This fountain today is the most famous monument in the Palace. Millions of people have visited the dwelling of the Crimean khans to take a look at a construction creators of which could not foresee that glory which would surround it in the course of time.
The Fountain was built in 1764. Initially it was placed in a silent garden on a hill slope and was moved to its present place after the Russian annexation of Crimea. Its original place was at the Garden Terraces of the Palace near the Mausoleum of Dilara bikeç (a woman lived in the Palace under the reign of Qırım Giray, 1758-1764). Historical sources kept any reliable information about this person despite the fact that a mosque and a special mausoleum were built in commemoration of her. The mystery around the personality of Dilara bikeç became a basis for numerous romantic legends. All these legends describe Dilara bikeç as the beloved woman of Qırım Giray.
A legend tells that Qırım Giray - an outstanding ruler and a fearless warrior fall in love with a princess called Dilara. That love became for the khan the most valuable thing he ever had had in his life. However his happiness wasnt long: the beauty princess died, untimely and unexpectedly, poisoned by a jealous woman of Harem. Deeply grieving, Qırım Giray buried his beloved Dilara with the highest honour, having erected a mausoleum over her grave. A fountain was attached to the mausoleum by the order of the sorrowful khan. This fountain, accordingly with the legend, would express those sad feelings into which the khan was drown by the death of
The legend poetically interprets the symbolic of the Fountain. The marble flower is supposed to mean an eye which drops tears. Tears fill the cup of heart (the top big cup on the Fountain) with grief and sorrow. Time treats heart pain and grief relieves (pair of smaller cups). But rememberings revive the pain again (the middle big cup). Thus will be continuing until the person finishes his or her pilgrimage on the Earth and comes to the threshold of eternity (the spiral at the bottom of the Fountain is supposed to symbolize
It is nothing more than a legendary explanation. Sculptor Umer who created this Fountain certainly put other sense to his concept. This can be asserted firmly because this Fountain is not the only one of that kind in the world. A very similar construction could be seen in the Pool Court of the Palace; it has also a close analogy in the palace of Top Kapı in Istanbul etc. "The Fountain of Tears" falls into a well-known category of Selsibil fountains.
Selsibil is a name of a sacred source in Paradise. The fountains of that type were erected at sacred places or at cemeteries - and it was exactly a cemetery where the Fountain of Tears was placed originally. Though there are several similar fountains in the world, only this one has become the worldwide known one.
The Fountain is adorned with two inscriptions. The upper is a poem by poet Şeyhiy which glorifies the khan Qırım
Giray. The lower inscription quotes the 18th verse from the 76th sura of the Quran:
[The righteous will drink water in Paradise]
from the source named Selsibil
In 1820 Alexander Pushkin, the great Russian poet, saw this fountain during his brief visit to the Khan Palace. It is remarkable, that there were no any exciting or admiring about the Fountain in the travel letters and notes of the poet. It was later, when Pushkin creatively reflected his impressions in his famous poem The Fountain of Bakhchisaray which was published in 1824. The fountain and the legends about it were also a source of inspiration for Adam Mickiewicz and many other workers of art who have glorified both Bakhchisaray and its Palace.
The same way as the sculptor Umer did not expect the world-wide fame of his work, Pushkin could not foresee that having finished a draft copy of the poem, he had thus written out the permanent charter of immunity to the Palace and to the name of the town. An imperative need in such charter emerged a little over one century later: after deportation of the Crimean Tatar people by the Soviet regime in 1944 all the Crimean Tatar names of cities, towns and villages in Crimea were replaced with Russian (even better to say Soviet) names. The regime had already concocted a new name for Bakhchisaray as well: "Puszkinsk", "Sadowsk" or how else it was
There were even propositions to destroy the Palace - a silent witness of history of the people deprived of the right to live on the native land of ancestors. Fortunately, the Moscow authorities realized that yet they weren't powerful enough to rename the world-famed poem «The Fountain of