Since its founding at the end of the 18th century, the city has experienced wars, revolutions, earthquakes, but has remained the political, economic, scientific and cultural center of Crimea
July 29, 2022
Simferopol (from the Greek. “City of Benefits”) – the capital of the Republic of Crimea. It is located in the foothill part of the peninsula on both banks of the Salgir River, the longest in Crimea. It divides the city and the entire peninsula into western and eastern parts.
The first human settlements on the territory of present-day Simferopol appeared in the prehistoric era. In the Chokurcha cave, in the valley of the Small Salgir, rock paintings and other traces of the settlement of people who lived there 50,000 years ago were found.
In the Wolf Grotto cave, near the eastern outskirts of the city (village of Mazanka), student Konstantin Merezhkovsky, brother of the writer Dmitry Merezhkovsky, discovered the first Stone Age cave site in Russia in 1879.
Simferopol was built next to Scythian Naples  ;— the capital of Scythia (2nd century BC —4th century).
Since the 16th century, the Tatar village of Ak-Mechet has been here – the residence of the kalgi-sultan (the official heir to the khan, the commander of the Tatar army). The name of the village comes from the name of the White Mosque (Ak-Jami).
The oldest building in the city (1502) was last restored in 1995. Now the mosque is called Kebir-Jami (Cathedral Mosque) (1).
Several narrow streets of the Ak-Mechet have survived to this day between the central department store and Petrovskaya beam, behind which, on Petrovsky rocks, the remains of the settlement of Scythian Naples (2) were conserved after excavations.
During the excavations, the remains of defensive walls 8.5 m thick, the mausoleum of the Scythian king Skilur, many gold jewelry, marble bas-reliefs were discovered.Items found by archaeologists since 1827 formed the basis of the exposition of the Provincial Zemstvo Museum built in 1893.
The history of the modern city began in 1784 with the decree of Catherine II on the foundation of the capital of Crimea. At that time, Greek toponyms were fashionable, so for the future city, to which all Crimean roads converged, His Serene Highness Prince Grigory Potemkin proposed the name “Simferopol”.
“This name means a city of benefit, and therefore the coat of arms is a beehive with bees that have the inscription “Useful” at the top.
Grigory Alexandrovich PotemkinHighest Prince
In 1842, Nicholas I approved the first master plan for Simferopol. At that time, according to the projects of architects I. E. Starov, I. F. Kolodin, the most beautiful buildings were built here: the Alexander Nevsky Church (it was demolished in the 1930s, and now it is being restored), the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, the governor’s house , Noble assembly, shopping malls and hotels.
In October 1874, a railway was laid to Simferopol, and the capital of Crimea began to grow very quickly.
On the main streets
Simferopol railway station (3) was built in the post-war years and reconstructed in 1999. The spacious, open station resembles the buildings of the Italian Renaissance.
Nearby there is a trolleybus station and bus station, minibuses, taxis. Buses leave from here to all cities of Crimea, and trolleybuses go to the airport, Alushta, Yalta.
Fortification of Scythian Naples
Drama theater named after. A. M. Gorky
The building of the State Bank
The building of the Assembly of the Nobility
Central Museum of Taurida
Obelisk of Dolgorukov
Monument to Suvorov
Holy Trinity Cathedral
Park im. Gagarin
House of Count M. S. Vorontsov
In the center of the modern city, quiet green lanes, cozy courtyards and, in the metropolitan manner, stucco facades with columns have still been preserved.
The building of the Crimean Academic Russian Drama Theater built in 1911 has become a true decoration of the city center them. A. M. Gorky (4).
The building of the State Bank (5), built according to the project of N. P. Krasnov – “architect of the Supreme Court” has recently been restored , the author of the projects of the most beautiful palaces of the South Coast.
Simferopol. Theatre. Gorky, st. Pushkina, 15
During the Crimean War, the founder of military field surgery N. I. Pirogov worked in the Simferopol hospital, he was assisted by a young doctor S. P. Botkin. The hospital was located in a building on the current street. Gorky, built in 1826 for the Noble Assembly (6).
In the men's gymnasium(7) (this is now gymnasium No. 1 on K. Marx St., 32) the Armenian composer and conductor A. A. Spendiarov, the artist I. K. Aivazovsky, the physicist I. V. Kurchatov, the educator of the Crimean Tatar of the people of Ismail Bey Gasprinsky.
