Eski-Kermen Cave Town. The Main Objects
2. The Complex of Main Town Gates, VI-XIII cen.
From the south side, a cut in the rock wheel road, twisted into three parts, leads to the plateau of Eski-Kermen, to the Main town gates. The upper part of the road was fortified with proteichizma (advanced wall), from which the rock basement has preserved. The aperture of the Main gates was cut in the rock, above the gates a rectangular tower was standing, from which the rock cuts have preserved. Behind the gates the main street of the town starts. In the area of the wheel road and Main town gates a number of cave structures of different purpose are located: battle casemates, churches, vaults. Behind the gates, on the eastern side of the street the cave church of «Trial» is situated. The complex has asymmetrical shape (15 meters x 17,5 meters x 2 meters). Three doorways, provided with slots for wooden door boxes, lead inside the church. The ceiling is based on 4 columns, cut in the rock. The altar was probably painted with frescoes. The construction of the church dates back to XI-XII centuries, by XIII century the complex was united with the chapel in the south-eastern cliff of Eski-Kermen plateau and achieved its modern appearance.
3. The Church of «Dormition», XIII cen.
The church of «Dormition» is located in the eastern cliff of Eski- Kermen plateau. The complex has rectangular shape (5,7 meters x 3,25 meters). The altar was placed to the right from the entrance. A niche was cut in the north-western wall, where a winepress (tarapan) was arranged. A small water cistern is located in the centre. The remains of fresco paintings have preserved on the walls of the church. In the altar the images of Annunciation, infant Jesus with angels, Virgin Hodigitria were placed. The scene of Purification of the Virgin was painted on the north- eastern wall; the part of the wall opposite to altar was occupied by the big composition of Dormition. The construction of the church dates back to XIII century, after the destruction of the town the premise was adapted for utility purposes.
4. Cave Structures, VI-XIII cen.
Around 500 cave structures of different purposes are situated on the plateau of Eski-Kermen and its immediate neighborhood. Most of them are concentrated on the cliff edges of the build-up part of the plateau. The fortification system of Eski-Kermen includes considerable quantity of cut in the rock battle casemates, which protected approaches to the town and most vulnerable areas of defense. Several cave churches are known on the territory of the plateau and its slopes, part of them was decorated with fresco paintings. The vast majority of cave structures of Eski-Kermen were used for utility needs. Several types of utility cave structures can be marked out: grain pits, residential buildings cellars, water cisterns and animal stalls. Most of Eski-Kermen cave structures were constructed on the last stage of the history of the town, in XII-XIII centuries.
6. The Siege Well, VI-IX cen.
The siege well is located in the northern part of eastern cliff of Eski-Kermen plateau. The construction is a staircase (6 flights, 84 stairs), which ends with a capping gallery, leading to the cave, where the natural water source was situated. The total water reserve of the well is around 75 cubic meters. The delivery of the water to the surface was carried out manually. Each flight of the staircase ended with a platform, where the water carriers could pass one another.
Probably, the well was constructed in the same time with the fortress in 6th century. The end of the functioning of the structure the scientists connect with the intentional destruction of the well by Khazar. The siege well was used as a water source for the population of Eski-Kermen in the case of long siege. During peaceful times the rain water was used, as well as the water, transported to the town via ceramic water pipes from the Bilderan ravine.