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Tik-Kuyu — siege well Chufut-Kale

Tick-Kuyu or, more simply, well the siege of Calais — an ancient system of underground hydraulic structures. A sensational discovery was made in 1998-2001.

The history of discovery

Since the water in the fortress was imported — it was taken in the sources of Karai-Chokrak and the Gazi-Mansur. Also used the rain and snow water. The water reserves in the form of snow and ice was stored in caves beneath the straw and felt.

During the siege, water was delivered from a secret system of waterworks. When the fortress lost its military significance, the information about it, who had hidden, was forgotten. But not all. Secret location underground structures were passed from generation to generation elected; over time, its guardians have become the elders and leaders of the people of the Karaites. Brief information was published by the Karaite gahs (spiritual head) of S. Chapel in 1895:

“The Karaites could stand a long siege due to the fact that Small gate near Kyrk-hyères there was an underground passage to the spring located at the foot of the rock.”

Later the same wrote M. Firkovich (1907):

“In Calais in the olden time there was a big pit, called the Tick-Kuyu, meaning well perpendicular. The well of water was at Calais, near Kichik-Capa (Small gate) with malenkimi half-yard hole. He is now broken, well pelted with stones and called Sokur-tion, that is, “blind well “. Move to this well was in Calais on Burunge, where obliquely cut tunnel to the water. The opening of this tunnel on Burunge now hidden under a pile of rocks”.

The earliest mention of the well owned by the French traveller de La Matre, author of the book “a Journey in Europe and Asia”; Recalling him, Dubois de Monpierre writes:

“…here (at Burunge) there was a natural well or a tank lined with hewn stone and filled with water, never issakova. The location of the well, which was, of course, capped by the Turks, is unknown today”.

More than 100 years in various scientific publications, flashed fragmentary information, most beautiful legend of the lost well, a secret hydraulic structure, from which the inhabitants of a besieged fortress Chufut-Kale could take on water.

Having published information and legends, as well as based on the data of geological exploration, a group of enthusiasts undertook the search. The attention of researchers was attracted by a slight deepening to the West Small gate: intuition did not fail — on the second day of work in August 1998 was opened the mouth of the well. Initially worked here members of the Crimean Karaite community, as well as representatives of other nationalities, mainly on weekends. However, by 2001 it became clear that their forces are not enough — they had discovered the enormity of the underground hydraulic system of the scale surpassed anything hitherto known in Crimea. The task involved the Association of Crimean Karaites, Institute of mineral resources and the Centre of speleotourism “Onix-tour” led by A. F. Kozlov, previously made the excellent equipment of karst caves Marble and Emine-Bair-Khosar in the Chatyrdag. They made a huge amount of work, which is revealed and accessible to tourist’s review the following set.

150 meters West of the Small gate and 35 m South of the wall Pencere-ISAR (Wall with window) cleared a vertical well with a diameter of 1.8 to 2.2 m over 27 m ; at a depth of 25 m opens the entrance to a sloping, curving somewhere obliquely up the gallery with the floor carved in broad steps. The bottom of the well researchers reached only at a depth of 30 meters. Below the entrance to the gallery well not only expanded (with a diameter of 1.8–2.2 meters to nearly 5 meters), but has acquired a completely different form — it was this spiral staircase that lead from the portal gallery in the bowels of the earth.

The output of the gallery to the surface has cleared the tower, built of large stones. It is suggested that this system served not only hidden access to the water. If necessary, it could hide a multitude of people. In this case, you get a real sense of the folklore of Crimean Karaites stories about the vanishing army and the Prince with a squad of horsemen, who had the ability to appear simultaneously and on the walls of the fortress, and behind enemy lines. Researchers do not exclude the appointment of the cult and underground structures at the bottom of the well Tik-Kuyu. This could serve as an additional explanation of the aura of mystery surrounding Asyryn Jol (Secret path) .

It is unclear how water was delivered to the besieged fortress, because it lies outside the defensive walls. Perhaps in the early middle ages the defense of this area was intensified advanced wall. Probably in the XVI century, and perhaps earlier, the well is no longer functional.

Treasure Calais

Openers gallery called her by the ancient Karaite tradition of Altyn-Merdven — the Golden ladder . and this name proved prophetic. In 2002 was followed by another sensational discovery. Near the tower, covering the entrance to the well at a depth of 45 cm was found a treasure — a pot of coins. It was 30 gold coins, 4253 silver and 1 copper. According to the author finds, V. Maiko, it was buried in the 60-70-ies of the XV century. Perhaps it was directly related to the struggle for power in the Crimean khanate. aggravated at the time. In 1466 dies first Crimean Khan Haji Giray. Came to power, his eldest son, Nur-Devlet, and two years later it displaces the younger brother of Mengli Giray. But against him were made by the representatives of the mighty clan Shirinov led by Americom. Mengli-Gil seeks refuge in Genoa Cafe: there he becomes a prisoner of the Turks and taken to Istanbul. Amines failed to strengthen its position, and the troubles continued. In 1478 the Turks go Mengli Giray, he becomes a Khan, and the Crimean khanate — vassal of the Ottoman Empire. During the troubles, the fortress Kyrk-or was the place where he kept life and treasure, and we can assume that at some critical moment of confrontation, the representative of one party or another hid near the front wall treasure.

Information about the system of underground facilities, of course, had to wear a secret character. But when in course of time the fortress lost its military value, disappeared and the need to maintain a covert siege of the well. Forgot about him, the memory of his existence, crossing from generation to generation, passed little.

Above the underground facilities, currently fitted and available for inspection, are only a part of the system; a search for the continuation of the already open and other underground passages. Further, serious research on the understanding of the discoveries and incorporate it into the system of fortifications of the ancient Karkora.

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