|City of republican significance|
|Nickname(s): Город пользы (Russian)
The City of usefulness (translation)
Simferopol (dark blue) on a map of Crimea.
|Location in Russia||Republic of Crimea|
|Proclaimed location in Ukraine||Autonomous Republic of Crimea|
|• Head||Viktor Ageev (Party of Regions)|
|• Total||107 km2 (41 sq mi)|
|Elevation||350 m (1,150 ft)|
|• Total||337, 285|
|• Density||3,183.17/km2 (8,244.4/sq mi)|
|Time zone||MSK (UTC+4)|
|Area code(s)||+380 652|
|Sister cities||Heidelberg, Kecskemét, Salem, Bursa, Eskişehir, Rousse|
|1 Founded in 1784 as Simferopol, previously known under the Crimean Tatar Aqmescit.|
Simferopol (//; Russian: Симферополь; Ukrainian: Сімферополь; Greek: Συμφερούπολις, Sympheropolis, meaning city of common good; Crimean Tatar: Aqmescit, literally: The white mosque) is a city on the Crimean peninsula, the status of which is disputed between Ukraine and Russia. It is the administrative centre of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (in Ukraine) or of the Republic of Crimea (in Russia). As the capital of Crimea, Simferopol is an important political, economic, and transport hub of the peninsula. Simferopol serves as the administrative center of Simferopol municipality, one of the regions Crimea is divided into, and of Simferopol Raion, although it does not belong to the raion (district). Population: 337,285 (2013 population estimate).
Archaeological evidence in Simferopol indicates the existence of an ancient Scythian city, collectively known as the Scythian Neapolis. The location was also home to a Crimean Tatar town, Aqmescit. After the annexation of the Crimean Khanate to the Russian Empire, the city's name was changed to its present Simferopol.
- 1 Etymologies
- 2 History
- 3 Geography and climate
- 4 Politics and administrative divisions
- 5 Transportation
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Economy
- 8 Education
- 9 Sports
- 10 Famous people
- 11 International relations
- 12 References
The name comes from the Greek Sympheropolis (Greek: Συμφερόπολις), meaning city of common good. It is spelled Simferopol (Ukrainian: Сімферо́поль; Russian: Симферо́поль [sʲɪmfʲɪˈropəlʲ]) or Symferopil (Ukrainian: Симферопіль).
In Crimean Tatar, the name of the city is Aqmescit, which means The white mosque (Aq—white, and mescit—mosque). In English, the name was often given as Akmechet or Ak-Mechet (e.g. in Encyclopedia Britannica), a transliteration from Russian Акмечет, Ак-Мечеть, where Mechet (Мечеть) is the Russian word for "mosque".
Archaeological evidence in the Chokurcha cave shows the presence of ancient people living in the territory of modern Simferopol. The Scythian Neapolis, known by its Greek name, is also located in the city, which is the remnants of an ancient capital of the Crimean Scythians who lived on the territory from the 3rd century BC to the 4th century AD.
Later, the Crimean Tatars founded the town of Aqmescit. For some time, Aqmescit served as the residence of the Qalğa-Sultan, the second most important position in the Crimean Khanate after the Khan himself.
Russian Empire and Civil War
The city was renamed Simferopol in 1784 after the annexation of the Crimean Khanate to the Russian Empire by Catherine II of Russia. The name Simferopol is in Greek, Συμφερόπολις (Simferopolis), and literally means "the city of usefulness." The tradition to give Greek names to places in newly acquired southern territories was carried out by Empress Catherine the Great as part of her Greek Plan.  In 1802, Simferopol became the administrative centre of the Taurida Governorate. During the Crimean War of 1854-1856, the Russian Imperial Army reserves and a hospital were stationed in the city. After the war, more than 30,000 Russian soldiers were buried in the city's vicinity.
