Sudaq ( ; ) is a small historic town located in
Crimea, Ukraine situated to
the west of Feodosiya (the nearest railway station) and to the east of
Simferopol, the capital of
Crimea. Today it is a popular resort, best known for
its Genoese fortress,
the best preserved on the northern shore of the Black Sea.
It is believed that the city was founded in 212 AD by Alani
settlers. Greek merchants from the Byzantine Empire
(a reference to Sogdia
) in the 3rd century.
In the 6th century, the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I
ordered the construction of a
fortress. The Khazars
attacked in the 7th
century, giving it the name Suğdaq
. The Life of St. Stefan
of Surozh ( ) describes the 8th century town as a dependency of the
Byzantine Empire. Around the start of the 9th century, it was
supposedly attacked by the Rus'
. It is thought that the
retained the town from the early
800s until 1016, when the Byzantines finally defeated the Khazar
warlord Georgeios Tsulo
the town seems to have preserved some sort of autonomy within the
From the 9th century until around the 12th century, there were
important trade exchanges between the then Surozh and the Kievan Rus'
It became an important location for trading on the Silk Road
in the 12th and 13th centuries, despite
attacks by the Kypchaks
in the 11th century
and further damages inflicted by the Tatars
(in 1223, but also in 1239). The Seljuk
Anatolian Sultanate of
Iconium army and fleet from Sinop held and
fortified Sudak in 1224.
Venetians also came to Sudak at the beginning of the 13th
century to take their share, naming the fortress Soldaia,
before ceding it to Genoese control in 1365. The Ottomans took control of Soldaia and
all other Genoese colonies, as well as the Principality of
Theodoro in 1475.
Although Sudak was the strategical
center of the qadılıq
, the smallest administrative unit of
the Ottoman Empire, the town lost much of its military and
commercial importance, until the Crimean
In 1771, Sudak was occupied by Rumyantsev's
army. In 1783, it
definitively passed to the Russian Empire, with the rest of Crimea.
Though sometimes contested, it seems that a mass emigration
occurred as a result of the ensuing instability in that period.
ordered in 1778 the
eviction of the Christian population
Crimea. The town rapidly turned into a small village, and according
to the 1805 census, Sudak had just 33 inhabitants.
In 1804, the first Russian school of viticulture
was opened there.
The present status of the town was acquired in 1982.
Panorama of Sudak.
- The old Slavic name of the city was then
Сурож (Surozh). There is a monastery bearing his name in
the village of Qızıltaş: .
- Members of the Polo family and other Venetian merchants having
resided in the town since the 12th century.
- Sugdea, Surozh, Soldaia in History and Culture of the Ruthenian
Ukraine - Scientific conference materials, Kyiv-Sudaq, 2002
- Sugdea Collection, Kiev-Sudaq (Академпериодика, 2004)
- Miscellaneous publications by A. Yu. Vinogradov ( Библиотека Якова Кротова)