(Russian: ?????????, Feodosiya; Ukrainian: ?????????, Feodosiia; formerlyTheodosia Greek: Θεοδοσ?α) is a port and resort, a town of regional significance in Crimeaon the Black Sea coast. Feodosia serves as the administrative center of Feodosia municipality, one of the regions Crimea is divided into. It is currently disputed between Ukraine and Russia. During much of its history the city was known as Caffa (Ligurian: Cafà) or Kaffa (Crimean Tatar: Kefe). Population: 69,461 (2013 population estimate).




The city was founded as Theodosia(Θεοδοσ?α) 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 times part of thesphere of influence of the Khazars(excavations have revealed Khazar artifacts dating back to the 9th century) and of the Byzantine Empire.

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


Between 1204–1261 and again in 1296–1307, the city of Caffa was ruled[citation needed] by Genoa's chief rival, the Republic of Venice. 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 Caffa (or 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. Under Genoa since 1266, Caffa was governed by a Genoese consul, who since 1316 was in charge of all Genoese Black Sea colonies.

In early 1318 Pope John XXII established a Latin Church diocese of Caffa, 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 terramRuthenorum in latitudinem. 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.[3][4][5]Accordingly, Caffa is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[6]

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, 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 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.

Caffa eventually recovered. The thriving, culturally diverse city and its thronged slave market have been described by the Spanish travelerPedro Tafur, who was there in the 1430s.



In 1462 Caffa placed itself under the protection of King Casimir IV of Poland.[citation needed] However, Poland did not offer help when real danger came. Because[citation needed] the Genoese started intervening in the internal affairs of theCrimean Khanate, a Turkish vassal, theOttoman commander Gedik Ahmet Pashaseized the city in 1475, deporting the whole population to Istanbul, in a quarter (Kefeli Mahalle) which got the name from the town. 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[citation needed](no in 1774, 9y before) the expanding Russian Empire conquered the whole Crimea in 1783. It was renamed Feodosiya (????????), a Russian version of the ancient Greek name.

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.[9] A monument commemorating the Holocaust victims is situated at the crossroads of Kerchensky and Symferopolsky highways. OnPassover eve, April 7, 2012, unknown persons desecrated, for the sixth time, the monument, allegedly as an anti-Semitic act.[10]

In 1954, it was transferred to the administrative control of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, together with the rest of the Crimea. From 1991 to February 2014, it was part of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within Ukraine; and from March 2014, it became a part of Russia, following the subsequent annexation of Crimea. It remains a disputed territory.




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


Modern Feodosiya

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 Ivan Ayvazovsky Picture Gallery and the Genoese fortress.


People from Feodosiya

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