In the 20th century, Simferopol was once again affected by wars and conflicts in the region. At the end of the Russian Civil War, the headquarters of General Pyotr Wrangel, leader of the anti-Bolshevik White Army, were located there. On November 13, 1920, the Red Army captured the city and on 18 October 1921, Simferopol became the capital of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
World War II
During World War II, Simferopol was occupied by Nazi Germany from 1 November 1941 to 13 April 1944. Retreating NKVD police shot a number of prisoners on 31 October 1941 in the NKVD building and the city's prison. Germans perpetrated one of the largest war-time massacres in Simferopol, killing in total over 22,000 locals—mostly Jews, Russians, Krymchaks, and Gypsies. On one occasion, starting December 9, 1941, the Einsatzgruppen D under Otto Ohlendorf's command killed an estimated 14,300 Simferopol residents, most of them being Jews.
In April 1944, the Red Army liberated Simferopol. On 18 May 1944 the Crimean Tatar population of the city along with the whole Crimean Tatar nation of Crimea was forcibly deported to Central Asia in a form of collective punishment. On 26 April 1954 Simferopol, together with the rest of the Crimean Oblast, was transferred from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
After Ukrainian independence
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Simferopol became the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within newly independent Ukraine. Today, the city has a population of 340,600 (2006) most of whom are ethnic Russians, with the rest being Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar minorities.
After the Crimean Tatars were allowed to return from exile in the 1990s, several new Crimean Tatar suburbs were constructed, as many more Tatars returned to the city compared to number exiled in 1944. Land ownership between the current residents and returning Crimean Tatars is a major area of conflict today with the Tatars requesting the return of lands seized after their deportation.
On March 16, 2014, a referendum was held whose results showed that a majority of Crimeans voted in favour of independence of Crimea from Ukraine and joining Russia as a federal subject. The legitimacy of the referendum's results has been questioned by several nations and independent news organizations. On March 21, Simferopol officially became the capital of a new federal subject of the Russian Federation. The referendum was not recognized internationally, and the event was viewed by many as an annexation of the Crimean land by the Russian Federation.
Geography and climate
Simferopol is located in the south-central portion of the Crimean Peninsula. The city lies on the Salhir River and near the artificial Simferopol Reservoir, which provides the city with clean drinking water.
The city experiences a humid subtropical or oceanic climate (depending on which version of the Köppen climate classification is used, near the boundary of the humid continental climate. The summers are very warm and humid, and the winters are cold and wet and often snowy. The average temperature in January is 0.2 °C (32.4 °F) and 22.3 °C (72.1 °F) in July. The average rainfall is 514 millimetres (20.2 in) per year, and there is a total of 2,471 hours of sunshine per year.
|Climate data for Simferopol, 1981-2010 normals|
|Record high °C (°F)||20.4
|Average high °C (°F)||3.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.2
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−26.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||39
|Avg. rainy days||12||11||11||11||10||11||8||7||10||11||13||14||129|
|Avg. snowy days||11||11||7||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||4||9||44|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||86.8||101.7||164.3||210.0||282.1||315.0||341.0||316.2||261.0||204.6||114.0||74.4||2,471.1|
|Source: Pogoda.ru.net, Hong Kong Observatory for data of sunshine hours|
Politics and administrative divisions
As the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Simferopol houses its political structure including the Parliament and Council of Ministers. Simferopol is also the administrative centre of the Simferopolskyi Raion (district), however, it is directly subordinate to the Crimean authorities rather than to the raion authorities housed in the city itself.
The city of Simferopol is administratively divided into three raions (Zaliznychnyi, Tsentralnyi, and Kyivskyi), four urban-type settlements (Ahrarne, Aeroflotskyi, Hriesivskyi, Komsomolske) and one village (Bitumne). The city's mayor is (since the 2010 Ukrainian local elections) Viktor Ageev from the Party of Regions. The previous mayor, Henadiy Babenko, was also (when elected) a member of Party of Regions; but he was expelled from that party in September 2009.
The city also has several main bus stations, with routes towards many cities, including Sevastopol, Kerch, Yalta, and Yevpatoriya. The Crimean Trolleybus connects Simferopol to the city of Yalta on Crimean Black Sea coast. The line is the longest trolleybus line in the world with a total length of 86 kilometres (53 mi).
As of the Ukrainian National Census, 2001, Simferopol's population is 363,600. According to the census, Russians constitute 66.7% of the total population, Ukrainians 21.3%, Crimean Tatars 7%, Belarusians 1.1%.
