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Genoese fortress of Caffa
Feodosia city flag.gif
Feodosia city COA2016.gif
Coat of arms
Outline Map of Crimea (disputed status).svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Feodosiya within Crimea
Coordinates: 45°2′56″N35°22′45″E / 45.04889°N 35.37917°E / 45.04889; 35.37917 Coordinates: 45°2′56″N35°22′45″E / 45.04889°N 35.37917°E / 45.04889; 35.37917
Country Disputed:
Republic Flag of Crimea.svg  Crimea
Municipality Feodosia Municipality
50 m (160 ft)
Time zone UTC+3 (MSK)
Postal code
Area code(s) +7-36562
Former names Kefe (until 1784), Caffa (until the 15th century)
Climate Cfa
Website feo.rk.gov.ru

Feodosia (Russian : Феодосия, Feodosiya; Ukrainian : Феодо́сія, Feodosiia; [1] Crimean Tatar and Turkish: Kefe), also called Theodosia (from Greek : Θεοδοσία), is a port and resort, a town of regional significance in Crimea on the Black Sea coast. Feodosia serves as the administrative center of Feodosia Municipality, one of the regions into which Crimea is divided. During much of its history the city was known as Caffa (Ligurian: Cafà) or Kaffa. Population: 69,145 (2014 Census). [2]

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Ukrainian language language member of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages

Ukrainian is an East Slavic language. It is the official state language of Ukraine, one of the three official languages in the unrecognized state of Transnistria, the other two being Romanian and Russian. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic script.

Crimean Tatar language Turkic language spoken in Crimea, Central Asia (mainly in Uzbekistan), and the Crimean Tatar diasporas in Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria

Crimean Tatar, also called Crimean Turkic or simply Crimean, is a Kipchak Turkic language spoken in Crimea and the Crimean Tatar diasporas of Uzbekistan, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria, as well as small communities in the United States and Canada. It should not be confused with Tatar proper, spoken in Tatarstan and adjacent regions in Russia; the languages are related, but belong to two different subgroups of the Kipchak languages and thus are not mutually intelligible. Crimean Tatar arrived in the 13th century with the Mongol Golden Horde, succeeding the Crimean Greek and Crimean Gothic Principality of Theodoro, and continued through the 15th–18th century Crimean Khanate period. Though only distantly related, it has been extensively influenced by nearby Oghuz Turkic languages such as Azerbaijani, Turkish and Turkmen.




Theodosia and other Greek colonies along the north coast of the Black Sea from the 8th to the 3rd century BC Greek colonies of the Northern Euxine Sea (Black Sea).svg
Theodosia and other Greek colonies along the north coast of the Black Sea from the 8th to the 3rd century BC

The city was founded as Theodosia (Θεοδοσία) by Greek colonists from Miletos in the 6th century BC. Noted for its rich agricultural lands, on which its trade depended, it was destroyed by the Huns in the 4th century AD.

Greeks in pre-Roman Crimea

Greek city-states began establishing colonies along the Black Sea coast of Crimea in the 7th or 6th century BC. Several colonies were established in the vicinity of the Kerch Strait, then known as the Cimmerian Bosporus. The density of colonies around the Cimmerian Bosporus was unusual for Greek colonization and reflected the importance of the area. The majority of these colonies were established by Ionians from the city of Miletus in Asia Minor. By the mid-1st century BC the Bosporan Kingdom became a client state of the late Roman Republic, ushering in the era of Roman Crimea during the Roman Empire.

Ancient Greece Civilization belonging to an early period of Greek history

Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

Huns Tribe of eastern Europe and central Asia

The Huns were a nomadic people who lived in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe, between the 4th and 6th century AD. According to European tradition, they were first reported living east of the Volga River, in an area that was part of Scythia at the time; the Huns' arrival is associated with the migration westward of an Indo-Iranian people, the Alans. By 370 AD, the Huns had arrived on the Volga, and by 430 the Huns had established a vast, if short-lived, dominion in Europe, conquering the Goths and many other Germanic peoples living outside of Roman borders, and causing many others to flee into Roman territory. The Huns, especially under their King Attila made frequent and devastating raids into the Eastern Roman Empire. In 451, the Huns invaded the Western Roman province of Gaul, where they fought a combined army of Romans and Visigoths at the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields, and in 452 they invaded Italy. After Attila's death in 453, the Huns ceased to be a major threat to Rome and lost much of their empire following the Battle of Nedao (454?). Descendants of the Huns, or successors with similar names, are recorded by neighbouring populations to the south, east and west as having occupied parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia from about the 4th to 6th centuries. Variants of the Hun name are recorded in the Caucasus until the early 8th century.

