Feodosia, the Ligurian port in the Crimea

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During his travels Ibn Battuta will also touch Feodosia, formerly known as Caffa, one of the largest and richest Genoese colonies on the Black Sea

The words of Ibn Battuta

“Al Kafa, a very large city that rises by the sea; the inhabitants are mostly Genoese Christians with their emir named al Damadir [Demetrius?], but we found accommodation in the mosque of the Muslims.”

Ibn Battuta

From the origins to the arrival of the Genoese

The city was born in the 6th century BC. at the hands of some Greeks from Miletus who founded a colony here able to exploit the vast fertile lands of the area. In the 4th century it will be razed to the ground by the Huns, then passing under the influence of the Khazars and the Byzantine Empire.


It will then be placed under the yoke of the Cumans, eventually becoming part of the possessions of the possessions of the Mongols of Genghis Khan and, specifically, of the Golden Horde. It will be around this time that the Genoese will make their appearance.

Caffa, culònia zeneize intu Mâ Neigru

At the end of the 13th century the Ligurians bought the city from Mengu Timur, then khan of the aforementioned horde. The settlement will be renamed “Caffa”, becoming in a very short time one of the Genoese colonial jewels, soon establishing itself as one of the most important cities of Gazaria, the part of Crimea in the hands of Zeneize. There will be many who, during the approximately 200 years of Italic presence, will try to steal it from their lords, so much so that the inhabitants will find themselves both burning it, so as not to leave it in enemy hands, and having to face the first bacteriological war.


Gani Bek, the son of Öz Beg, will in fact use catapults to throw some corpses affected by the bubonic plague here, thus unleashing the epidemic that will devastate Europe. In 1475 Caffa will be conquered by the Ottoman Empire; it must be said that since the fall of Constantinople the city had lost its importance, so much so that technically it no longer belonged to Genoa but to the Banco di San Giorgio.

From the Ottomans to today

In 1783 it passed into Russian hands together with the rest of Crimea, being renamed Feodosia in 1802. During the Second World War the city will be occupied by the Nazi forces who will endeavor to kill all the Jews of the place, also with the support of the Tatars, who in at that moment they saw the Soviets as their greatest enemy; unfortunately, the Tatars themselves will soon undergo very similar treatments by order of Stalin.


With the fall of the Soviet Union, he found himself in Ukraine but, following the war interventions in Moscow, it can be said de facto in Russian territory.

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