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Cave city Jeski-Kermen

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City of Crimea: Bahchisaray
Adress: Republic of Crimea, Bakhchysarai region, Holmovka
Coordinates: 44.608512,33.740843
Type of tourists point: Cave and cave cities

Republic of Crimea, Bakhchysarai region, Holmovka


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A cave city Jeski-Kermen is situated not far from Holmovka town. The tower was built by Byzantines at the end of the VI century, for the Chersonese’s defense. Khazars destroyed the city in the VIII century, bit citizens did not leave their places. It was finely destroyed in 1299 due to Golden Horde’s emir Nogaj’s raid, who had been revenging his grandson’s death on them.

The primordial name of the city has been forgotten, because Jeski-Kermen (The old fortress) is the tartar name, though during their reign no one leaved in the city.

Cave city Jeski-Kermen is the biggest, in terms of the amount of rock premises, in the Crimea.

The city is located in 18 km south-westwards from Bakhchysarai, on the separately standing flat top with sheer slopes and inaccessible precipices. The mountain’s height is about 300 meters and it stretches from north to south. The mountain’s surface resembles plane wing and it is 1040 m. long and 200 m. wide. The top is on the south extremity of the plateau.

On the north side the plateau is a bit oblong and it descends northwards, ending with a pointed cliff. In the west and east the cave city Jeski-Kermen is fenced with cliff precipices, having a height around 30 meters. From the south part, there, where precipitous cliffs are not very high, along the glacis goes winding path, which is carved right in the cliff at the top. This part of plateau used to be defensed with strong defensive wall.

The square of the plateau is 10 hectares. The square of the city itself, locating within the defensive walls, is 8,16 hectares.

A church of “Three riders” is still preserved there. It is carved in a separate cliff and is known for its frescos, which depict three riders. The names of the riders are not precisely known, but scientists consider, that they are saint Theodore Stratelates, Saint George and Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki. The riders wear cuirasses, there is a shield on the left shoulder of each, lances in hands, cloaks are flying behind them. The rider in the middle is pictured striking the snake, others have their lances up. On the horse’s croup is seen a boy’s figure, holding a pommel. Horses’ tails are tight, and the harness is very expensive.

The most interesting object in the city is “siege well”. Its depth is approximately 50 meters and it is carved in a cliff. To see the gallery with water, which is still preserved, one should go 77 steps down stairs.



Republic of Crimea, Bakhchysarai region, Holmovka


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