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Feodosia Sights | Genoese Fortress Kafa
Individual and group tours to Feodosia

Ukraine Feodosia Sights - Genoese Fortress Kafa
Genoese fortress Kafa - medieval castle in Feodosia was built by representatives of Genoa Republic in the XIV century for the defense of largest landowning in Crimea.

In 1226 the Genoese merchants bargained with the Tatar khan Timur Oran to buy Feodosia ruins and in their place built a fortress Kafa which became the center of Black Sea possessions of Genoa republic. Pretty soon the fortress Kafa has become a major transit hub of international trade and the stronghold of the Genoese colony in the Black Sea. Thought Kafa was exported to Europe precious stones and gold, oriental spices and wheat.

The fortress Kafa had two lines of fortifications: the citadel and the outer part. The citadel was built in the years 1340-1343 on the steep slopes towards the sea around the Quarantine Hill serves as the primary obstacle to the enemy and fully completed for another ten years.

The Citadel was built of limestone. Building materials for the fortress were mined on the slopes of surrounding mountains or from the bottom of the sea. The length of the walls of the citadel was 718 meters of which are preserved only 469 meters. Walls reaching 11 meters in height and 2 meters in width. Outer perimeter of the fortress was almost 5.5 kilometers long and consisted of more than 30 towers.

The administrative center of Kafa in the citadel was well-fortified town. In the citadel housed the courthouse with a balcony to declare the consular regulations, the treasury, the consular palace, the residence of the Roman bishop as well as offices for verification of weights, shops especially valuable commodities - precious stones, furs, silks and warehouses.

In the XIV-XVII centuries in Feodosia as in all the coastal cities of the Mediterranean slave trade flourished. With its convenient port in the city formed the largest slave market on the peninsula. Its turnover was huge and sometimes reached 30 000 people. Along with the various artisans and captive soldiers there were many women and especially children. In the summer of 1522 at this slave market was sold the young daughter of a priest Gavril Lisowskiy from Rohatyn (a small town in Western Ukraine) - Anastasia Lisovskaya. Leaving Kafa as a slave after a year in Istanbul she became one of the most powerful women in world history - Roxolana - the wife of Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

Kafa is associated with and one of the tragic events in European history - the epidemic of plague in 1347-1351. In the 1347 siege of Kafa fortress was done by Khan Dzhenibek troops and happened outbreak of plague. Unable to capture the Kafa nomads with catapults began throwing corpses with plague through the defensive wall in the city. Illness forced to leave the Genoese fortress escaping from the city. In those places where the ships from Kafa stopped on the way to Genoa there were foci of plague. A terrible disease has destroyed 75 million people - a quarter of the population of medieval Europe.

In the XIX century most buildings of Kafa fortress were dismantled. Until now preserved southern wall of the citadel with two towers (the tower St. Clement and the tower of Crisco), part of the western wall, gate piers, a few towers in different parts of the city. In the area closest to the citadel nowadays there are bridge, Turkish baths and several churches: Church of St. John the Baptist (1348), Church of St. John the Evangelist (XIV c.), St. George's Church (XIV c.), St. Stephen's Church (XIV century).

Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide

Pavel Korsun
Tour Guide
Ukraine tours and Kiev tours

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