When it existed, Crimea Air had its head office on the grounds of Simferopol Airport. Simferopol hosts some industries, such as ‘Zavod ’Phiolent’ JSC producing Marine automation control systems; Precise electrical micro machines of low input power; Power tools, for both professional and household usage.
The largest collection of higher education institutions in Crimea is located in Simferopol. Among them is the largest university in Simferopol and Crimea, the Taurida V.Vernadsky National University, which was founded in 1917. Crimea State Medical University named after S. I. Georgievsky, also located in Simferopol, is one of the most prominent medical schools of Ukraine. The Crimean Medical University is situated on the plot, where in 1855 a nursery garden was planted by the founder of the Nikita Botanical Gardens Ch.Ch.Steven (1781–1863). In 1863-66 a school for girls was built here and in 1931 a medical institute was opened. On the same plot P.Krzhizhanovsky built a three-storey hostel for medical students after the design in 1934. The building with clear geometric masses was completed in 1938.
- Saint Luke of Simferopol, born Valentin Felixovich Voino-Yasenetsky, surgeon and Archbishop of Simferopol
- Lyudmila Blonska, heptathlete
- Oleg Aleksandrovich Dzubenko, Ukrainian jurist
- Franz Josef Grenzebach jr., diplomatist of the Russian emperor and trader in Eastern Europe and Middle East in the 19th century
- Andriy Hryvko, a Ukrainian cyclist who rides for Astana
- Adolph Joffe, a Russian Communist revolutionary, a Bolshevik politician and a Soviet diplomat
- Sergey Karjakin, the youngest chess grandmaster in history at the age of 12 years and 7 months
- Yana Klochkova, a Ukrainian swimmer, who has won five Olympic medals in her career, with four of them being gold
- Oleg Kotov, Russian Air Force colonel, Expedition 15 Soyuz commander and flight engineer
- Sergey Mergelyan, Armenian scientist and mathematician
- Zara Levina, Russian composer
- Yuri I. Manin, Russian-born mathematician
- Ekaterina Serebrianskaya, an individual rhythmic gymnast. Olympic champion in Atlanta 1996.
- Lev Sigalevitch, Russian painter
- Valery Sigalevitch, pianist
- Evhen Tsybulenko, professor of international law
- Oleksandr Usyk, a Ukrainian boxer, gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics in the heavyweight division
- Rostislaw Wygranienko, organist
- Ganna Rizatdinova, an individual rhythmic gymnasts, silver medallist at the individual all around competition, ribbon final and gold medallist at the hoop final in the World Championships held in Kiev 2013
Twin towns — Sister cities
Simferopol is currently twinned with:
- Salem, Oregon, United States (1986)
- Heidelberg, Germany (1991)
- Kecskemét, Hungary (2006)
- Eskişehir, Turkey (2007)
- Irkutsk, Russia (2008)
- Moscow, Russia (2008)
- Novocherkassk, Russia (2008)
- Omsk, Russia (2008)
- Ruse, Bulgaria (2008)
In the centre of Simferopol, there is "Heidelberg House", which was founded in 2000 thanks to a private donation of Mr. Manfred Lautenschlaeger, the founder of MLP AG. The House belongs to two partner organisations: "Freundeskreis Heidelberg – Simferopol" (Heidelberg) and "Circle of Friends Simferopol – Heidelberg" (Crimea).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Simferopol.|
|Look up Simferopol in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- (Ukrainian) Мером Сімферополя обрали Агєєва, більшість у міськраді – за Партією регіонів The mayor of Simferopol has been chosen in the city, Viktor Ageev - from Party of Regions, Interfax-Ukraine (November 8, 2010)
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- Ak-Mechet, an article from Encyclopedia Britannica
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- "Simferopol City Rada". Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2008-05-14.
- "Регіонали викинули з партії мера Сімферополя". Ukrainska Pravda (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2009-09-14.
- "Welcome to the International Airport "Simferopol"". Simferopol International Airport. Retrieved 2008-05-14.
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- "Main page". Vernadskiy Tavricheskiy National University. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
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- "Heidelberg House in Simferopol". HeidelbergHouse. Retrieved 2012-10-10.