Mangup - the largest medieval fortress Taurica, located in south-western part of the mountain area (on the plateau of the mountain Mangup or Baba-Dag) at an altitude of 584 m above sea level, known in the early medieval period as Doros, and in the XIV-XV centuries. - Theodore.
It is known that the plateau people began visiting the five thousand years ago during the Copper-Stone and Bronze Ages. But only in the second half of III century here there is a significant influx of population, the maximum gain is for the early period of life settlement falls on the VI-VII centuries.
In the second half of VI. creates a powerful fortress Doros for the allies of Byzantium - is ready and the Alans, defending against the attacks of coastal steppe empire in possession Tavrika. At the end of VIII century., The fortress was captured by the Khazars, and soon freed in an uprising of the local Christian population, headed by John Gotha. However, the speech was brutally suppressed, the fort was re-captured by the Khazars.
When the Khazars who owned the fortress near the half-century, it retained its strategic importance, being on the border holdings of the Empire and Empire. In the IX. conducted a thorough repair and reconstruction, even some fortifications. Probably in the same period, the fortress gets its name - Mangup.
Last century, one of the first millennium BC marked by significant changes in the economic activities of the agricultural population Taurica. Dramatically increases the role of viticulture and winemaking, which is marked by the appearance of large Mangup vinodavilen (tarapanov), cut into the continental rock, as well as the appearance of the adjacent valleys of numerous complexes potteries. Life on the Plateau during this period is concentrated in the eastern part, where there were several estates belonging to their wineries.
At the end of X - XI in the first half. these estates, for yet unknown reasons, suddenly perish. There are two versions of death:
The first version - the enemy attack. In the mid-tenth century. in the steppes dominated by a new force - Pechenegs, and in the middle of the XI century. they pushed Polovtsy. And it Polovtsians (also known as "commands" or "kypchaki"), asserting dominance over Tavrica could make forays deep into the peninsula. Their domination lasted until the arrival of the Tatars in 1223
According to another version, the reason was the natural character of the event - a catastrophic earthquake that engulfed the entire South-West Crimea. Such disasters, according to experts, seismologists can happen about once per five hundred years.
One way or another, but the XI - XIII centuries .- this period of desolation settlement.
But already in the XIV century. life on the plateau formed by the city revived and Theodoro - the capital of the eponymous Christian principality occupies a significant portion of the Southwestern Crimea.
The date and circumstances of the emergence of the principality virtually unknown. In 1223, at the Tatar Mongols invaded, destroyed rich trading city of Sudak, and created in the middle of the XIII century. ulus of the Golden Horde in Solkhat (Old Crimea). In the 60 years on the coast appear Genoese (received from the Byzantine right of monopoly of trade on the Black Sea), as well as their main competitors - the Venetians. The capital of the Genoese became Kafa (built on the ruins of ancient Theodosia), and the Venetians are justified in Sudak.
In the mid 90's. XIV century. Crimea became embroiled in a feud between the ambitious Golden Horde khan Tokhtamysh and Samarkand ruler Timur (Tamerlane). The southwestern part of the peninsula suffered defeat, and now the main blow fell on the young capital of the principality of Theodoro, turned into ruins. At the beginning of the XV century. Fortress revives, the Principality is included in the final period of its existence, and at the same time of prosperity and the greatest fame. Its borders stretched eastward to Alushta, but the coast remained under the rule of the Genoese.
The total population of the principality reached 150 thousand people. When Prince Alexis, who ruled in the 20 - 30-ies. Especially magnificent, in the spirit of provincially-Byzantine architecture, rebuilt capital. It actually re-erected basilica and the palace next to it, substantially reconstructed citadel.
To ensure access to sea routes Alex thoroughly fortified port, and rebuilt the fortress Kalamita. In 1433 Theodoret managed to grab a Genoese fortress and bay Cembalo, which greatly strengthened the position of the principality on the coast. However, the response to these actions did not have long to wait. The Senate of Genoa outfitted naval squadron of 20 galleys, with 6 thousand soldiers, and in June 1434 after a sudden raid on the town and a brief siege, the fortress fell Cembalo. Most of its defenders has been broken, and his son Prince Alexei, who led the defense was in captivity. In preparing the assault on the Genoese used the guns taken from ships. This is the first reported case of guns in the Crimea.
Inspired by the success Genoese authorities have decided to settle accounts with an ally of Alexei - Crimean Khan Haji Giray. But the Genoese army was defeated on the floor the way from Kafa to Solkhat that Cafu forced to seek ways of reconciliation, in particular the captive prince was freed after father's death he became ruler of Theodore. Known to his nickname - Ulu Bay (Great Prince), it may indicate that the education he received in a noble Tatar family.
In 1471 after the death of at Olubeya ascended the throne, his brother Isaac. In the Genoese documents it is called Saik, and in Russian - Isayko. Especially when it expanded external relations Theodoro. In 1472 Mangupsky Princess Mary to become the wife of the Ruler of Moldavia Stephen III the Great. In the years 1474-1475. Grand Prince of Moscow Ivan III ordered his ambassadors to negotiate the marriage of his son to the daughter of Prince Feodoritov. However, the implementation of this plan prevented a Turkish invasion.
In spring 1475 the deceased was replaced by Isaac Prince Alexander, but his rule was short-lived. May 31 this year, the Ottoman Turks had landed under Kafoy. A week later, the city surrendered to the mercy of the victor. Were quickly captured and other Genoese fortress and only Mangup provide decent resistance.
To help him on the eve of the siege came a detachment of three hundred trees, directed rulers of Moldavia Stephen III, to help his brother-Prince Alexander.
The siege lasted six months. Thanks to the gun - a weapon which most Feodoritov knew only by hearsay - the Turks were able to break down defensive walls. Nevertheless, the city resisted fiercely.
And the only trick - feigned retreat, managed to lure and deposited on their shoulders to break into the city.
The prince's family, captured, was brought to Constantinople, where adult males were executed, young boys are converted to Islam, and women were in the Sultan's harem. In the captured lands principality was formed kadylyk (DC) controlled kadiem (the judge). New owners, realizing the strategic importance of the fortress, set in it a garrison, was rebuilt some strengthening of the external line of defense, adapting them to use firearms.
Three centuries the former capital of the Orthodox Taurica into a fortress, the garrison abandoned after 1774 when Kuchuk Kaynardzhiysky contract summed up the Russian victory over the Ottoman army on the Danube and the Crimean Khanate derived from vassals of Istanbul.