Mangup

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Ruins of citadel

Mangup (Ukrainian: Мангуп, Russian: Мангуп, Crimean Tatar: Mangup) also known as Mangup Kale is a historic fortress in Crimea, located on a plateau about 9 miles due east of Sevastopol (ancient Chersones). In medieval times it was known as Doros, later it was given the Kipchak name Mangup (kale means fortress).

History[edit]

The settlement dates back to the 3rd century AD and was fortified by Justinian I in the mid 6th century. It was inhabited and governed primarily by Crimean Goths, and became the center of their autonomous principality, the Metropolis of Doros during the 5th to 7th centuries. It was conquered by the Khazars in the early 8th century, and later in the 8th century was the center of an unsuccessful Gothic revolt against Khazaria led by Bishop John of Gothia.

The principality of Doros was under Byzantine domination from the mid 9th century to approximately 1000, when it fell under the influence of competing powers - Kievan Rus and the Kipchak tribal confederacy. The town was severely damaged by an earthquake in the 11th century., yet managed to maintain autonomy during the Mongol conquest of Crimea but was compelled to pay tribute to the Great Khan.

In the 14th century Mangup was the center of the Principality of Theodoro, a state closely allied with the Empire of Trebizond. The ruling dynasty, stemming from the area of Trebizond, was called Gabras (in Greek) or Chowra (in Turkish). In the late 14th century, one branch of the dynasty emigrated to Moscow, where they established the Simonov Monastery. The Khovrins, as they came to be known, were hereditary treasurers of Muscovy. In the 16th century, they changed their name to Golovin.

In 1475, Stephen III of Moldavia sent his brother-in-law, Alexander Gabras, to Mangup with the purpose of replacing a local ruler from the Gabras family, who was Alexander's own brother and vassal to the Ottomans. In May that same year, the Ottoman commander Gedik Ahmet Pasha conquered Caffa and at the end of the year, after five months of besieging Mangup, the city fell to the assaulters. While much of the rest of Crimea remained part of the Crimean Khanate, now an Ottoman vassal, former lands of Theodoro and southern Crimea was administered directly by the Sublime Porte.

The town's inexorable decline continued. In 1774 the fortress was abandoned by the Turkish garrison. The last inhabitants, a small community of Karaims, abandoned the site in the 1790s.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°35′N 33°48′E / 44.583°N 33.800°E / 44.583; 33.800