Staryi Krym - Discover the Significant Surb-Khach Monastery Complex

The town of Staryi Krym is one of the most historical destinations in Ukraine, and tourists should not let its size discourage them from visiting. With a population of approximately 10,000, it is also one of the smallest towns in Ukraine. It is speculated that the town was founded during the 13th century under the rule of Batu Khan. Over the years, it was known as Surkhat and Solkhat, but it was during the reign of the Russian Catherine II that its name was secured as it known today - Staryi Krym.

One of the most significant attractions in Staryi Krym is Surb-Khach, a monastery complex of Armenian origin. It is known that during the 14th to 15th centuries Staryi Krym had no less than nine churches and four monasteries in the town. Today, the Surb-Khach monastery is amongst the oldest Armenian sites in Crimea. This medieval site is an architectural masterpiece and, as the last of the four monasteries, authorities are proceeding with restoration work to preserve this historical site. Its importance to the culture of Staryi Krym is due to the preserved documents, handbooks and manuscripts that originated from the days of Solkhat, that were written in the Surb-Khach monastery.

Two other sites in Staryi Krym that are of great significance to the history of the town are the Madrassa and Mosque ruins. These buildings were constructed by Uzbeg Khan during the year 1314, but started falling into disrepair and ruin after Bakhchisarary became the Crimean Khanate capital. The population of the town also started to dwindle after the move.

Staryi Krym is also home to one of Ukraine’s most memorable museums, which was opened in honor of Alexander Grin. Grin was a well-known writer of Russian descent who made this quaint town his home until his death on 7 July 1932. He was famous for his short stories, fantasy tales of the ocean, romantic novels and thrilling adventures. A vital cardiac sanatorium is also located in the small town. This sanatorium was managed by Nikolai Amosov, one of Ukraine’s celebrated heart surgeons and surgical pioneers.

The history and beauty of the landscapes that surround Staryi Krym has catapulted this quiet little town into the spotlight. Today it is ranked amongst the noteworthy destinations in Ukraine, and has awoken this once declining town into a vital historical tourist attraction.


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