CRIMEA


In the Baedeker of 1914 a piece is also dedicated to Crimea: even then a tourist destination. From Kharkov one can travel by train to Crimea during this time and the first station in Crimea is Taganásh (p.403). The main line continues via Simferópol to Sebastopol. From Dzankói a junction goes to Feodosiya and Kertch in the eastern part of Crimea.


Detail of the map 'Mittleres Russland-no. 70- from: Meyers Geographischer Hand-Atlas. - Dritte Auflage. - 1905.

The Khanate of Crimea was connected with the Ottoman Empire for centuries. The Russian-Turkish war from 1768 to 1774 ended in a Turkish defeat and the Ottoman Empire had to surrender the Khanate. With the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, the area became an independent area in the Russian sphere of influence. This treaty was concluded on July 21, 1774 in place Küçük Kaynarca in present-day Bulgaria. The current name is Kajnardzja. Sometimes you come across the Kajnardzja Convention in literature, but this is actually not a correct term. The treaty also stipulated that Kabardinia, Kerch, Azov and Perekop were annexed by Russia. Furthermore, Russian merchant ships were given free passage in the Black Sea, the Bosporus and the Dardanelles.
It would not be the last war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire: this was the fifth war in a series of eleven wars. In this war Russia not only got the Crimea, but also the southern Ukraine and the North Caucasus in their hands.

IMPERIAL RUSSIA

In 1783 the Crimea was annexed by Russia. This happened under Catherine the Great.

The Crimea belonged to the Taurida oblast, which was formed by the southwestern areas of the former khanate. In 1802 the Taurida government was established, ТАВРИЧЕСКАЯ ГУБЕРНИЯ [TAVRICHESKAYA Guberniya], Taurida government. The capital was Simferopol and the most important port was Sebastopol. The government was named after Greek designation for the Crimea, the Taurian peninsula.


This postcard has the image 'Le boulevard de la mer' in Sebastopol. The card was sent on 3 March 1905 to Samazan (Lot-et-Garonne) in France.
In the postmark the place is mentioned, СЕВАСТОПОЛЪ [SEVASTOPOL].

The city was founded on June 3, 1783. Initially the military fortress was called the name Achtiar. This was the name of the old Crimean Tatar settlement on this spot. In 1784, commissioned by Catharina the Great, the construction of a naval base was started. The place then got the name Sebastopol. The name is derived from Greek: σεβαστος, venerable and πολις, city. Between 1797 and 1826 the city was again called Achtiar. In 1804 Sebastopol became the home port of the Black Sea Fleet.

During the Crimean War (1854-1856), after a siege of 349 days in September 1855, the city was conquered by French, British and Sardinian troops. The war was between Russia and an alliance of the Second French Empire, the British Empire and the kingdom of Sardinia. With the Peace of Paris (30 March 1856), the Russians got back the city, but had to dismantle its Black Sea Fleet.

The Soviet Union issued a series of stamps in 1954 on the 100th anniversary of Sebastopol's defense (1728-1730).
Mi. 1728, issued October 17, 1954, with the monument to the sunken ships. The Russians sank their locked up fleet as a blockade for the besieged city. In 1905 - at the 50th anniversary - the monument was built.

Mi. 1729, 'The heroes of Sebastopol', after a painting by W. Timm.

Mi. 1730, with Admiral Pawel Nachimow (1802-1855), after a painting by W.Timm. Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov was one of the most famous admirals in Russian naval history, best remembered as the commander of naval and land forces during the Siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War. See: Wikipedia.






On this postcard from Sebastopol is sent in 1903, also to France.On this second card we see a lower rate: 2 kopecks. On the first card above, the normal rate is used for a postcard abroad: 4 koipecks from 8 March 1889 until well into the First World War.
The sender of the second card, to Paris, uses the cheaper rate for printing abroad, 2 kopecks from 19 June 1875 to 31 August 1917.

The place is also mentioned in this postmark, СЕВАСТОПОЛЪ [SEVASTOPOL]. In this postmark the government is also mentioned after this: ТАВРИЧ.Г. , the abbreviation for ТАВРИЧЕСКАЯ ГУБЕРНИЯ [TAVRICHESKAYA Guberniya], Taurida government. The type of this postmark is the so-called 'cross-date' stamp, introduced April 5, 1890. In the middle of the postmark is the first day, and below that the month in Roman numerals, to the left of the whole '19' and to the right the rest of the year . These postmarks are slowly replaced from 3 February 1903 by the double ring postmarks.

