Crimea or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is an autonomous republic of Ukraine on the northern coast of the Black Sea occupying a peninsula of the same name.
The total area of the republic is 26,200 km².
As of 2005, Crimea has a population of 1,994,300 inhabitants.
The capital of Crimea is the city of Simferopol.
Crimea is the homeland for the Crimean Tatars, an ethnic minority who now make up about 13% of the population.
The name Crimea takes its origin in the name of a city of Qirim (today's Stary Krym) which served as a capital of the Crimean province of the Golden Horde.
Qirim is Crimean Tatar for "my hill" (qir - hill, -im - my).
However, there are other versions of the etymology of Qirim.
Russian Krym is a Russified form of Qirim.
The ancient Greeks called Crimea Taurida (later Taurica).
The Greek historian Herodotus (known as "the Father of History", 5th c. BC) mentions that Hercules ploughed that land using a huge ox ("taurus"), hence the name of the land.
The earliest inhabitants of whom we have any authentic traces were the Cimmerians, who were expelled by the Scythians during the 7th century BC.
The remaining Cimmerians that took refuge in the mountains later became known as the Tauri.
According to other historians, the Tauri were known for their savage rituals and piracy, and were also the earliest, indigenous inhabitants of the peninsula.
In 5th century BC, Greek colonists began to settle along the Black Sea coast, among those were the Dorians from Heraclea who founded a sea port of Chersonesos outside Sevastopol, and the Ionians from Miletus who landed at Feodosiya and Panticapaeum (also called Bosporus).
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Crimea became part of the newly independent Ukraine, a situation largely unexpected by its population that was ethnically and culturally Russian for the most part.
That led to tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
With the Black Sea Fleet based on the peninsula, worries of armed skirmishes were occasionally raised.
Crimea proclaimed self-government on May 5, 1992, but later agreed to remain within Ukraine as an autonomous republic.
Following the ratification of Ukrainian-Russian 1997 treaties on friendship and division of the fleet, the international tensions slowly have eased off.
Capital (and largest city) Simferopol
Official languages Ukrainian. Russian de facto official. Crimean Tatar is also used.
Government Autonomous republic within Ukraine
- Established - October 18, 1921
- Abolished - June 30, 1945
- Restored - February 12, 1992
Area - 26,100 km²
Population - 2005 estimate 1,994,300, - 2001 census 2,033,700 Currency Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH)
Time zone EET (UTC+2), - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Internet TLD crimea.ua
Calling code +380 (area code 65/69)
For a more information about Crimea see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimea) February 2007.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in February 2007. E. & O.E.
Some time ago I seen a picture of the Swallow's Nest in Yalta, well, I have seen many castles and other beautiful or/and unusual buildings, so I decided if I'll ever get the opportunity I'll have a closer, 3 dimensional, 'live' look at it.
While travelling around in the Ukraine with Hui Chin in 2006, we took time out to do just that.
We were in Yalta and we didn't know the language and I couldn't even remember the name of the little castle.
We asked and we asked, but no one could help us, no one could understand "castle" and no one could understand our description of it.
In utter desperation I had a spark of a idea, to buy a post card of it and show around for directions.
Now, you would think that would be a simple enough thing to do in a tourist resort, like Yalta.
After running around from giftshop to giftshop, bookshop to bookshop, newspaper stand to newspaper stand, souvenirshop to souvenirshop, we couldn't find any postcard of the 'little castle'.
You probably find this hard to believe, but on top of this we had our language problem and memory lapse of the name.
After a long search, we met a brighter souvenir stall owner, (His looks and attire reminded me of the 1970s Hippies of San Francisco), who managed to understand us and our query, and told us that our query is called the 'Swallow's Nest' and we have to catch a bus from the bus station, because it is more than 15 kilometres from Yalta.
On the bus we had another problem of not knowing whether we could see the castle from the bus or where to get off if we couldn't see it or miss to see it altogether.
Again one of the young ladies on the bus, after asking a few people, told us, that we have to get off one stop after she get off and told us the name of the stop too, which bears the name of the hotel nearby, which we forgot instantly, anyway.
We did get to the 'castle' and did walk to it too.
Although you could see it quite well from the bus stop, it is a good 2-3 kilometres walk from it, but it is worth is.
The 'castle' and the general view all around it and the way leading to it is just awesome.
Yalta has many different and famous sights and attractions.
One is, our query, the 'Swallow's Nest'.
In 1889 Tsar Alexander III built the Massandra Palace a short distance to the north of Yalta.
Tsar Nicholas II built the Livadia Palace south-west of the town in 1911.
During the 20th century Yalta was the principal holiday resort of the Soviet Union.
In 1920, Lenin issued a decree "On the Use of Crimea for the Medical Treatment of the Working People" which endorsed the region's transformation from a fairly exclusive resort area into a recreation facility for tired proletarians.
Numerous workers' sanatoria were constructed in and around Yalta.
There were, in fact, few other places that Soviet citizens could come for a seaside holiday, as foreign travel was forbidden to all but a handful.
The Soviet elite also came to Yalta; the Soviet dictator Stalin used the Massandra Palace as his summer residence.
Yalta and the Crimea came to worldwide attention in 1945 when the Yalta Conference between the "Big Three" powers; the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom - was held at the Livadia Palace.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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