Theodosia remained a minor village for much of the next nine hundred years. It was at times part of the sphere of influence of the Khazars (excavations have revealed Khazar artifacts dating back to the 9th century) and of the Byzantine Empire.

Sphere of influence area where a state has a level of political, military, economic or cultural influence

In the field of international relations, a sphere of influence (SOI) is a spatial region or concept division over which a state or organization has a level of cultural, economic, military, or political exclusivity, accommodating to the interests of powers outside the borders of the state that controls it.

Khazars Historical semi-nomadic Turkic ethnic group

The Khazars were a semi-nomadic Turkic people with a confederation of Turkic-speaking tribes that in the late 6th century CE established a major commercial empire covering the southeastern section of modern European Russia. The Khazars created what for its duration was the most powerful polity to emerge from the break-up of the Western Turkic Khaganate. Astride a major artery of commerce between Eastern Europe and Southwestern Asia, Khazaria became one of the foremost trading emporia of the medieval world, commanding the western marches of the Silk Road and playing a key commercial role as a crossroad between China, the Middle East and Kievan Rus'. For some three centuries the Khazars dominated the vast area extending from the Volga-Don steppes to the eastern Crimea and the northern Caucasus.

Byzantine Empire Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".

Like the rest of Crimea, this place (village) fell under the domination of the Kipchaks and was conquered by the Mongols in the 1230s.

Kipchaks Turkic nomadic people

The Kipchaks were a Turkic nomadic people and confederation that existed in the Middle Ages, inhabiting parts of the Eurasian Steppe. First mentioned in the 8th century as part of the Turkic Khaganate, they most likely inhabited the Altai region from where they expanded over the following centuries, first as part of the Kimek Khanate and later as part of a confederation with the Cumans. There were groups of Kipchaks in the Pontic–Caspian steppe, Syr Darya and Siberia. The Cuman–Kipchak confederation was conquered by the Mongols in the early 13th century.

The Mongols are an East-Central Asian ethnic group native to Mongolia and to China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. They also live as minorities in other regions of China, as well as in Russia. Mongolian people belonging to the Buryat and Kalmyk subgroups live predominantly in the Russian federal subjects of Buryatia and Kalmykia.


Satellite image. The Genoese ports and later Turkish-controlled area were south of the mountains. Satellite picture of Crimea, Terra-MODIS, 05-16-2015.jpg
Satellite image. The Genoese ports and later Turkish-controlled area were south of the mountains.

In the late 13th century, traders from the Republic of Genoa arrived and purchased the city from the ruling Golden Horde. They established a flourishing trading settlement called Kaffa, which virtually monopolized trade in the Black Sea region and served as a major port and administrative center for the Genoese settlements around the Sea. It came to house one of Europe's biggest slave markets. From 1266 and on, Kaffa was governed by a Genoese consul, who since 1316 was in charge of all Genoese Black Sea colonies. Between 1204–1261 and again in 1296–1307, the city of Kaffa was ruled by Republic of Genoa's chief rival, the Republic of Venice.[ citation needed ]

Republic of Genoa former state on the Apennine Peninsula between 1005–1797

The Republic of Genoa was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, incorporating Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean.

Golden Horde Mongol Khanate

The Golden Horde was originally a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire. With the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire after 1259 it became a functionally separate khanate. It is also known as the Kipchak Khanate or as the Ulus of Jochi.

Genoese colonies

The colonies of the Republic of Genoa were a series of economic and trade posts in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Some of them had been established directly under the patronage of the republican authorities to support the economy of the local merchants, while others originated as feudal possessions of Genoese nobles, or had been founded by powerful private institutions, such as the Bank of Saint George.

