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Genoese fortress of Caffa

Coat of arms

Location of Feodosiya within Crimea, Ukraine

Country Украина Украина
Territory Crimea
Region Feodosiya municipality
 - Total 97 721
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 98100 — 98175
Area code(s) +380-6562

Feodosiya (укр. Феодосія, Crimean Tatar Kefe, русск. Феодосия, арм. Թեոդոսիա, тур. Kefe) is a port and resort city in Crimea, Ukraine, located on the Black Sea coast. The name is sometimes spelled as Feodosia οr Theodosia, according to transliteration from the греч. Θεοδοσία.


Theodosia and other Greek colonies along the north coast of the Black Sea in the 5th century BCE.

The city was founded under the name of 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.

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

Like the rest of Crimea, it fell under the domination of the Kipchaks and was conquered by the Mongols in the 1230s.


In 1204–1261 and 1296–1307 Kaffa was temporarily under Genoa's rival doge state's—Venetian—rule.

In the late 13th century, traders from Genoa arrived and purchased the town from the ruling Golden Horde. They established a flourishing trading settlement called Caffa (or Kaffa), which virtually monopolised trade in the Black Sea area and served as the chief port and administrative centre for the Genoese settlements around the Sea. It came to house one of Europe's biggest slave markets.

Under Genoa since 1266, it was governed by a Genoese consul, who since 1316 was in charge of all Genoese Black Sea colonies

It is believed that the devastating pandemic the Black Death entered Europe for the first time via Caffa 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. 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 Caffa was the only source of plague-infested ships heading to Europe. In addition, there were overland caravan routes from the East that would have been carrying the disease into Europe as well.[1]


Because the Genoese started intervening in the internal affairs of the Crimean Khanate, a Turkish vassal, the Ottoman commander Gedik Ahmet Pasha seized the city in 1475.

Renamed Kefe, Caffa became one of the most important Turkish ports on the Black Sea. Over the centuries, millions of Christian slavs were abducted from the surrounding steppe and then transported here in order to be sold into slavery throughout the Muslim world.


Ottoman control ceased when the expanding Russian Empire conquered the whole Crimea in 1783. It was renamed Feodosiya (Феодосия) in 1802, a Russian version of the ancient Greek name.

The city was captured twice by the forces of Nazi Germany during World War II, sustaining significant damage in the process.
The Mufti Dzhami Mosque
The Jewish population numbering 3,248 before the German occupation was murdered by SD-Einsatzgruppe D between November 16 and December 15, 1941.[2]

In 1954, it was transferred to the administrative control of the Ukrainian SSR with the rest of Crimea.

The city today

Modern Feodosiya is a popular resort city with a population of about 85,000 people. It has beaches, mineral springs, and mud baths, and is renowned for its many sanatoria and rest homes. Apart from tourism, its economy rests on agriculture and fisheries, with local industries including fishing, brewing and canning. As is the case in much of the rest of the Crimea, most of its population is ethnically Russian and the Ukrainian language is infrequently used there. In June 2006, Feodosiya made the news in connection with the Crimean anti-NATO protests of 2006.

Feodosiya has "small town charm" yet with all the modern conveniences. The city is sparsely populated during the winter months. Most of the cafes and restaurants are closed. Business and tourism begin to increase in mid-June and peak during the months of July and August. During the summer months the city bustles but never has an overcrowded feel to it. Like most other resort towns in Crimea most tourists originate in the former Soviet Union (Russia and Ukraine mostly).

Places to see: Charming embankment, Ayvazovsky picture Gallery (situated just on embankment, near a train station), Genoa fortress (if you stay on embankment towards a Black Sea, just turn to the right and walk a distance around 1 km.)

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities


  • Feodosiya is known as the city where the seascape painter Ivan Aivazovsky lived and worked all his life.
  • It is also the town where the general Pyotr Kotlyarevsky and the writer Alexander Grin spent the declining years of their lives.
  • The town is well known as a birth place of the Russian Aviation, mountain "planernaya" is still being used for para-gliding.

See also


  1. Wheelis, Mark (September 2002). «Biological Warfare at the 1346 Siege of Caffa». Emerging Infectious Diseseases 8 (9): 971–75.
  2. Martin Gilbert, The Routledge Atlas of the Holocaust, 2002, pp.64, 83

External links

Логотип Викисловаря
В Викисловаре есть статья «en/Feodosiya»

Шаблон:Pontic colonies

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