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This paper provides a review on archaeological and architectural monuments of the Golden Horde and the Crimean Khanate period in the works of foreign travellers who visited the Crimea soon after its accession to Russia in 1783. So far, there are a few dozens of travelogues providing more or detailed information concerning sites of Moslem cult, military and civil architecture in the Crimea. Some of the monuments are irretrievably lost, the others sustained changes caused by natural and anthropogenic factors. Therefore, the given sources are of great worth for both researches in archaeology and architecture and development of scientifi c restoration projects. The works under consideration comprised various genres, from encyclopaedic researches to unedited journals, and from literary works to imagined travels, that requires a critical approach to the sources. Numerous drawings of the travellers provide insights into the topography of cities and towns, formed in the last decades of the Crimean Khanate, fortresses and fortifi cations, cult monuments and public buildings, allowing to make careful conclusions of the Russian government’s plans to reconstruct some of these buildings. Another issue under the analysis is the aspects of the formation of the image of the Crimean Peninsula and its cultural heritage in the public consciousness.

Travellers paved touristic routes through the Crimea, discovered the must-see sites, and formed stereotype ideas of the past of this country and its embodiment in archaeological and architectural monuments. That was the way of the formation of the idea of the Crimea in public consciousness, which mixed imagination with reality, and was delivered to numerous readers of extraordinary popular travelogues. Travellers made oriental culture, visually personifi ed in the sites of architecture and archaeology an important feature of the Crimea’s image. A relevant scientifi c task is the search, research, and publication of the base of these sources in Russian, as well as drawings and drafts made by the travellers.


Travelogues from the 18th – 19th centuries, history of research, archaeology of the Crimea, Islamic archaeology, Crimea, imagined geographies

Nikita I. Khrapunov

V. I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University and the State Historical, Chersonese, Chersonese, Russia

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