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, (English)

05/29/2008 | Wrangler
Adam Mickiewicz in Bakhchisaray

A visit to that most Tatar city of Crimea is a real ,,must see". You can listen to a muezzin calling the faithful to prayers from a nearby minaret, visit a few mosques, meet local Tatar men, and women hiding their charms under the veil of black garments. Rocks enclosing Bakhchisaray offer a beautiful panorama of the city itself. Remember also to call at a unique ,,czieburiekowa" restaurant, where only one dish is served, namely czieburieki", i.e. tasty fried dough pockets filled with meat or a mixture of cheeses. Delicious!


In Bakhchisaray go also to the Khan's Palace built at the beginning of the 16th c. It used to be the residence of the Crimean Khanate until its downfall. The Khanate of Crimea was among the most dangerous enemies of the Polish Kingdom. Tatar raids for ages horrified Poles and hindered the development of the south-eastern borderland of Poland. Tatars forced their way as far as Lvov or Przemysl and they even happened to endanger Silesia and



Warsaw. Every reader of the trilogy by Henryk Sienkiewicz and especially of ,,Ogniem i mieczem" (With Fire and Sword) knows very well who Tuhay-bey was. However, only few know that the Khanate was at the same time one of the most faithful allies of Poland. When we were not at war with each other, we joined our forces to attack Moscow. During the Swedish wars, called the Flood, when all allies failed Poland, it was the Khanate that came to our aid. Tatar raids caused so much horror among Swedish troops that it was enough to shout ,,AHa, atta!!!" and they started running away in panic. The Crimean Khanate ceased to exist at the same time as the Polish Kingdom of Two Nations. When one of the allies was too weak to face it, Russia took the opportunity to get even with the other. Towards the end of the 18th Century, the same as Poland, Crimea became a part of the Russian Empire.


Visiting the Khan's Palace, we were looking among its many fountains for the one most important to us, the Fountain of Tears described in sonnets by both Adam Mickiewicz and Aleksandr Pushkin. Since 1787 it has stood in a beautiful yard and, as stories have it, was built by the despairing Crimean Khan Gi-rey after the death of his famous, beautiful Polish wife, Maria Potocka.

http://www.polishnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=210:postcard-from-travels&catid=87:podroetravel&Itemid=305


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