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The Sudak Bay in the evening.
The Sudak Bay in the evening.
Flag of Sudak
Coat of arms of Sudak
Coat of arms
Sudak is located in Crimea
Location of Sudak (red dot) within Crimea
Coordinates: 44°51′5″N 34°58′21″E / 44.85139°N 34.97250°E / 44.85139; 34.97250Coordinates: 44°51′5″N 34°58′21″E / 44.85139°N 34.97250°E / 44.85139; 34.97250
Country Russia/Ukraine[1]
Republic Crimea
Municipality Sudak Municipality
 • Mayor Vladimir Serov
Elevation 50 m (160 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Total 16,492
Time zone MSK (UTC+3)
Postal code 98000 — 98015
Area code(s) +7-36566
Former names Soldaia (until 1475), Sougdeia, Sidagios
Climate Cfa

Sudak (Ukrainian: Судак; Russian: Судак; Crimean Tatar: Sudaq; Greek: Σουγδαία; sometimes spelled Sudac or Sudagh) is a town, multiple former Eastern Orthodox bishopric and double Latin Catholic titular see. It is of regional significance in Crimea, a territory recognized by most countries as part of Ukraine but annexed by Russia as the Republic of Crimea. Sudak serves as the administrative center of Sudak Municipality, one of the regions Crimea is divided into. It is situated 57 km (35 mi) to the west of Feodosia (the nearest railway station) and 104 km (65 mi) to the east of Simferopol, the republic's capital. Population: 16,492 (2014 Census).[2]

A city of antiquity, today it is a popular resort, best known for its Genoese fortress, the best preserved on the northern shore of the Black Sea.


Map of the Khazar Khaganate and surrounding states, c. 820 CE. Area of direct Khazar control shown in dark blue, sphere of influence in purple. Other boundaries shown in dark red.

It is believed that the city was founded in 212 CE by Alani settlers on the territory of the Bosporan Kingdom. Merchants from the Roman Empire founded Sougdaea, in Greek Σουγδαία (a reference to Sogdia) in the 3rd century.[citation needed] 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 Сурожский)[3] 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.[4][5] It is thought that the Khazars retained the town from the early 9th century 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'.

It became an important location for trading on the Silk Road in the 12th and 13th centuries, despite attacks by the Cumans-Kipchaks in the 11th century and further damages inflicted by the Tatars (in 1223, but also in 1239). The city was controlled by the Cumans-Kipchaks, as reported by Ibn al-Air, who said "city of the Qifjaq from which (flow) their material possessions. It is on the Khazar Sea. Ships come to it bearing clothes. The Qifjiqs buy from them and sell them slaves. Burtas furs, beaver, squirrels ..."[6] The Seljuk Sultanate of Rum army and fleet from Sinop held and fortified Sudak in 1224. Whereupon, the Sultan of Rum, Kayqubad I, built a mosque in 1225.[7]

Crimea in the middle of the 15th century

The Venetians also came to Sudak at the beginning of the 13th century to take their share,[8] naming 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 a qadılıq, the smallest administrative unit in the Ottoman Empire, the town lost much of its military and commercial importance, until the Crimean Khanate took over.

In 1771, Sudak was occupied by Rumyantsev's army. In 1783, it definitively passed to the Russian Empire, with the rest of Crimea. Though sometimes contested, it seems that a mass emigration occurred as a result of the ensuing instability in that period. Even Potemkin ordered in 1778 the eviction of the Christian population from Crimea. The town rapidly turned into a small village, and according to the 1805 census, Sudak had just 33 inhabitants.

In 1804, the first Russian school of viticulture was opened there.

The present status of the town was acquired in 1982.

Panorama of Sudak

Ecclesiastical History[edit]

Byzantine Archbishopric of Sugdaea[edit]

In the Roman era, Sugdaea was the Metropolitan Archbishopric of a Crimean ecclesiastical province named Zechia for the Bosporan client kingdom, whose suffragans included Soldaia, also on Sudak's territory. It was in the sway of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, where it ranked 35th according to the Notitia Episcopatuum edited by Byzantine emperor Leone VI (886-912). However Lequin and Farlati held it to be a suffragan of the Metropolitan of Marcianopolis, near the Danube.

