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город Севастополь
місто Севастополь
Sevastopol city
coat of arms
coat of arms
Basic data
Country Ukraine (de jure)
Russia (de facto)
Capital Sevastopol
surface 864 km²
Residents 416,263 (2016)
density 482 inhabitants per km²
Website ( Russian , Ukrainian )
governor Dmitri Ovsyannikov (de facto)
Image 1
The promenade with the Sevastopol skyline

Sevastopol (Ukrainian and Russian Севастополь , scientific transliteration Sevastopol' , from ancient Greek Σεβαστούπολις Sebastúpolis , Crimean Акъяр / Aqyar ) is the largest town on the peninsula of Crimea . It was founded by the Russian rear admiral of Scottish origin Thomas Fomich McKenzie in 1783 and is located on the southwestern edge of the Crimea on the foothills of the Crimean Mountains directly on the Black Sea . It is the home port and main base of the RussianBlack Sea Fleet . The population of the agglomeration is around 416,263 (January 1, 2016).

Since March 21, 2014, after the annexation of parts of the territory of Ukraine ( Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol) by Russia , Russia and the secessionist government of Sevastopol see the city as a federal subject and thus part of Russia (see Crimean Crisis and Republic of Crimea ). This is not recognized internationally by resolution 68/262 of the UN General Assembly (“Territorial Integrity of Ukraine”). Ukraine regards the territories (including the city of Sevastopol) as temporarily occupied areas of the territory of Ukraine.

origin of the name

The Greek name Sebastúpolis (Σεβαστούπολις) is composed of sebastós (Greek σεβαστóς, "venerable, sublime") and pólis (ancient Greek πόλις "city, state"). Four places with this name are known from Roman antiquity : one in Caria ( Sebastopolis in Caria , ruins 62 km south of the provincial capital Denizli ), one in Eastern Anatolia ( Sebastopolis in Pontus , today's Sulusaray ), one on the east coast of the Black Sea ( Sebastopolis in Abasgia , today Sochumi ) and in Thrace ( Sebastopolis in Thrace at Philippopolis ). The fifth place with a similar name is Sivas , the former Sebaste (gr. Σεβάστεια, Sebásteia , lat. Sebastia), which is located about 115 km southeast of Sulusaray. After the award of the title Augustus ("venerable, sublime", from Latin augēre "increase, increase") in 27 BC. To Octavianus as the first Roman emperor , Sebastós was “venerable, venerable” (from σεβάζομαι, sebázomai “to feel awe, to revere”) the official Greek translation of this epithet.

In the 13th century the settlement under the name Awlita was expanded as a trading port by the Gothic principality Theodoro. In the late Middle Ages the place was a Tatar settlement with the name Akhtiar (Ахтиар). That is why the city is still called Akyar in Turkish today . The Crimean Tatar name is Aqyar .

In modern times, the terms Augustus and Sebastós (roughly meaning “majesty”) could be related to modern monarchs. Sebastopolis therefore means "majesty city" or "imperial city". The city received this name in 1784 from the Russian prince Grigori Potjomkin .


Sevastopol is located in the extreme southwest of the Crimean peninsula and is spread over an area of ​​approximately 864 km² around 38 bays, including the bays on 1000 km². The largest of these, the Sevastopol Bay ( Sevastopolskaja buchta ) , divides the city into a north and a south half. On the latter, the center of the city extends over several hills. Several rivers flow completely or partially through the urban area. The largest rivers in the city are the Tschorna , Katscha and Belbek .

The territory of Sevastopol - up to 50 kilometers in length and width - corresponds to the area of Berlin or New York .

Neighboring communities

Sevastopol borders the following cities and municipalities ( clockwise , starting in the north):
Berehove , Bakhchysarai , Sokolyne and Foros .


The climate of Sevastopol is almost subtropical . The south coast is protected from the ingress of cold air from the north by the Crimean Mountains, the air is dry. The annual rainfall is 500 to 700 millimeters.

In summer, temperatures rise to 40 ° C, which are, however, softened by a light breeze - from the sea to land during the day and in the opposite direction at night. In winter, temperatures range between −2 and +7 ° C. In the winter months, ice forms on the Black Sea coast; In contrast to other ports in Ukraine, Sevastopol is ice-free all year round.