At the beginning of his career, the Russian chemist D. I. Mendeleev taught natural sciences here for a very short time. The director of the gymnasium in 1866-1870 was the Russian prose writer and local historian E. L. Markov, the author of the famous “Essays on the Crimea”. strong> – scientific library. A. H. Steven at the Republican Museum of Local Lore (8). Founded in 1873, it is listed in the International Register of Libraries; information about it is included in the three-volume “Libraries of the World”.
The first monument in Simferopol was erected by Prince Vasily Vasilyevich Dolgorukov in 1842 at the place where the headquarters of the Russian troops was located during the Russian-Turkish war (Zhukovskogo St.).
This is obelisk (9 ) in honor of his grandfather, General-in-Chief Vasily Mikhailovich Dolgorukov, under whose command the 2nd Russian Army in 1771 stormed the fortifications at Perekop and entered the Crimea.
Opposite the obelisk, in Victory Square, it is almost the temple of Alexander Nevsky, destroyed in the 1930s, was completed.
The Suvorov redoubts stood on the steep bank of the Salgir in 1778-1789. In the same place, behind the building of the Main Post Office, in 1951, a monument to Suvorov (10) was erected.
At the beginning of Pushkin Street there is a monument to St. Luke (in the world of V.F. Voyno-Yasenetsky – Archbishop of Crimea and Simferopol, doctor of theology and medicine), who from 1945 to 1961 headed the Crimean diocese.
A silver shrine with the relics of St. Luke is installed in Holy Trinity Cathedral(11) Simferopol.
Prince of Crimea
During the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774, Prince Vasily Dolgorukov commanded an army of 30,000 soldiers and in 1771, defeating an army of 70,000 Khan Selim-Girey, took Perekop to go further south.
At the Cafe, Dolgorukov defeated the new 90,000-strong army of the khan and conquered Arabat, Kerch, Balaklava, Taman, and Yeni-Kale. For the liberation of the Crimea from the Turks in 1774, the Empress awarded Vasily Mikhailovich with the Order of St. George of the first degree, presented a golden snuffbox with her portrait and 60,000 rubles. The honorary title Prince of Crimea was added to his surname.
In the vicinity of the current Zarechny (on the road to Yalta, 20 km from the city), the prince received a large allotment of land with part of the yayla (plateau to the left of the highway), which has since been called Dolgorukovskaya.
Along the Salgir River
On the Salgir River, from the railway station to the Taurida National University. Vernadsky, a comfortable embankment with a walking path under weeping willows is paved.
It passes through the park to them. Gagarin (12), past the stadium of the Crimean State Medical University, past the very first special educational institution in the Crimea – the Crimean Musical College. P. I. Tchaikovsky.
In the Salgirka landscape park(13), which he created at the beginning Academician P.S. Pallas of the 19th century, the house of the scientist was recently restored. During his lifetime there was a museum – antiquities, samples of Crimean minerals and a herbarium of South Russian flora. Here Pallas equipped an observatory.
The country house of Count M. S. Vorontsov has also been preserved in the park (14 ) – an architectural monument of national importance. The house was built in 1827 by architect F. Elson.
Since 2003, the territory of the park has become the botanical garden of the Tauride National University. Vernadsky. Now there are more than 7,000 plants from different parts of the world in the park.
The rock garden and rose garden of this botanical park can compete with the famous Nikitsky Botanical Garden.
Among the habitual for Crimeans plane trees, cedars, firs and silver fir trees in the Simferopol Botanical Garden there are very rare trees, including the North American liriodendron (tulip tree) and the Mesozoic relic – Ginkgo biloba.
In the same area, but on the right bank of the Salgir, there was the estate of Kh. Kh. Steven, a scientist, statesman, founder of the Nikitsky Botanical Garden. There, in the wasteland, there is a monument to the scientist and his sons.
Christian Khristianovich Steven (1781–1863) —a Swede by origin, but a Russian subject. Botanist, entomologist, doctor of medicine, honorary member of 22 scientific societies in Europe and Russia, the Imperial and Swedish Academies of Sciences, holder of many awards, including the orders of St. Vladimir and St. Anna.
His son Alexander Khristianovich remained in the memory of the Crimeans as the founder of the scientific library “Tavrika”. The grandson of the patriarch of botany Alexander Alexandrovich did a lot for the Crimea.