Ibn Battuta visited the city, noting it was a "great city along the sea coast inhabited by Christians, most of them Genoese." He further stated, "We went down to its port, where we saw a wonderful harbor with about two hundred vessels in it, both ships of war and trading vessels, small and large, for it is one of the world's celebrated ports." [3]

Ibn Battuta Moroccan explorer

Ibn Battuta was a Muslim Moroccan scholar, and explorer who widely travelled the medieval world. Over a period of thirty years, Ibn Battuta visited most of the Islamic world and many non-Muslim lands, including Central Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and China. Near the end of his life, he dictated an account of his journeys, titled A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Traveling.

In early 1318 Pope John XXII established a Latin Church diocese of Kaffa, as a suffragan of Genoa. The papal bull of appointment of the first bishop attributed to him a vast territory: "a villa de Varna in Bulgaria usque Sarey inclusive in longitudinem et a mari Pontico usque ad terram Ruthenorum in latitudinem" ("from the city of Varna in Bulgaria to Sarey inclusive in longitude, and from the Black Sea to the land of the Ruthenians in latitude"). The first bishop was Fra' Gerolamo, who had already been consecrated seven years before as a missionary bishop ad partes Tartarorum. The diocese ended as a residential bishopric with the capture of the city by the Ottomans in 1475. [4] [5] [6] Accordingly, Kaffa is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see. [7]

It is believed that the devastating pandemic the Black Death entered Europe for the first time via Kaffa in 1347, through the movements of the Golden Horde. After a protracted siege during which the Mongol army under Janibeg was reportedly withering from the disease, they catapulted the infected corpses over the city walls, infecting the inhabitants, in one of the first cases of biological warfare. Fleeing inhabitants may have carried the disease back to Italy, causing its spread across Europe. However, the plague appears to have spread in a stepwise fashion, taking over a year to reach Europe from Crimea. Also, there were a number of Crimean ports under Mongol control, so it is unlikely that Kaffa was the only source of plague-infested ships heading to Europe. Additionally, there were overland caravan routes from the East that would have been carrying the disease into Europe as well. [8]

Kaffa eventually recovered. The thriving, culturally diverse city and its thronged slave market have been described by the Spanish traveler Pedro Tafur, who was there in the 1430s. [9] In 1462 Caffa placed itself under the protection of King Casimir IV of Poland. [10] However, Poland did not offer significant help due to reinforcements sent being massacred in Bar fortress (modern day Ukraine) by Duke Czartoryski after quarrel with locals.


Feodosiya and territorial demarcations in the 15th century Caffa and Theodoro.PNG
Feodosiya and territorial demarcations in the 15th century
17th-century woodcut showing Zaporozhian Cossacks in "chaika" boats, destroying the Turkish fleet and capturing Caffa Ukrainian cossacks conquer Feodosia.png
17th-century woodcut showing Zaporozhian Cossacks in "chaika" boats, destroying the Turkish fleet and capturing Caffa

Following the fall of Constantinople, Amasra, and lastly Trebizond, the position of Caffa had become untenable and attracted the attention of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. He was at no loss for a pretext to extinguish this last Genoese colony on the Black sea. In 1473, the tudun (or governor) of the Crimean Khanate died and a fight developed over the appointment of his successor. The Genoese involved themselves in the dispute, and the Tatar notables who favored the losing candidate finally asked Mehmed to settle the dispute. Mehmed dispatched a fleet under the Ottoman commander Gedik Ahmet Pasha, which left Constantinople 19 May 1475. It anchored before the walls of the city on 1 June, started the bombardment the next day, and on 6 June the inhabitants capitulated. Over the next few days the Ottomans proceeded to extract the wealth of the inhabitants, and abduct 1,500 youths for service in the Sultan's palace. On 8 July the final blow was struck when all inhabitants of Latin origin were ordered to relocate to Istanbul, where they founded a quarter (Kefeli Mahalle) which was named after the town they had been forced to leave. [11] Renamed Kefe, Caffa became one of the most important Turkish ports on the Black Sea.