Sevastopol, bird's eye view 1854
Overview of the fortifications, 1854
Map of the siege of Sevastopol
French troops capture Fort Malakov in the Crimean War
Historical map of the Crimean peninsula (around 1888)

From antiquity to the Soviet Union

The coastal regions of the Crimea were from the 7th century. v. Populated by Greek colonists . In the vicinity of today's city center, the Greeks from Miletus first built an Emporion , and from the late 5th century onwards. v. BC settlers from Herakleia Pontike built the settlement with the name Kalamita into the most important polis of the Tauride Chersonesos . Under the rule of Rome and Byzantium , the city retained its Greek character until it was destroyed in the 14th century. and the subsequent settlement by Tatars. After the Russian conquest of Crimea, the city was re-established in 1783. At that time, Catherine the Great (1762–1796) was Tsarina .

Due to its military importance, the flourishing trading city Sevastopol was heavily contested in the Crimean War (1853-1856). After the eleven-month siege of Sevastopol , on September 8, 1855, it was nothing but a heap of ruins; since then it has not regained its former prosperity. In 1898 the first line of the Sevastopol tram opened; this was damaged during the fighting in the Second World War in 1942 and shut down and then not put back into operation.

During the Second World War, the city, considered the strongest fortress in the world, was besieged by German troops and conquered after heavy fighting ( Battle of Sevastopol 1941–1942 ). After the battle in June 1942 only nine buildings remained undamaged. After the conquest by the German Wehrmacht on July 1, 1942 , the Reichskommissariat Ukraine (an institution created by the Nazi regime ) planned to rename the place to Theoderichshafen . The plan was not carried out. In the Battle of the Crimea from April 8 to May 12, 1944, the area came back into Soviet hands.

In Sevastopol there was a prisoner of war camp 241 for German prisoners of war of World War II. Seriously ill people were cared for in prisoner-of-war hospital 3318 .

In 1954 - one year after the end of the Stalin era - under the government of Nikita Khrushchev, the Crimean peninsula and thus also the port city of Sevastopol were transferred from the administration of the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR .

Post-Soviet time

As the home port of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, Sevastopol was a closed city until 1991 , to which even the Crimean residents could only enter with a pass. The small white building of the police station on the city limits still marks the formerly closed city today. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian Federation lost its claim to the home port for the traditional Black Sea fleet. It was not until the 1997 treaty regulated the division of the fleet and the whereabouts of the Russian Navy in the Crimea until 2017, thereby easing the situation. In 2010 it was extended to 2042 in exchange for cheaper gas supplies.

At that time the ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet were next to those of the Ukrainian fleet. They were easy to distinguish from one another: on Ukrainian ships, the ship number begins with a capital Latin "U", and they also carry the naval war flag of Ukraine . The former military installations in the south of Sevastopol in Balaklava are particularly good to see . There is also an underground submarine yard driven into the mountain .

According to an ukase from the first and last Crimean president, the Russian Yuri Meschkow , the city first opened to the Crimean residents in 1994, and later to the rest of the Ukrainians as well as to foreign tourists. Sevastopol was under the direct control of the Ukrainian central government in Kiev and not the government of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea . In the Ukraine, only the capital Kiev had this special status. For years it was debated whether and how Sevastopol could have been declared a free trade area.

Situation before and during the Crimean crisis

Coast Guard in Balaklava Bay

Despite Sevastopol's affiliation with Ukraine, the Russian naval command, pro-Russian authorities and organizations dominated economic, social and cultural life in the port city. For example, the Moscow city ​​government under the former mayor Yuri Mikhailovich Luzhkov promoted pro-Russian activities in economic, social and cultural areas. With these activities Moscow supported efforts for the independence of Crimea from Ukraine.

For its part, the pro-Russian Sevastopol City Council avoided any confrontation with the Russian naval command and Russian authorities and organizations. He also turned down a loan from the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) for the urgently needed rehabilitation of the sewage system because it would have strengthened Sevastopol’s ties to Ukraine and Western Europe.

In the wake of the Crimean crisis in 2014, the city ​​council of Sevastopol , like the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , decided on March 6, 2014 to join Russia and to participate in the referendum on this accession on March 16, 2014.

