1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Simferopol

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SIMFEROPOL, a town of Russia, capital of the government of Taurida, in the S. of the Crimea, 78 m. by rail N.E. of Sevastopol and 800 from Moscow. Pop. (1897) 60,876. It occupies an admirable site on the N. slopes of the Chatyr-dagh Mountains, and is divided into two parts—the European, well built in stone, and the Tatar, with narrow and filthy streets peopled by some 7000 Tatars and by Jews. Although it has grown since the railway brought it into connexion with the rest of the empire, it still remains a mere administrative centre. It is the see of a bishop of the Orthodox Greek Church and the headquarters of the 7th Russian army corps. There are a museum and monuments to Dolgoruki, conqueror of the Crimea, and to the empress Catherine II. (1890). The town is famous for its fruit.

In the neighbourhood stood the small fortress of Napoli, erected by the ruler of Taurida some hundred years before the Christian era, and it existed until the end of the 3rd century. Afterwards the Tatar settlement of Ak-mechet, which in the 17th century was the residence of the chief military commander of the khan, had the name of Sultan-serai. In 1736 it was taken and burnt by the Russians, and in 1784, after the conquest of the Crimea by the Russians, it received its present name and became the capital of Taurida.