The capital of the Republic of Crimea possesses very ancient history. The city of Neapolis, which was a center of the powerful Scythian state, existed there in the ancient period. During the period of the Crimean Khanate, the town was called Ak-Mechet. The settlement got its name from the white-stone Moslem temple built in the XIV-th century. The third modern name was given to the new governorate center by Catherine the Great in 1784. There were some words about Simferopol: “This populated point’s title means a city of benefit” in the project of the arrangement of Taurica approved by the Russian empress. The Greek base of the word “symphos” has another meaning: “consonance”. A symphony of eras and fates is a striking feature of Simferopol.
As the city still remains “gates of Crimea” and creates the first impression about the peninsula, so a traveler should pay attention to unconventional tourist attractions of the city.
Total area: 107 km2
Date of foundation: 1784
Total population: 342 thousand of people
Wonder about beauty and vigor of the airport
The new air-terminal complex was called “Crimean wave”. Creating an image of the sea, architects gave a unique shape to the giant building. The great marine painter, patriot and native of Crimea Ivan Aivazovsky became a face of the airport. The interior design of the terminal is decorated with a graffiti-style picture — a portrait of the painter in the raging sea background. Recently, a bronze monument to Ivan Aivazovsky was unveiled on the territory of the air terminal. The urban building is provided with environmental friendliness and harmony by the biggest wall in Europe, where artificial and living plants are harmoniously combined with each other. In the arrivals area, passengers will be able to see a large map of the Crimean peninsula made of colored mosses.
Check time with the clock tower of the railway station
The impressive white-stone building was raised shortly after the Great Patriotic War. The sacred land of Taurida was healing the wounds and needed to get energy support. The architect Alexey Dushkin decided to turn a powerful idea into his creation…at first glimpse it may seem 12 signs of the zodiac are set at the main chimes in a weird way. Hunting Dogs, Cygnus and Ophiuchus, which don’t enter the zodiac circle, occupied a place of Virgo, Libra and Taurus. A five-pointed star crowns the top of the tower. Primarily, the spire of the tower was decorated with a wreath of wheat ears looking towards the South-East.
What a secret do the chimes of Simferopol conceal? The answer hides in… the ancient Russian mythology. A wreath of wheat ears meeting the rising sun first is a symbol of the Slavic goddess Zoryanica, who is a mistress of the dawn and patroness of the harvest. The unusual zodiac circle imaged on the clock face is associated with religious faiths of the Slavonic people. The constellation of Hunting Dogs was a satellite of Dazhbog, who is a lord of the sunlight. Ophiuchus impersonated Veles, who was responsible for plurality of herds. The Slavic goddess of spring and love Lada was called a white swan. Probably, the Soviet architect wished the fastest prosperity and rebirth to the city of benefit in such a way.
Ride an electric kick scooter
A rental point of stylish individual mobility vehicles was established in the center of Simferopol. It’s especially well to cruise a scooter along the recently renovated embankment of Salgir. The name of the river saved the roots of the ancient but non-existent Taurian and ancient Hindu languages. A literal translation of the river’s title is “running from the mountains”, what proves the meaning of the most important waterway of the Crimean peninsula. As pearl beads strung on a thread, the same way parks and major tourist attractions of Simferopol are strung on the river’s thread. Thanks to electric kick scooters, your presence in Simferopol will become more interesting and exciting.
Feed birds and squirrels in the Park of Yuri Gagarin
The largest park of Simferopol was named after the first astronaut of our world. Visitors will find a lot of monuments to the heroes of the past. The local trees have gained in strength and spread out for sixty years passed since the first plantations were set out. The additional beauty of the landscape is provided by the river Salgir. The river is so full-flowing here and thus it forms a lake in the middle of the park. The powerful trees became a residence for numerous squirrels, water pond was selected by wild ducks, including exotic mandarin and Carolina ducks. These cute birds feel themselves as masters in the park and they are very happy to food visitors of the park provide them with.
Make a wish in the park of “Salgirka”
The history of the oldest park is closely linked to the names of the people, who made many good things for prosperity of the land of Crimea. The large estate of one of discoverers of Taurida Peter Pallas was preserved on the riverside of Salgir. There is a villa in the center of the park. Its architecture consists of the classic style elegantly combining with the oriental flavor. This small palace was built by the Taurian governor Dmitriy Naryshkin in 1824. Ten years later, the estate was bought by the governor-general of Novorossiya Mikhail Vorontsov. Nicholas I and his family stayed at the residence of Vorontsov in Simferopol. During the Russian Civil War, the world-known scientists lived and worked on the territory of the “Salgirka” park, such as the author of the noosphere concept Vladimir Vernadsky and founder of the modern forestry Georgy Morozov. The old huge plane tree is a living witness of the great history of the park. Currently, a glade around it is covered with a carpet of golden leaves. As a rule, photos of that landscape people take are very beautiful and bright! The marble lion statues securing the peace of the park of “Salgirka” look like pretty much the same as the statues located in the Vorontsov Palace near Alupka!