In 1615 Zaporozhian Cossacks under the leadership of Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny destroyed the Turkish fleet and captured Caffa. Having conquered the city, the cossacks released the men, women and children who were slaves.

Feodosia again

Ottoman control ceased when the expanding Russian Empire took over Crimea between 1774 and 1783. It was renamed Feodosiya (Ѳеодосія, reformed spelling: Феодосия), after the traditional Russian reading of the ancient Greek name. In 1900 Zibold constructed the first air well (dew condenser) on mount Tepe-Oba near Feodosiya.

Feodosia, painting by Carlo Bossoli, 1856 Karlo Bossoli. Feodosiia.jpg
Feodosia, painting by Carlo Bossoli, 1856

The city was occupied by the forces of Nazi Germany during World War II, sustaining significant damage in the process. The Jewish population numbering 3,248 before the German occupation was murdered by SD-Einsatzgruppe D between November 16 and December 15, 1941. [12] A witness interviewed by Yahad-In Unum described how the Jews were rounded-up in the city: "Posters announced that the Jews had to go to jail with food reserves for three days because they will be taken to Israel." [13] A monument commemorating the Holocaust victims is situated at the crossroads of Kerchensky and Symferopolsky highways. On Passover eve, April 7, 2012, unknown persons desecrated, for the sixth time, the monument, allegedly as an anti-Semitic act. [14] All native Tatar inhabitants were arrested by Russian forces as, according to Stalin, several thousand Tartars had fought side-by-side with the Nazis against Soviet forces and had participated in the Jewish genocide. No reliable source or proof exists of Stalin's allegations. Following Stalin orders, all Tartars were sent to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other Central Asian republics of the USSR.



The climate is warm and dry and could be described as humid subtropical, but not as Mediterranean, because there is no apparent drying trend in the summer.

Climate data for Feodosia
Record high °C (°F)19.1
Average high °C (°F)4.7
Daily mean °C (°F)1.8
Average low °C (°F)−0.8
Record low °C (°F)−25.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)36
Average rainy days12810119776981212111
Average snowy days8860.30.100000.12631
Average relative humidity (%)82807975716964647077818375
Mean monthly sunshine hours 637212918225228330828724616685512,124
Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net. [15]
Source #2: NOAA (sun, 1961−1990) [16]

Modern Feodosiya

Panorama Feodosiya seen from the mountain Tepe Oba.I
Feodosia embankment. Feodosia embankment.jpg
Feodosia embankment.
View from Tepe-Oba over Ordzhonikidze (Urban-type settlement under the town's jurisdiction) Tepe Oba. Theodosia.jpg
View from Tepe-Oba over Ordzhonikidze (Urban-type settlement under the town's jurisdiction)

Modern Feodosiya is a resort city with a population of about 85,000 people.[ citation needed ] It has beaches, mineral springs, and mud baths, sanatoria, and rest homes. Apart from tourism, its economy rests on agriculture and fisheries, local industries include fishing, brewing and canning. As with much of the Crimea, most of its population is ethnically Russian; the Ukrainian language is infrequently used. In June 2006, Feodosiya made the news with the 2006 anti-NATO port riot.

While most beaches in Crimea are made of pebbles, there is a unique Golden Beach (Zolotoy Plyazh) made of small seashells in Feodosiya area. Golden Beach stretches for 15 km.

The city is sparsely populated during the winter months. Most cafes and restaurants are closed. Business and tourism increase in mid-June and peak during July and August. Like in the other resort towns in Crimea, the tourists come mostly from the C.I.S. countries of the former Soviet Union. Feodosiya was the city where the seascape painter Ivan Aivazovsky lived and worked all his life, and where general Pyotr Kotlyarevsky and the writer Alexander Grin spent their declining years. Popular tourist locations include the Aivazovsky National Art Gallery and the Genoese fortress.

2014 Russian annexation

Crimea was annexed by Russia in early 2014 and the peninsula, Ukrainian territory since 1991, is now administered as two Russian federal subjects - the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol. The international community has overwhelmingly condemned the Russian Federation's acts in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 68/262 of 27 March 2014 , 71/205 of 19 December 2016 and 72/190 of 19 December 2017 confirmed the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as part of the territory of Ukraine, condemned the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and reaffirmed the non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. The United Nations also called upon all States, international organizations and specialized agencies not to recognize any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and to refrain from any action or dealing that might be interpreted as recognizing any such altered status.