The Bolsheviks took away the house and library from the Stevens, even destroyed the family crypt. Only recently, at the insistence of Crimean scientists, a monument to the three Stevens was erected on the site of their house – a large red stone.
In the vicinity of Simferopol, the caves are primarily interesting – Red, Marble and Emine-Bair-Khosar. For convenience, it is better to see them on the way back, leaving the South Bank.
Kizil-Koba – Red Cave. It is located close to the highway Yalta – Simferopol – only 4 km from Perevalnoye along an asphalt road, then along a shady path through a gorge with a waterfall and a river.
The Red Cave was formed at the foot of the low Dolgorukovskaya Yaila, at an altitude of m above sea level. Tourists have been taken to the red cave for two hundred years.
The first plan, visual, and the first description of Kizil-Koba was made in the middle of the 19th century by the Swiss traveler Dubois de Montpere, fascinated by her. In 1823, A. S. Griboyedov walked through the cave. An hour-long excursion route is laid from the lower entrance, along the Griboyedov Gallery to the underground river.
The Red Caves complex is open for 22.5 km, and the total area of known halls is 64,000 m2. A huge system of large and small cavities begins on the Dolgorukovsky plateau and ends with numerous springs near the foot.
The excursion route passes through the first and second floors of the cave and ends near the first water siphon. Tour time – 1 hour, route length – 500 m.
In the first hall, the sanctuary of the Kizil-Koba culture is mocked up, then the Griboedovskaya Gallery, a hall with a stalagmite resembling a dwarf, a series of galleries and halls leading to a large hall called the Academic Hall. After it, the gallery leads along the bed of an underground river, then goes under water.
Since the water in the underground river does not warm up above 9–10 °C, even the first siphon can only be passed in a wetsuit and under the guidance of an experienced instructor. Despite this, there are always many people who want to take extreme tours for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th siphons.
Even the simplest and easiest extreme tour for the first siphon leaves an unforgettable impression — the Bloody Mary passage ”, streaks in the form of sea anemones, a night starry sky, a waterfall of Pink Streams and a sparkling “Snow Queen” – a huge stalagmite from which small stalactites hang. Water drips from them into stone recesses – as if into a large round fountain of tears.
In the Red Caves and nearby, archaeologists have found many bones of domestic animals, weapons, utensils, jewelry and other items left by people who lived here in the 7th-6th centuries BC. These people – the Kizilkobins – adapted dry grottoes for housing on a tuff area in front of the caves. It is possible that the well-known Tauri, which eventually occupied the southern coast and mountainous parts of the Crimea (Tavrika), originated precisely from the Kizilkobins.
To the east of the Red Caves flows the Aleshina Voda stream. It emerges from the cave of the same name, named after veteran speleologist Alexei Pribylovsky, who discovered it in 1958. They began to explore the cave only after 17 years and went about 3 km. You can climb into the hole under the rock, but only 15 m, to the first siphon. In the depths of the mountain range, a large, interesting, but very difficult to pass and therefore still unexplored cave opens up.
If you go from Alyosha's water to the southeast, then opposite the military camp you can see two more small caves.
Not far from the beginning of the stream there is a very complex, with deep siphons, cave Yeni-Sala III. You can go “dry” it only for half a kilometer, and then with difficulty, along an uncomfortable oblique crack. Then the water begins.
Above, on the south side of this gorge, a large semicircular grotto is visible from afar – Yeni-Sala I. In In the depths of the grotto, a very narrow manhole begins, which after 100 m leads to the opposite exit.
Climbing the Dolgorukovskaya yayla, you can find a small and easily accessible cave Yeni-Sala II. You can devote a weekend trip to her alone.
The cave was discovered in 1960 by Simferopol schoolchildren. In one of the halls they saw a goat's skull with lime streaks impaled on a single stalagmite. The cave was one of the sanctuaries of the Kizil-Koba culture.
Chatyrdag mountain caves
On the other side of the valley, the mighty Chatyrdag mountain, resembling a giant tent, reigns over Crimea.
There are several underground cavities on the upper plateau of Mount Chatyrdag, but the main karst region is the lower plateau. Funnels, mines, large and small caves are washed in limestone with water that collects on the lower plateau and additionally flows from the upper one.
The common drain goes to the foot of the Chatyrdag in the Ayan cave and gives rise to the Salgir river. The caves of the Thousand-headed and Kholodnaya are fanned with legends, in which the first excursion groups from Yalta began to be led from Yalta already at the beginning of the 20th century. Emine-Bair-Koba (Three-eyed).
