Cornucopia’s travel guide

Yevpatoria: Ottoman to Art Nouveau


'Yevpatoria is a delightful place to spend a relaxing few days strolling along the elegant promenade and through the back streets of the old town, eating at the museum home of an [iconic Russian female poet](/blog/lost-in-yevpatoria/), boarding a bright blue electric tram to explore the city, perhaps even taking one of the cures for which the resort is famous. 'Like many places in Crimea it has been through a number of name changes, from Gözleve (Turkish) to Kezlev (Tatar) to Yevapotria (Russian and Ukranian, from King Mithridates VIs' title 'Eupatori' meaning 'born of a noble father'). Many old maps have it as Eupatoria… 'In the khans's day, almost 90 per cent of khanate income derived frp, tje [port dues of Gözleve).' From *Yevpatoria: Bathed in Splendour* [*Cornucopia 49 'Travels in Tartary'*](http://www.cornucopia.net/magazine/issues/travels-in-tartary/) Of the khan's total income of 575,000 kuruş, 500,000 kuruş came from Gözleve, according to the 18th-centry French diplomat, de Peysonnel in his book [*Traité sur le commerce de la Mer Noir* (2 vols, Paris 1787)](http://books.google.com.tr/books/about/Traité_sur_le_commerce_de_la_Mer_Noire.html?id=KTNEAAAAcAAJ&redir_esc=y). And it remained the tsar's most important Black Sea trading port after the Russian annexation of Crimea until the early 1800s and the construction of Odessa. But by the end of the 19th century, the city was a fashionable spa resort. This ushered in a construction boom and a concentration of beautiful Art Nouveau buildings. The city owes much of its Art Nouveau heritage to one man: the philanthropist Simeon Ezrovitch Duvan, a member of the Turkic-speaking Jewish community, the Karaim. As mayor, Duvan had a vision of turning Yevpatoria into the Nice of Crimea. He raised the funds to pave the streets, to build a library and theatre, to mastermind the water system and generally create a modern European city alongside the old.
What you will see

A sunny seaside town, with a rich cluster of Art Nouveau streets that fortunately survived the Soviet era intact. The place to take yourself off to to write and paint. The town was frequented by Russian writers in the early 20th century, mainly as a cure for tuberculosis. The Russian poet Anna Akhmatova is the most celebrated. Sadly the great Ottoman walls have gone, though returning Tatars initiated the rebuilding of the Odun Bazar Kapısı at the entrance to the old town, now used as a cafe/museum.

Getting there

An easy hour’s drive from the capital Simferopol, and its international airport.

Getting around

Take the tram.