Чуфут Кале

Chufut-Kale - Çufut Qale

Useful Information

Location: 2.5 km east of Bachtschyssaraj.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCave House
Light: none.
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


4th/5th century city founded, probably named Fully.
11th century became part of the Kyptschak empire, renamed Kyrk-Er.
1299 assaulted by the Golden Horde under Emir Nogai.
14th century first Karaite inhabitants.
15th century becomes residence of the first Khan Haci I. Giray.
1778 became a Karaite settlement.
20th century abandoned.


Chufut-Kale (Jewish Fortress) was since 1778 inhabited BYKaraites. This was a special sect which belongs to Judaism, hence the name of the fortress. Themselves they called the city very similar Sela' ha-Yehudim (The Rock of the Jews). The city was abandoned in the early 20th century, because of the lack of water on the mountain. During the last years the last remaining buildings were

A rather well preserved house was owned by A.S. Firkovich, a Karaite collector of ancient manuscripts. It is today again used as Karaite community house. On the other side of the road is the Chagal-Boru (Grey Wolf house), which is currently used as a Karaite children camp. Two building called Kenesse, Karaite synagogues, are renovated at the moment.

The heyday of this city was during the 15th century, when it was the capital of the Crimean Khanate. It was the residence of the first Khan Haci I. Giray. At this time it was called Kirk-Or. Later, under Khan Meñli I. Giray, Bachtschissaraj became the new residence. During the centuries it was inhabited by Tartars, Greeks, and Karaites.