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Simferopol (sēmfyĭrôˈpəl), city (1989 pop. 344,000), capital of Crimea, on the Salgir River and on the Sevastopol-Kharkiv rail line. From 1954 part of Ukraine (then the Ukrainian SSR), the city passed to Russian control in 2014 after the occupation and annexation of Crimea. Simferopol is a land and water transport hub and a commercial center in the heart of a truck-farming and fruit-growing region. Industries include food processing, wine making, fruit canning, and the manufacture of machinery, machine tools, power station equipment, and consumer goods. Tourism is also economically important.

Simferopol occupies the site of an ancient Scythian capital founded (3d cent. B.C.) by King Skilur as the fortress of Neapolis. Called Ak-Mechet under Tatar rule (15th–18th cent.), it was renamed Simferopol after its annexation to Russia in 1784. The city became the capital of the Crimean Tatar nationalist government in 1918 and of Gen. P. N. Wrangel's White government in 1920. It was the capital of the Crimean Autonomous SSR from 1921 until 1945. The old section of Simferopol has retained its Turkic appearance.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city and administrative center of Crimean Oblast, Ukrainian SSR. Situated on the Salgir River. Railroad station. Highway junction. Airport. Population, 280,000 (1975; 143,000 in 1939,186,000 in 1959,249,000 in 1970).

From the third century B.C. to the fourth century A.D., the city of Neapolis, government center of the Scythian state, was located in what is now the city of Simferopol’. The city later became the site of the Tatar fortress Kermenchik, which was succeeded in the 15th century by the Tatar settlement Akmechet’. Simferopol’ was founded in 1784 as the administrative center of Tavrida Oblast (province from 1787 to 1896 and from 1802) and was a local trade center in the 19th century. The Lozovaia-Sevastopol’ railroad was built through Simferopol’ in 1874. A Social Democratic organization was formed here in 1900, and Soviet power was established on Jan. 13 (26), 1918. Captured by interventionists and White Guards, the city was liberated on Nov. 13, 1920. Simferopol’ was the capital of the Crimean ASSR from 1921 to 1945. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), the city was occupied by fascist German troops from Nov. 1, 1941, to Apr. 13, 1944, and underground party and Komsomol organizations were active. (I. A. Kozlov was secretary of the underground city committee of the party).

After the war, Simferopol’ was restored, and industrial enterprises were reconstructed and expanded. The city became a major industrial center. The main branches of industry are food processing, represented by canning, wine-making, and the processing of essential oils, meat, dairy products, and tobacco, and light industry, represented by weaving and the production of knitwear, cotton, clothing, leather goods, and footwear. Machine building and metalworking are also important and include plants specializing in automotive repair and plants producing equipment for the food-processing industry, television sets, and spare parts for agricultural machinery. Simferopol’ also has a chemical industry, producing plastic articles and household chemicals. In addition, there is production of building materials. A reservoir and the V. I. Lenin State Regional Electric Power Plant are located near the city.

In the postwar years, a community service center with a park was built, and new residential complexes, including the housing along Iu. Gagarin Prospect (1957–65; architect V. P. Melik-Par-sadanov), were constructed. These years also saw the construction of a railroad terminal (1953; architects A. N. Dushkin and others) and a palace of Pioneers and schoolchildren (1971; architects B. D. Iabchanik and E. V. Kondratskii). A monument to V. I. Lenin (bronze and granite, 1967; sculptor V. G. Stamov) was built.

Simferopol’ has three higher educational institutions, including the University of Simferopol’, and nine specialized secondary schools, including technicums for railroad transport, motor transport, food processing, and food preparation and serving. There is a Ukrainian music and drama theater, a Russian drama theater, a puppet theater, an art museum, and a museum of local lore. Simferopol’ is a tourist center and is linked by trolleybus with the southern coast of the Crimea.


Baev, E. Simferopol’: Ocherk-putevoditel’. Simferopol’, 1967.
Simferopol’. (Photo album with text by G. Mikhailenko and photos by N. Plaksin.) Kiev, 1968.
[Dumnov, D. F., compiler.] Simferopol’: Putevoditel’-spravochnik. Simferopol’, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in S Ukraine on the S Crimean Peninsula: a Scythian town in the 1st century bc; seized by the Russians in 1736. Pop.: 344 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005