Cave Monasteries of Crimea

PHOTO GALLERY

Dmitry Kiryukhin

We present here a photo tour of the cave monasteries of Shuldan and Chelter-Marmara and the cave city of Eski-Kermen in Crimea.

The Shuldan Monastery of Christ the Savior is located near the modern village of Ternovka in Sevastopol. The name “Shuldan” means “resounding echo” or “inaccessible place.” It consists of two cave churches and twenty rooms for religious and economic purposes, located in two tiers.

The monastery was founded in the eighth century by monastic iconodule refugees from Byzantium during the period of the battle against the icons by emperors from the Isaurian Dynasty of Leo and Constantine Copronymus. The monks who lived in Shuldan worked in viticulture and winemaking.

The cave monastery of Chelter-Marmara is located on a cliff of Chelter-Kaya Mountain, not far from the Shuldan Monastery, a mile northwest of the village of Ternovka on the territory of the city of Sevastopol. It is an object of cultural heritage of the peoples of Russia of Federal significance.

Translated from Crimean Tatar, “Chelter” means “lattice” or “grid.” Marmara is the name of a medieval village at the foot of the mountain. There are more than fifty caves there located in four tiers. There are four churches, cells, a trapeza, and household and storage rooms. In antiquity, they were connected by wooden stairs, balconies, and galleries that resembled openwork lattice.

Not far from these monasteries is the medieval city-fortress of Eski-Kermen. Translated from Crimean Tatar, the name means “old fortress.” The city is built on a table-like mountain plateau, bounded by cliffs up to 100 feet deep. It is one of the most visited cave cities of Crimea and is part of the Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Reserve. Several cave churches existed in this city, carved into the rocks in the twelfth to thirteenth centuries, with a multitude of frescoes.

Dawn on the Black Sea

Dawn on the Black Sea

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Along the road to Shuldan Monastery

Along the road to Shuldan Monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Tower-chapel above Shuldan Monastery

Tower-chapel above Shuldan Monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

View from the tower-chapel

View from the tower-chapel

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

View of Sevastopol from the tower-chapel

View of Sevastopol from the tower-chapel

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Panorama view from the monastery

Panorama view from the monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Entrance to the monastery

Entrance to the monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

In the monastery

In the monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Painting of the tower-chapel

Painting of the tower-chapel

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Entrance to the church

Entrance to the church

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Church bell

Church bell

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

In the main church of the monastery

In the main church of the monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

In the main church of the monastery

In the main church of the monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

A cell

A cell

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

In the monastery

In the monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Cliffs along the road to the Chelter-Marmara monastery

Cliffs along the road to the Chelter-Marmara monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Along the road to the Chelter-Marmara monastery

Along the road to the Chelter-Marmara monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Cliffs along the road to the Chelter-Marmara monastery

Cliffs along the road to the Chelter-Marmara monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

In the Chelter-Marmara monastery

In the Chelter-Marmara monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Panorama view from the Chelter-Marmara monastery

Panorama view from the Chelter-Marmara monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Church of St. Sabbas the Sanctified in the Chelter-Marmara monastery

Church of St. Sabbas the Sanctified in the Chelter-Marmara monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

View through a window in the St. Sabbas Church

View through a window in the St. Sabbas Church

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Icon of St. Nicholas

Icon of St. Nicholas

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Church of St. Nicholas

Church of St. Nicholas

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Gift of the St. Andrew the First-Called Fund to the Monastery of St. Sabbas the Sanctified in Chelter–Marmara in memory of the bringing of the relics of St. Andrew from the Epiphany Cathedral in Moscow to the Crimea on July 30-August 30, 2016.

Gift of the St. Andrew the First-Called Fund to the Monastery of St. Sabbas the Sanctified in Chelter–Marmara in memory of the bringing of the relics of St. Andrew from the Epiphany Cathedral in Moscow to the Crimea on July 30-August 30, 2016.

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

The Chelter-Marmara monastery

The Chelter-Marmara monastery

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Ancient city of Eski-Kermen

Ancient city of Eski-Kermen

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Ancient city of Eski-Kermen

Ancient city of Eski-Kermen

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

In the church of the cave city of Eski-Kermen

In the church of the cave city of Eski-Kermen

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Cave city of Eski-Kermen

Cave city of Eski-Kermen

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Cave city of Eski-Kermen

Cave city of Eski-Kermen

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

In one of the Eski-Kermen caves, with the remains of frescoes

In one of the Eski-Kermen caves, with the remains of frescoes

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

In one of the Eski-Kermen caves

In one of the Eski-Kermen caves

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

In one of the Eski-Kermen caves

In one of the Eski-Kermen caves

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

View from an Eski-Kermen cave

View from an Eski-Kermen cave

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Panorama view from the city of Eski-Kermen

Panorama view from the city of Eski-Kermen

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Evening on the southern coast of Crimea

Evening on the southern coast of Crimea

Photo: Dmitry Kiryukhin / Pravoslavie.ru

Comments
Jacob Verville11/9/2020 3:01 am
Really amazing photo collection -- what an excellent historical site to visit!
Orthodox10/21/2020 9:59 am
Невероятные фотографии! ????????????
Ярослав Ерофеев10/20/2020 6:04 pm
Отличный фоторепортаж! Спасибо!!!
Amwolf10/19/2020 3:43 pm
Wow, what interesting and beautiful pictures. Places like this is yet another reason why I'm drawn to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Thanks for sharing!
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