Simferopol and vicinities
The many different transport hubs that pass through the city from all directions, defines Simferopol as the Gates of Crimea. Yet these gates have attractions of their own, the sculptures in the ancient history museums, four theatres, concert and exhibition halls, the circus, night clubs, along with pleasant parks. The Salgir and Maly Salgir rivers, lined with tall romantic cliffs, refresh the city, along with the green overhangs of the leafy trees besides the promenades.
From the 4th century BC up to the 3rd century AD, the Scythian city of Naples was located where Simferopol stands today. This ancient city is assumed to have been the capital of the Scythian state during its late period (within Simferopol the old city was located on the rocky plateau above Vorovski Street, near the Central Bus Terminal). At the time of the Crimean Khanate the residence of the Kalga Sultan (the Crown Prince) was erected close to this location. The building is now the Kebir-Djami Mosque (at 4 Kurchatov Street) and was constructed in 1508.
The annexation of Crimea by the Russian Empire in 1783 increased the cities importance. A year later, it became the centre of the province, and was renamed Simferopol by Prince Potyomkin of Tauris. This name means “City the Gatherer”. The monuments to General in Chief V. M. Dolgorukov and the famous commander A. V. Suvorov are both located close to Hotel Ukraine, and are reminders that this was once a Russian military camp positioned at a major intersection of roads.
It was Russia that rapidly developed the road network, the industrial production and the health resorts. By the start of the 20th century Simferopol had been converted into a major world trade centre, hosting branches of several international banks. The bank building at 4 Gorki Street, designed by the architect N. P. Krasnov, is particularly noteworthy. In the industrial field, besides the famous sweet and canning factories “Eynem” and “The Abrikosovs' Company", the wine cellars of Christophorov and the meat packing plant, there was the “lspano - Suiza” aviation assembling factory.
Now the leading branches of the city's economy are the factories that assemble “Volga” cars, “Gazel” and “Sobol” mini buses, those involved in the production of instruments, household chemical goods, food, wines, cognacs, juices, vegetable and canned fruit, sweets, macaroni and many other kinds of goods.
The inventor of the Soviet atomic bomb, the scholar I. V. Kurchatov, studied at the Simferopol Grammar School, and then at the local University. Shortly before this a 22-year old man called D. I. Mendeleyev discovered the periodic system of chemical elements, and went on to teach at the same grammar school. Of course a large number of Russian, and later Soviet celebrities have visited Simferopol as they were travelling through, but we Crimeans prefer to be proud of our fellow citizens. The Archbishop Lukas (V. F. Voino-Yasenetski), there is a statue of him at the intersection of Pushkin street and R. Luxemburg Street, was an excellent surgeon, a professor at the Crimean medical institute. He saved thousands of sick and wounded people, whilst at the same time not abandoning, even under the strict Stalinist times, his service to the church. He was canonized as a Saint according to the orthodox rites.
The area surrounding Simferopol is very picturesque, and abounds with small forest restaurants, located along the west bound road towards Sevastopol, and the southerly ones towards Alushta and Yalta. South of Simferopol are the very popular Red Caves, plus the caves of Mount Chatyr-Dag, Marble Cave , Emine-Bair-Khosar and others. West of the city is the village of Kashtanovoye, with its magnificent boulevards lined with chestnut trees. The manor of the Borozdins-Davydovs, owned by relatives of poet-hussar Dennis Davydov, still stands today. In 1825, the writer and diplomat A. S. Griboyedov stayed here.
Published on: 04/09/2005
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