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The great seascape artist Ivan Aivazovsky (1817–1900) was born, lived and died in Feodosiya. His palatial residence, where he produced many of his 6,000 odd seascapes and landscapes, is now a national gallery named after him and devoted almost entirely to his work. You can stay in his mother’s rather modest house behind the palace. His stately tomb is in the old quarter of Feodosiya, below the fortress known since Ottoman times as Quarantine.
Feodosiya is one of Europe’s oldest cities. First settled by colonists from Miletus in the sixth century bc, its position at the far eastern end of Crimea’s southern coast enabled it to flourish as a trading post for goods from Eurasia and the Far East. Under Genoese then Ottoman control, this coastline had prospered from its access to the Sea of Azov, the fertile valleys of the interior and Central Asia’s trade routes.
It is further blessed with deep harbours at Feodosiya and Sudak, a rarity on the Black Sea. Today it is mercifully unexploited, and makes a good base from which to explore the dramatic coastline captured by its celebrated painter Ivan Aivazovsky, as well as its historic hinterland, where the hills meet the steppe.
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