Surroundings of the Shuldan cave monastery

Shuldan Cave Monastery

Surroundings of the Shuldan cave monastery
Founded in the 8th century by icon-worshiping monks who fled from Byzantium, the monastery is located to the north of the village of Ternovka, Sebastopol region. Shuldan is translated as "echoing place" or "impregnable place". Opened for tourists, you will encounter monks and novices living there. You can also experience an overnight stay in a monk cell.

Secrets of ancient time

South Crimea
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South Crimea

Shuldan cave monastery is overhanging the Shul Valley. The path to the monastery leads to the southwest mountainside, through a huge natural grotto, in the east part blocked with rocks.

The monastery consists of two cave temples and twenty rooms for religious and household purposes, arranged in two tiers. It is possible to enter the monastery from the east through a wide doorway. The door, judging by the cuts in the rock, was reliably locked with a wooden bar. Behind the doorway, a stairway carved in the rock leads up to a complex of large natural caves.

According to M. E. Choref, the diocese could have been moved to Shuldan after the destruction of Eski-Kermen in 1299. During the principality of Theodoro, most likely no earlier than the early 15th century, the monastery was rebuilt, the temple was expanded, and a new baptistery appeared.

There are two versions of the monastery: according to one, he was founded in the VIII-IX centuries. Icon-worshipers monks who fled from Byzantium, which at that time ruled the emperors-iconoclasts. According to another, the Crimean cave monasteries were not created before the XI-XII centuries, and on Mangup and in its neighborhood in the existence of the principality of Theodoro (XIV-XV centuries).

Outside the Shuldan cave monastery
Outside the Shuldan cave monastery
Icons inside the Shuldan cave monastery
Icons inside the Shuldan cave monastery

The monks who lived in Shuldan were engaged in viticulture and winemaking.

A relatively small number of cells and outbuildings in the presence of two churches and a baptistery indicate that the monastery was constantly visited by people from surrounding villages, especially during large worship services.

Most likely from the late XV century, after the capture of the Crimea by the Turks, the complex practically does not function, and its premises the residents of the neighboring village used for household purposes. Over time, Shuldan fell into disrepair, the grotto was destroyed, under the stone, rubble were buried many caves and stairs that led to the temples.

Today, the sacred place is being restored by monks, who equipped it with residential cells and outbuildings. Despite the renovation works, the site is open to the public.

Next to the monastery is the plateau of Shuldan, they are connected by a staircase built by the monks. On the plateau is another religious building, the tower-chapel, built more recently. It has an observation deck, which offers a stunning panorama of the Shul valley.

In the daytime you can see the dome of the chapel shining in the sun, it serves as a reference point for travelers and pilgrims.

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