The most important data at a glance

year event
300,000 BC Chr. First settlement by early representatives of the hominids (Neanderthals)
422 BC Chr. Greek colonists from Herakleia Pontike settle Kalamita and Chersonesos (city)
1783 Founding of the city by a decree of Catherine the Great
1854 to 1855 Crimean War
1920 White Army evacuation
1942 Siege and subsequent conquest of Sevastopol by the German Wehrmacht
1944 Liberation of the city by the Soviet army in the course of the Battle of the Crimea
1945 Sevastopol is declared a hero city
1954 Nikita Khrushchev about is the Crimea with Sevastopol of the Ukrainian SSR
1991 Collapse of the Soviet Union , Sevastopol now a city with a special status within the independent Ukraine
1994 Opening of the closed city of Sevastopol to Crimean residents
1996 Opening of the closed city of Sevastopol to all Ukrainians and foreigners
1997 Treaty between Ukraine and Russia on the whereabouts of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol
2010 Treaty between Ukraine and Russia on the whereabouts of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol (from 1997) extended until 2047
2014 Annexation of Crimea by Russia


According to Russian data, 416,263 (January 2016) people live in Sevastopol.

According to Russian data, 81.1% of the population are ethnic Russians, 14.2% Ukrainians, and 4.7% belong to ethnic minorities ( Belarusians , Crimean Tatars , Tatars , Armenians , Azerbaijanis , Jews , Moldovans , Poles , Bulgarians , Greeks , Germans , Estonians , Latvians , Koreans and others, 2014). It is unclear what effects the flight of Crimean residents on the Ukrainian mainland, the stationing of more Russian soldiers in Sevastopol and the expulsion of Ukrainian soldiers will have on the composition of the population.

nationality Residents 2014 2014 (%) 1989 (%) 2001 residents 2001 (%) Change 1989-2001 (%) Change 2001-2014 (%)
Russians 303.100 81.1 74.4 269,953 71.6 −8.2 +12.3
Ukrainians 52,912 14.2 20.7 84,420 22.4 +3.3 −37.3
Belarusians 3,775 1.0 1.9 5,872 1.6 −22.0 −35.7
Crimean Tatars 2,814 0.8 0.1 1,858 0.5 +490 +51.5
Tatars 2,742 0.7 0.3 2,512 0.7 +140 +9.2
Armenians 1,396 0.4 0.1 1,319 0.3 +220 +5.8
Azerbaijanis 694 0.2 0.1 629 0.2 +150 +10.3
Jews 601 0.2 0.7 1,016 0.3 −64.8 −40.8
Moldovans 574 0.2 0.3 801 0.2 −30.0 −28.3
overall replied 373.872 100.0 373.333 100.0
No Answer 19,432 (4.9) 3,820 (1.0)
a total of 393,304 (100.0) 377.153 (100.0)


The official language is Ukrainian , but the colloquial language is mainly Russian due to the composition of the population . Languages ​​of the minorities include Crimean Tatar and - as a remnant of the southern German and Swiss emigrants to Zürichtal around 200 years ago - German. Most recently, only nine people stated that they speak German as their mother tongue (as of 2001).

native language 2001 (%)
Ukrainian 6.8
Russian 90.6


The autochthonous , traditionally predominant religions are the Russian Orthodox Church , which is subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate, and Islam . But only since 1989 has there been an official Islamic community in Sevastopol again, to which mainly the Crimean Tatars returning from the deportation areas belong. As an ethnically diverse city, Sevastopol has other religious groups, not all of which are officially registered.

Population development

year Residents
1853 (before the Crimean War) 43,000
1860 (after the Crimean War) 5,750
1989 (before the turning point) 356,000
2005 (after the fall of the Wall) 332,954


Sevastopol had a special status within Ukraine : Sevastopol was, besides Kiev , the only city directly under the Ukrainian government, while the rest of the peninsula was under the government of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Simferopol .

The majority of the city council is pro-Russian, with the mayor Valery Volodymyrowytsch Saratov.

Administrative division

The town today consists of the four Stadtrajonen Rajon Lenin , Nakhimov Raion , Raion Haharin and Balaklava Raion , the former cities Inkerman and Balaklava and 46 now unincorporated villages are included. The outskirts of Sevastopol are - coming from the center in this order - characterized by satellite settlements, vineyards and dacha settlements.


Ships of the Black Sea Fleet
Sailors wait for the ferry

Russian Navy

The Russian Navy with its Black Sea fleet is still the most important employer in the region and finances 25 percent of the city's budget.


Traditionally, the shipyards are the strongest industry in Sevastopol.


