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Updated: 24.09.2003

Simferopol, city (pop. 400,000), political, administrative and cultural centre of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Southern Ukraine.

"Simferopol" is a greek word and means "a town-collector". Actually, all Crimean's roads start in Simferopol. So wherever you want to go in Crimea, you will almost for sure visit Simferopol first.

Simferopol was founded on April 28, 1784 after Crimea was joined to Russia by Catherine II. It occupies the site of an ancient Scythian capital founded (3rd century BC) by King Skilur as the fortress of Neapolis. Under Tatar rule (15th - 18th century) it was called Ak-Mechet. Till now downtown of the city consists of two parts: tatar and european.

The city became the capital of the Crimean Tatar nationalist government in 1918 and of General Wrangel's White government in 1920. It was the capital of the Crimean Autonomous SSR from 1921 until 1945.

Simferopol has a large public transportation system, a big railway station, and an airport. There is a trolleybus line (the longest in the World at more than 90 km) which goes from the airport to Yalta.

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