Bakhchisaray Palace

The Khan’s Palace (Turkish: Han Sarayı) or Hansaray is located in the town of Bakhchysarai, Crimea. It was built in the 16th century and became home to a succession of Crimean Khans. The walled enclosure contains a mosque, a harem, a cemetery, living quarters and gardens. The palace interior has been decorated to appear lived in and reflects the traditional 16th-century Crimean Tatar style. It is one of the best known Muslim palaces found in Europe, alongside Topkapı Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace, Yıldız Palace, Aynalıkavak Palace, Edirne Palace, Çırağan Palace in Turkey and the Alhambra in Spain.

Former residence of the Crimean Khans
The Khan’s Palace in Bakhchisaray
Native name
Crimean Tatar: Han Saray

Bakhchisaray Palace
Location Bakhchysarai, Crimea


Built 1532
Architectural style(s) Ottoman architecture

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The city of Bakhchisaray and the palace were commissioned by the Crimean Khan dynasty, who moved their capital here from Salaçıq in the first half of the 16th century. The palace’s complex design and minarets were constructed in the 16th century by Ottoman, Persian and Italian architects. Later damages required partial reconstruction, but the structure still has a resemblance to its original form. Some buildings currently in the palace were attached later, while some of the original buildings could not stand past the 18th century.[1]

In 2017, the palace was subject to restoration, which was conducted by Moscow-based Atta Group, a firm with little experience in historical preservation.[2][3] As part of the process, the palace’s centuries-old oak beams were removed and replaced with concrete, original tiles were removed, while its 18th century murals were damaged by a high-pressure water stream.[2] In addition, cracks appeared on the facade of the building and plaster fell off during pressure cleaning.[4] In response to the alleged damages, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine sent a protest notice to UNESCO, which manages the World Heritage Sites, since the Bakhchisaray Place was added to the organization’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites in 2003.[5][6]

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