Sevastopol is the main Ukrainian fishing port. However, the Black Sea is sometimes heavily polluted by the entry of chemicals from agriculture and industry.


Sevastopol is now visited by over 500,000 tourists annually. Many Ukrainians and Russians travel to the formerly forbidden city , Western Europeans are still rarely seen in the cityscape.

Culinary specialties

  • Malakow is the name of a special cake made from ladyfingers , vanilla cream and whipped cream . After the victory in the Crimean War and the conquest of Fort Malakov (Малахов курган) (on September 8, 1855) on a hill in Sevastopol, the French Marshal Aimable Jean Jacques Pélissier was appointed Duke of Malakov . In his honor, the cake was created, which is still known throughout Central Europe as the Malakow cake - but it is completely unknown in Sevastopol.
  • Malakoff is also called cheese balls in Vaud, Switzerland . Like the cake, they are named after Fort Malakow in Sevastopol. This hill was built by Napoleon III's troops during the Crimean War . captured, in which Vaudois soldiers also fought.



Sevastopol Central Station: The starting point of the Sevastopol – Kharkiv railway line

A trolleybus enables public transport within the city . Diesel buses and so-called marshrutnye taxis or marshrutki , privately operated shared taxis, also operate. These minibuses are more expensive than public transport, but much faster, especially over longer distances.

The north and south halves of the Sevastopol Bay (Sevastopolskaya buchta) are connected by a regular ferry . The Sevastopol Airport is currently not in operation for civilian purposes. The closest airport is Simferopol Airport .

Sevastopol can be reached from Simferopol in an hour by bus or taxi. The Elektritschka , an electrically operated local train with very old rolling stock from the wagon factory in Riga, is cheaper . Another way of getting there is via Istanbul , from where a ferry goes directly to Sevastopol. The journey takes around 24 hours.


Marine Institute (left) and Youth Palace (right) in the harbor

Sevastopol is the educational center of the Crimea. A number of scientific institutes and organizations are based in the port city, e. B. two institutes of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, the Sevastopol State Polytechnic University (10,000 students), the Sevastopol Atomic Energy Institute and the Sevastopol Marine Institute.

  • Ukrainian Academy of Sciences
  • Sevastopol State Polytechnic University
  • Sevastopol Atomic Energy Institute
  • Sevastopol Marine Institute
  • Kowalewski Institute for Biology of the Southern Seas
  • Branch (branch) of Moscow State University (MGU); called: Branch of the Black Sea Fleet

Other schools

The educational offer also includes twelve vocational schools and 60 other schools and high schools.


Monument to the Sunk Ships (Eagle Column)
St. Vladimir Cathedral: entrance area with scaffolding for restoration work
Sevastopol: portal facade of St. Vladimir Cathedral


In the “hero city” Sevastopol there are around 2000 monuments, but also many representative buildings from the post-war period. Among them is the eagle column, which was erected in 1904 on a rock in the harbor basin. It is intended to commemorate the Russian ships deliberately sunk in the harbor entrance during the Crimean War in 1854. This should prevent the attackers' ships from entering.

The monument to the soldier and seaman not far from the eagle column can not be overlooked . Its construction dragged on for decades (1972–1989) until the Ukrainian government took over the financing. The height is 41 meters.

Another famous monument is the statue of Russian admiral Pavel S. Nakhimov , the commander in chief of the defending military units at the siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War, erected in 1959 .



  • Panorama Museum: The Sevastopol Panorama Museum is a rotunda on one of the hills that once served as "fortress hills" to defend the city. From the central Ushakov Square (Russian Ушакова пл.) It is uphill at the end of Istoritscheski bulwar (Russian Исторический бульвар). Only one painting is exhibited here, but it fills the entire area of ​​the inner wall of the imposing rotunda: a panorama picture by Franz Alexejewitsch Roubaud (1856–1928), a Russian battle painter with German-French roots.
  • Black Sea Fleet Museum
  • A small art museum is on Nakhimowa pr. 9 to be found. Pictures by Russian and Western European painters from the 17th to the early 19th centuries are on display. Temporary exhibitions are shown on the ground floor.


On the Cape of Sevastopol lie the ruins of the 421 a. Z. founded Greek settlement Chersoneses .


