The fortress is located in the Dzhimerdzhi valley. This name is Crimean Tatar and it means «blacksmith». Previously, the settlement closest to the fortress also had this name, then it was renamed Radiant. The mountain next to the fortress in the Middle Ages was called Funa or «smoking». Probably because of the frequent fogs on it. Now only the fortress bears this name.
The fortress is an object of cultural heritage, valued and protected. It was built in the 14th century, in any case, it was first used in ancient sources from that time. Now it is in ruins. The size was not at all large, about 100 meters by a little over 50 meters. The area is not more than half a hectare.
The main caravan trade route from the steppe zone to the coast passed by the fortress. This path was very important and one of the functions of this fortress was to protect it. Also, the location of the fortress was very convenient for viewing the entire valley. The second function was to contain and not let the enemy deep into the peninsula. The enemy was the Genoese, who at that time captured the entire coast from Kafa (Feodosia) to Chombalo (Balaklava). This fortress was created by the princes Theodoro (Greeks, Goths, Armenians, Circassians, Karaites, Alans and Byzantines, all together they were called «Romeans»), who had their capital in Doros (Mangup). There is a cave city in Mangup now, we will definitely tell you about it. The third function of the fortress is to be a base for the capture of coastal cities.
The fortress was destroyed several times after its foundation. First, at the beginning of the 15th century, there was an earthquake that pretty much damaged the fortress. For a couple of years, the fortress was restored and after a while it was attacked and thoroughly burned all the buildings. Historians do not exactly confirm who did this, maybe the Genoese, or maybe the Ottomans. But after the second failure, they decided to thoroughly rebuild and strengthen the fortress, turning it into a castle. For about 16 years, this fortification performed its functions, and in 1475, when the Ottomans captured the Crimea, the fortress was finally destroyed, now forever. After there were several more earthquakes and collapses, which made «adjustments» to the appearance of the fortification.
On the territory of the fortress, the remains of the walls of a medieval Christian church have been preserved. It was the church of St. Theodore Stratilates and this is the only building that, after the final destruction of the fortress, was rebuilt and reconstructed several times, until the beginning of the 20th century. In 1927, there was the famous Yalta earthquake, after which there were significant collapses and we already see what was left after all the cataclysms and attacks. Oh, and got these walls …
Now in the fortress a model of the same castle that was once located here has been recreated. Against the backdrop of the Crimean mountains, it looks almost like a real one.
Several museum exhibits give an idea, albeit a weak one, of the things used at that time in the fortress. Not everywhere it is written that this is a reconstruction, but I think all things are modern.
Summing up, I’ll say that while writing an article and looking for material, I learned more about the history of Crimea than when I wrote various “Crimean” articles earlier. Unstable position, goals, tasks of the fortress + natural phenomena and time played against this structure. Enjoy what’s left of our times.
In the glass dome, the stone that was found during excavations In the glass dome, the stone that was found during excavations
Read also in our Zen:
Mount Klementieva. Stunning views of Koktebel and a unique location
Gurzuf park in Crimea. Pushkin, Chekhov, Gorky, Mayakovsky, Chaliapin and many more walked here
Cave town Tepe-Kermen. Touch the walls of the 6th century AD
Sufi mosque Juma-Jami. Crimea, Evpatoria
Sights of Crimea, our TOP 10 with photos