The largest cave town of the Crimea crowns a plateau of the mountain-outlier Mangup in the Bakhchisaray region. Having been already inhabited by the Scythian and Sarmatian tribes in the 3rd century, the difficult to access plateau of Mangup has become a capital of the Goths’ Princedom and turned into a big town which has outgrown the fortification walls. In the 13th century it has turned into a capital of the later Byzantine Principality of Theodoro, and the Ottoman fortress in the end of the Mangup glorious history. The latter has originated the current name of the cave town - Mangup-Kale, which means in Turkish the “defeated fortress”. The Karaite community has become the last settlers of the town and has abandoned it in the end of the 18th century. The intense history of the place, the breathtaking beauty of the scenic mountains and valleys, the picturesque ruins of the citadel make Mangup-Kale the most desirable cave town to visit on the peninsula.
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