Economy and industry

Kasatka TsNII Gp NPO Uran (Gagra Pitsunda) - ship design R&D naval hardware
NPO Uran TsNII Gp "Kasatka" (Lab N°5 NII400) torpedoes (Gagra Pitsunda)

Twin towns—sister cities

People from Feodosiya

The late-medieval city of Caffa is the locale in a section of the novel Caprice and Rondo by Dorothy Dunnett.

An early 14th-century bishop of Caffa appears in Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose , making several sharp replies in a long, tempestuous debate within a group of monks and clerics; he is portrayed as aggressive and somewhat narrow-minded.

See also


  1. Про впорядкування транслітерації українського алфавіту... | від 27.01.2010 № 55
  2. Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2014). "Таблица 1.3. Численность населения Крымского федерального округа, городских округов, муниципальных районов, городских и сельских поселений" [Table 1.3. Population of Crimean Federal District, Its Urban Okrugs, Municipal Districts, Urban and Rural Settlements]. Федеральное статистическое наблюдение «Перепись населения в Крымском федеральном округе». ("Population Census in Crimean Federal District" Federal Statistical Examination) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service . Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  3. Battutah, Ibn (2002). The Travels of Ibn Battutah. London: Picador. pp. 120–121. ISBN   9780330418799.
  4. Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 432
  5. Konrad Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, vol. 1, pp. 154–155; vol. 2, pp. XVIII e 117; vol. 3, p. 145; vol. 5, p. 134
  6. Gasparo Luigi Oderico, Lettere ligustiche ossia Osservazioni critiche sullo stato geografico della Liguria fino ai Tempi di Ottone il Grande, con le Memorie storiche di Caffa ed altri luoghi della Crimea posseduti un tempo da' Genovesi, Bassano 1792 (especially p. 166 ff.)
  7. Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN   978-88-209-9070-1), p. 855
  8. Wheelis, Mark (September 2002). "Biological Warfare at the 1346 Siege of Kaffa". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 8 (9): 971–75. doi:10.3201/eid0809.010536. PMC   2732530 . PMID   12194776.
  9. Tafur, Andanças e viajes
  10. D. Kołodziejczyk, The Crimean Khanate and Poland-Lithuania. International Diplomacy on the European Periphery (15th–18th Century) A Study of Peace Treaties Followed by Annotated Documents, Leiden - Boston 2011, p. 62, ISSN 1380-6076; ISBN   978 90 04 19190 7
  11. Franz Babinger, Mehmed the Conqueror and his Time (Princeton: University Press, 1978), pp. 343ff.
  12. Martin Gilbert, The Routledge Atlas of the Holocaust, 2002, pp.64, 83
  13. "Yahad-In Unum Interactive Map". Execution Sites of Jewish Victims Investigated by Yahad-In Unum. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  14. "ФЕОДОСИЯ. Осквернен памятник жертвам Холокоста". Всеукраинский Еврейский Конгресс. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  15. "Weather and Climate-The Climate of Feodosia" (in Russian). Weather and Climate. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  16. "Feodosija Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved 1 March 2015.

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The Mufti-Jami Mosque, is located in Feodosiya, Disputed between Russia and Ukraine.

Primorskyi is an urban-type settlement in the Feodosia Municipality of, de facto, the Republic of Crimea, a territory recognized by a majority of countries as part of Ukraine as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, but annexed by Russia in 2014. Population: 12,560 .

Republic of Crimea First-level administrative division of Russia, annexed territory of Ukraine

The Republic of Crimea is a federal subject of Russia that is located on the Crimean Peninsula. The capital city and largest city within the republic is Simferopol which is also the second largest city of Crimea, behind the federal city of Sevastopol. At the last census the republic had a population of 1,891,465 .

Sevastopol Naval Base Russian naval base

The Sevastopol Naval Base is a naval base located in Sevastopol, on disputed Crimean peninsula. It is a base of the Russian Navy and the main base of the Black Sea Fleet.