The three most famous and beautiful churches of Sevastopol are located in the center of the city. The golden cross of the Vladimir Cathedral in Chersonese shines over the whole city and is marked on all international nautical charts. Because of this, it even survived the Bolsheviks and the state-mandated atheism of the Soviet Union. The foundation stone for the Vladimir Cathedral was laid during the Crimean War, but construction in the Byzantine style was not completed until 1888. Traditionally, the admirals of the Black Sea Fleet find their final resting place here, which is why the church is also called the Admiral's Cathedral. The interior of the cathedral has been a construction site for years, but that doesn't bother the believers between the wooden scaffolding.


The central park is the historic boulevard with a view of the city and the bays. A 24-meter-long circular image of the Battle of Sevastopol during the Crimean War is in an adjacent building.



Sevastopol is the most important center of cultural creation in Crimea, which is also reflected in the four theaters, including the Lunacharsky Theater ( Russian Театр Луначарского) one of the oldest Russian theaters.


The most important library in Sevastopol is the Morskaya Biblioteka, the library of the Black Sea Fleet .

movie theater

In the city of Sevastopol there are four cinemas with several cinema halls, each half belonging to the city and private people, and three smaller private cinemas with forty to sixty seats each. Mostly Russian films are shown in the cinemas of Sevastopol.



The city was home to the PFK Sevastopol football club . After the Republic of Crimea joined the Russian Federation in March 2014, the Ukrainian football association PFK excluded Sevastopol from the Premjer-Liha. As a result, FK Sevastopol applied to FIFA and UEFA to switch to the Russian Football Association. PFK Sevastopol dissolved and was re-established under the name FC SKChF Sevastopol . The team was only supposed to play in the 2nd division of Russia, but was banned from all Russian and international competitions by UEFA on December 4, 2014. UEFA is planning to create its own league for the Crimea.


People with a relationship to the city

  • Lev Tolstoy (1828–1910), Russian writer, was involved in the defense of Sevastopol in the Crimean War
  • Giuseppe Bernardazzi (1816–1891), Swiss architect, planned the fortification and security works of Sevastopol during the Crimean War
  • James Robertson (1813–1888), British photographer and one of the first photojournalists; his photos from Sevastopol, which was destroyed in the Crimean War, are among the first photographic war reports in history
  • Samuel Alexejewitsch Greigh (1827–1887), honorary citizen of Sevastopol, Russian statesman, general and finance minister

sons and daughters of the town

Other uses of the name Sevastopol

Picture gallery



  • Mark Twain : "The destroyed Pompeii is in good condition compared to Sevastopol" - when he visited the city in 1865 after the Crimean War.
  • Mark Twain : “Here you can look in any direction, and the eye hardly sees anything other than destruction, destruction, destruction! Ruins of houses, crumbled walls, tattered and jagged hills, devastation everywhere ...! "
  • Boris Tchaikovsky , Soviet composer, shaped the fate of the repeatedly besieged city in his 3rd symphony.

Sevastopol cycle

The Siege of Sevastopol

  • Niel: Siège de Sébastopol. Paris 1858.
  • Weigelt: The Siege of Sevastopol. Berlin 1861.
  • Totleben: The Defense of Sevastopol. 4 vols. Berlin 1864–72.

Current literary city portrait

Web links

Commons : Sevastopol  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Crimean War  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Sevastopol  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring Civil Rights and Freedoms, and the Legal Regime on the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine”. April 27, 2014, accessed August 17, 2015 . (en)
  2. Maschke, Erich (ed.): On the history of the German prisoners of war of the Second World War. Verlag Ernst and Werner Gieseking, Bielefeld 1962–1977.
  3. ^ Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol until 2042
  4. Депутаты Севастопольского городского совета приняли решение об участии населения города в проведении общекрымского референдума ( Memento of 11 March 2014 Internet Archive )
  5. Sevastopol City Council votes to join Russia , RIA Novosti , March 7, 2014.
  6. Population (January 2016)
  7. 2014 census
  9. Archived copy ( memento of the original from June 20, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  11. 20% 280.1% 29 & path = .. / Database / Census / 05/01 / & lang = 2 & multilang = en
  14. Crimean clubs excluded from Ukrainian league
  15. ^ UEFA to set up new soccer league in Crimea . Associated Press . March 6, 2015.
  16. Orientation trip ( Memento from April 9, 2014 in the Internet Archive )

Coordinates: 44 ° 36 '  N , 33 ° 31'  E