Thousand-Headed Cave is very popular with tourists. In Binbash-Koba (binbash – translated from the Tatar “thousand heads”), they found piles of human bones and whole skulls, they even saw skeletons leaning against the walls.
The bones are long gone. But the cave and now it makes a strong impression, especially for beginners.
Cold Cave (Suuk-Koba) is much larger. Evgeny Markov, the author of the book Essays on Crimea (1906), said about Kholodnaya that it is “a luxurious enchanted palace of the underground spirit …”
Marble is the most famous and most visited cave of Crimea. It is located in the Upper Jurassic marble-like limestones, hence the name. It was formed at an altitude of 920 m above sea level and of all the known Chatyrdag cavities it ranks first in length, area, volume.
Now this cave is first-class equipped: paths, stairs with railings are laid, electricity is conducted underground, lighting is very effectively and competently placed. In 1989, Marble opened to visitors. The route was 1.5 km, and the entire explored route was 2 km. The lower halls remained “wild”, but they also conduct exotic extreme tours.
Tours usually follow one of three routes. The shortest (200 m) & nbsp; – Gallery of Fairy Tales. It is especially suitable for children, both in terms of the time of the excursion and the fabulous shape of the sinter formations. There is a Baby Elephant, Mammoth, Santa Claus, the Frog Princess and, of course, the “Master of the Cave”, a huge stalagmite that looks like an evil man on the one hand, and on the other – like a bald grandfather with a fishing rod.
After the Gallery of Fairy Tales, you can walk to the Pearl Lakes (450 m), then the group will come to the surface only after an hour. This is the best time not to get tired, not to freeze and still have time to look at the stone “waterfalls”, “dam” and lakes with real cave pearls.
We pass through the Perestroika hall with a pile of stones, each of which weigh up to a thousand tons. They were left after one of the catastrophic earthquakes of the past centuries. This hall, decorated with stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes, is equal in area to half a football field, and in terms of volume it is the largest among all equipped caves in Europe.
At the end of the route appear columns King and Queen. As it should be for royalty, they occupy the elegant Palace Hall. In an hour and a half, visitors walk almost 800 m. You can also order a three-hour caving tour along the unequipped Lower Gallery. It is necessary to go in overalls, in protective helmets with flashlights.
In the caves of Chatyrdag, the temperature is 7–9 °С all year round. Warm shoes should be taken care of in advance. Jackets can be rented, but it's better to have your own, at least for the kids. After all, in summer, especially in bad weather, there are almost always queues in front of the entrance, and on the Chatyrdag plateau the climate is about the same as in autumn in St. Petersburg!
Known in the Crimea almost the same as Marble. Between them along the path is only 900 m. The total length of the equipped part of Emine is 700 m. Here, just like in Marble, you can choose routes according to the direction and time: “Monomakh's Hat”, “Hall of Idols” and “The Whole Cave”.< /p>
An artificial entrance was made next to a natural 15-meter well. Animal bones were found in it: a bison, a cave bear, a cave lion, a woolly rhinoceros, a mammoth.
Now these fossilized bones can be seen here, in a small underground paleontological museum.
< img title="From the central streets to the suburbs: the most detailed guide to Simferopol" src="/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/ot-centralnyh-ulic-do-okrestnostej-samyj-podrobnyj-gid-po-simferopolju- 7d21ea3.jpg" alt="From the central streets to the outskirts: the most detailed guide to Simferopol" />
In 1999, an equipped route was opened through the upper halls of Bair with a deep underground lake and the famous Hall of Idols. In 2003, this route was supplemented with a 28-meter artificial tunnel through which one can get from the Hall of Idols to the Dublyansky Hall.
The excursion path, skirting the stalagmites, runs down and opens up a fantastic world of halls: the Main, Dublyansky, Lake, Throne, Idols. The impression from this cave is usually stronger than from Marble.
But there is also an absolutely reserved lower part covered with a huge stone.
The material was published on the site “Around the World” in December 2015, partially updated in July 2022
For Vokrug Sveta readers only: get 50% off hundreds of thousands of books on the Litres website. Follow the link and enter the promo code vsveta50. The discount is valid for the first purchase of any number of books through the basket within 1 day after the promotional code is activated. The promotion will last from July 4 to July 31, 2022. Happy reading!