Its historical Archbishops were :

  • Stefanus, recorded in 787
  • Constantinus, in 997.

Apparently it was merged, in the 12th century, with the Archdiocese of Phulli.

See Russian Orthodox Diocese of Surozh for Surozh, the old name of the city as an episcopal see in the Russian Orthodox Church, which has been nominally transferred to the Russian Orthodox Diocese in Great Britain and Ireland.

Latin bishopric of Soldaia[edit]

Under Venetian/Genoese rule, a Latin Catholic diocese of Soldaia was established in 1390, which has had the following residential Bishops :

  • Bonifacius (19 agosto 1393 - ? death)
  • Giovanni Greenlaw, Friars Minor (O.F.M.) (18 September 1400 - ?)
  • Ludovico, Dominican Order (O.P.) (? - 15 December 1427), next Bishop of Diocese of Cembalo
  • Agostino di Caffa, O.P. (23 July 1432 - ? death)
  • Giovanni di Pera, O.P. (9 July 1456 - ? death)
  • Leonardo Wisbach, O.P. (6 October 1480 - ? death)

It was suppressed circa 1500 after the Ottoman conquest of the Crimea in 1475.

Latin titular Metropolitan see of Sugdaea[edit]

In 1933 the Ancient see was nominally restored as Titular bishopric of Sugdæa (Sugdaea), which was promoted in 1948 to Metropolitan titular archbishopric.

It is vacant for decades, having had a single incumbent of the fitting Metropolitan archiepiscopal (highest) rank :

  • Titular Archbishop Thomas Roberts, Jesuit Order (S.J.) (1950.12.04 – 1970.12.07), as emeritates as former Metropolitan Archbishop of Bombay (India) (1937.08.12 – 1950.12.04).

Latin titular Episcopal see of Soldaia[edit]

In 1933 the diocese was nominally restored as a Latin Catholic titular bishopric.

It is vacant for decades, having had a single incumbent of the fitting episcopal (lowest) rank :

See also[edit]

Nature in Sudak


  1. ^ This place is located on the Crimean Peninsula, most of which is the subject of a territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine. According to the political division of Russia, there are federal subjects of the Russian Federation (the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol) located on the peninsula. According to the administrative-territorial division of Ukraine, there are the Ukrainian divisions (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city with special status of Sevastopol) located on the peninsula.
  2. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2014). "Таблица 1.3. Численность населения Крымского федерального округа, городских округов, муниципальных районов, городских и сельских поселений" [Table 1.3. Population of Crimean Federal District, Its Urban Okrugs, Municipal Districts, Urban and Rural Settlements]. Федеральное статистическое наблюдение «Перепись населения в Крымском федеральном округе». ("Population Census in Crimean Federal District" Federal Statistical Examination) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved January 4, 2016. 
  3. ^ The Old East Slavic name of the city was then Сурож (Surozh). There is a monastery bearing his name in the village of Qızıltaş: Russian: Кизилташский монастырь святого Стефана Сурожского.
  4. ^ Hrushevskyi, Mykhailo. "History of Ukraine-Rus" (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2008-07-18. 
  5. ^ "Legends of Crimea: The March of Bravlin". (in Russian). Retrieved 2008-07-18. 
  6. ^ H. B. Paksoy, Central Asian Monuments, p.31.
  7. ^ Notes on Saldjūq Architectural Patronage in Thirteenth Century, Anatolia H. Crane, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 36, No. 1 (1993), 6.
  8. ^ Members of the Polo family and other Venetian merchants having resided in the town since the 12th century.

Sources and External links[edit]

  • Sugdea, Surozh, Soldaia in History and Culture of the Ruthenian Ukraine - Scientific conference materials, Kiev-Sudaq, 2002 (prints only) (Russian)
  • Sugdea Collection, Kiev-Sudaq (Академпериодика, 2004) (Russian)
  • Miscellaneous publications by A. Yu. Vinogradov
  • Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 428
  • Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. I, coll. 1229-1232
  • Daniele Farlati-Jacopo Coleti, Illyricum Sacrum, vol. VIII, Venice 1819, p. 126
  • Konrad Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, vol. 1, p. 457; vol. 2, p. 240
  • (Библиотека Якова Кротова) (Russian)
External links