings you to the door of Yevpatoriya's most beautiful building, the renovated Karaite Kenassa. The Crimean Karaites, of whom only 1200 survive today, are Turkish Jews - descendants of 7th-century Khazars who in the 10th century converted to a dissident form of Judaism from Iraq. They lived among the cave cities of Chufut-Kaleh and Mangup-Kaleh and later built this ornate complex of churches and arcades, which is again functioning as a place of worship.
Yevpatoriya's landmark Dzhuma-Dzhami Mosque (1552) is near the seafront, on the way back to the city gate. Most of Yevpatoriya's accommodation is either unappealingly Soviet or wildly overpriced, but it's easy to visit in a day from Simferopol.Tekie Dervish