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Sudak Castle, Crimea - History Board {Byzantine/Crusader era}

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It is believed that the city was founded in 212 AD by Alani settlers. Greek merchants from the Byzantine Empire founded Σουγδαία (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 (Russian: св. Стефан Сурожского) 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' chieftain, Bravlin. It is thought that the Khazars retained the town from the early 800s until 1016, when the Byzantines finally defeated the Khazar warlord Georgeios Tsulo. Afterwards, the town seems to have preserved some sort of autonomy within the Byzantine Empire.

From the 9th century until around the 12th century, there were important trade exchanges between the then Surozh and the Kievan Rus'.

Sudak or Sudaq (Crimean Tatar: Sudaq; Ukrainian and Russian: Судак) is a small historic town located in Crimea, Ukraine situated 57 km (35 mi) to the west of Feodosiya (the nearest railway station) and 104 km (65 mi) 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 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.

In 1204 Byzantium {Constantinople} was captured during the 4th Crusade, and the Crimean territories of the Byzantine Empire passed to the control of the Venetians. Most of the buildings of the Sudak Fortress date to the Venetian & Genoan control of Sudak. {Venice & Genoa were two Italian cities with competing commercial empires} The Byzantine empire was split into several parts, with the central parts & Constantinople ruled by a new Emperor, who had been one of the Crusader kings.

The Venetians first came to Sudak at the beginning of the 13th century to take their share, they named 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 Khanate took over.

Sudak - the Barbican {main gate}, and the panorama view of the fortress & citadel. The fortress is well preserved, most of the walls & buildings are intact, except for the top citadel, which is in ruins. There is an entry fee for the fortress, it was about $6 when I was there during the festival.

Every summer in July they hold a Medieval festival in the fortress, with local folk dressed up in costume, craftsmen demonstrating metalworking, tanning {leatherwork} archery, horseback riding and other activities. I am told that it is usually held in July, so it might be of interest for those who will be there at the time.

The first picture is in the large courtyard of the Fortress, past the barbican gatehouse and inside the outer walls, looking up towards the top citadel. This area would be an encampment for the troops, and would hold all of the people & animals inside the wall when attacked


thank you for nice illustration and hystorical inquiry.I was in Sudak in my past many years ago when I was a student but it is great to see this place again...even on photos.

I have a vacation from 29th July and looking for places to travel. Mostly we go to Anapa,Gelendgik,Sotchi...but other places are wellcomed also.

Thank you for reminding about Sudak.

Yes, thank you from me as well )))))I have been there with my mother  just after i finished school ;D ....There was some open dance place, and i spended there each evering)))....And meet  there my classmates ))))Russia is sooooo big, and we met ,its so amazing :biggrin:


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