Light a candle at the Holy Trinity Cathedral
The church in the name of the Holy Trinity was raised in 1868. The following sacred objects are stored within the cathedral: an icon of Our Lady of Sorrows, which renewed in a wonderful way and hallows of Saint Luke, who was an archbishop of Crimea and mostly known in the world as a professor of medicine Valentin Voyno-Yasenetsky (1877-1961). He was called a healer of souls and physician of bodies. The Russian prelate suffered repressions three times at the hands of the atheistic authorities for his personal persuasions. He spent 11 years in prisons and exiles. At the same time, the scientific works of Voyno-Yasenetsky were awarded by a Doctor of Science degree and Stalin Prize. The prelate headed the Crimean diocese and he was also canonized in 1996. There is a museum at the monastery dedicated to the life and feat of Luke the Crimean. The exposition includes photos, documents and personal things of the archbishop.
Enjoy museum’s masterpieces
Visiting of museums provides a person with much cordial and mental food. The Simferopol State Art Museum will delight its guests with a big diverse exposition: icons of Moscow school of icon painting of XVI-XVII centuries, art works of master painters of XVIII-th and early XX-th centuries and interesting paintings of the Soviet art. The art works of Crimean painters of the Silver Age arouse much interest.
The Taurida Central Museum is a goldmine of information for an ethnographer. History and nature lovers will much know of paleontology, geology, geography and protected landscapes. The expositions devoted to the history of Crimea from the ancient times until the beginning of the XX-th century reveal the past of Taurida filled with important events.
The Crimean Ethnographic Museum tells visitors about ethnography and culture of 25 nationalities and ethnic groups living in the region. The exhibition “Crimean chest” represents the collection of Armenian, Crimean Tatar and Krymchak jewelry dating back to the end of XVIII-th and beginning of the XX-th centuries. The museum of embroidery tells its visitors about the multiform conventional art.
Of course, the Museum of the History of Simferopol is small, but it’s very cognitive, as it reflects the life of the city from the founding date until today.
Evaluate delights at the “Overbite” gallery
The gallery of the modern art “Overbite” will be liked by alternative art lovers. A non-formal and non-format exhibition implies a unique “travelling different worlds-paintings” and offers an opportunity to watch the development of contemporary art.
Imagine the capital of Scythians
Visiting the historical and archeological conservation area, you will be able to know how the “Scythian Neapolis” looked like earlier. The fortress existed about 500 years on the impregnable cliffs — between the II-nd and III-rd centuries A.C. Its greater part is hidden beneath the ground, though even those remains of the fortress, which were excavated and prepared for exhibiting, inspire sincere respect.
The ruins of the mausoleum are covered with a guard pavilion built in the form of the monumental tower. Archeologists discovered a king burial place inside of the tomb. His bones were literally strewn with golden jewelry. The top of the tower is fitted with an observation platform with a view of the ancient settlement and modern Simferopol. When you stand here you feel yourself like a ruler of a powerful state…
Taste specialties of Simferopol
The city is beneficial not only for a soul, but it’s useful for a stomach too. The legendary catering place of Simferopol is located within the “walls decorated with dragons”. A merchant Christopher Chirahov built the facility in the end of the XIX-th century. Following directions of his client, an architect depicted the giant dragons on the facade of the building. The first floor was occupied by the governorate shashlik house, which was recommended by all the pre-revolutionary guide books. The restaurant “Yuzhniy” was placed there in the 60s and 70s of the XX-th century. Its signature dish was Simferopol-style sausages. A new-fashioned pizza shop was opened for the 200th anniversary of the Crimean capital in 1984. Old timers tell that a specially invited chef from Italy cooked there the first week from the date of catering place’s opening. Now, the old-school pizza shop continues keeping all the traditions of the Soviet cuisine. By the way, a catch-all soup is quite good along with sausages and pizza.
Another course deserving attention is Soviet-style cannolis laced with protein cream. As it should be, the truest cakes are sold near the State Council of the Republic of Crimea. The GOST technology performs wonders. A small turn of connoisseurs of high-quality products can be always noticed near the showcase of the pizza shop.
Where can you eat?
Having researched reviews of citizens and guests of Simferopol at the famous travel website “TripAdvisor”, journalists of “The Crimean Magazine” created a list of catering places, where tourists are able to eat, while they are out of excursions.
Time to breakfast
Your morning should be started off with visiting of the “23 Cafe Boulangerie” catering place, which is located in the center of the Crimean capital. A cozy atmosphere of Parisian bake shop will present a pleasant awakening to its guests and large portions of food guarantee a vigor charge for the whole day. Most frequently, guests of the cafe point out affordable prices, nice dish serving and particular demand desserts.
If you want to satisfy both your gastronomic and mental preferences, then you should have dinner at the “Kirov Bar”. Usually, clients of the bar describe live music, friendly personnel and unobtrusive service as the main advantages of that catering place. After the menu updating, diners can find meals for every taste — from usual burgers to real culinary delights.
Get some supper
The hearty and tasty cuisine of the “Baarle” pub will become a perfect ending of the day. The menu presents all meals required for good supper: variety of meat dishes, vegetables and snacks. A wide range of hop-based craft drinks will be offered to connoisseurs and responsive personnel is always ready to inform you about features of the beverages.
Reference: Crimean Magazine