On the image side is a view of Bachtsjisaraj, the former capital of the Khanate of Crimea. The place became known through the epic poem of Pushkin 'The fountain of Bachtshisharaj'.

According to tradition, Khan Qirim Girey fell in love with a Christian princess whom he had captured on his conquest. She died of homesickness, however, and the sad Qirim Girey made the 'Fountain of tears' for her memory. The Fountain of Tears or Rose Fountain dates from 1764 and now stands against the walls of the palace's inner courts.
The fountain was designed by the Persian architect Omar. The artwork moved to the current location in 1784.

In 1802 Simferopol became the capital of the newly formed Taurida government. This card is sent from Simferopol. The stamp is a - unfortunately not so clear - cross-date stamp of СИМФЕРОПОЛЪ [SIMFEROPOL], with the designation of the government: ТАВРИЧ.Г. , the abbreviation for ТАВРИЧЕСКАЯ ГУБЕРНИЯ [TAVRICHESKAYA Guberniya], Taurida government.
The city was founded by the Crimean Tatars and was called Aqmescit ('White Mosque') by them. After the conquest of Crimea under Catherine the Great, the city was given the new name Simferopol in 1784.
Baedeker (1914) also describes this city: the seat of the provincial authorities, a Greek Orthodox bishop, a Mufti, and the Commander of the 7th Army Corps. According to Baedeker, the place is "in a picturesque situation on the Salgir. Fruit preserving is the chief industry." In 1914, the city has 70,000 inhabitants, including 7,000 Tatars.

The image side of the card shows the landscape with the mountain top АЙ-ПЕТРИ [Ai-Petri]. The mountain top is 1234 meters high. According to Baedeker 1914 (p. 421), the mountain can be climbed in 5 hours, but since 1987 there has been a 3 km cable car to the summit. The caption on the card mentioned The Ai-Petri at АЛУПКА [ALUPKA] and the КИПАРИСЫ [KIPARISY], Cypresses, of Catharina II. The mountain top looks a bit strange. This is because it was a coral reef in a sea in the Jurassic period -180 million years ago - and with the Crimean Mountains has risen.

On the card from Riga there is an arrival postmark of СИМФЕРОПОЛЪ [SIMFEROPOL]: the later double ring postmark.

Map of the Crimea Map from Wikipedia.




In Alupka and surroundings there are many hotels and sanatoriums. The bathing season runs from mid-May to mid-October (Baedeker 1914, p.405). Alupka, on this map on the subtropical south coast of Crimea, is famous for the Vorontsov Palace, built 1828-1846 for Prince Michael Vorontsov. The palace is a special mix of all kinds of styles and cost nearly 3,000,000 rubles (Baedeker 1914, page 421). During the Yalta Conference in 1945, Winston Churchill stayed in this palace.
The double ring postmark is used on a card below from Alupka.
In the postmark: АЛУПКА [ALUPKA].The postcard is sent August 12, 1908, to Belgium.
The image side of this card is one of the Crimée series: No. 28 has the caption: 'Vue du tunnel, sur l'église', View from the tunnel, on the church.

In the west, Alupka is adjacent to the seaside town of Simeiz. In 1828 the place came into the possession of Count Ivan Akimovich Maltsov. His descendants made a resort there, New Simeiz. In 1912 Tsar Nicholas II came to visit here.
This card with a picture of the coast in СИМЕИЗЪ [SIMEIZ] with the cliff ДИВА [DIVA]. From the cliff МОНАХЪ [MONAKH], Monk, now only the remains can be seen, destroyed by the earthquake of 1927.
About this place is a story about a devil, who seduces the monk. The rock Diva, 45 meters high, appears in a number of films, including The Amphibian Man (1962), in which the rock is jumped.
This postcard of the coast at Simeiz was sent from Bachtshisharaj, the old capital of the khanat. The Russian name, БАХЧИСАРАЙ [BAKHCHI SARAI] can be recognized in the double ring stamp. On the map the place is indicated halfway between the road between Simferopol and Sebastopol. An image from this place can be seen above.

The New Simeiz resort was founded in the early 20th century by the descendants of the first owner, Count Ivan Akimovich Maltsov. This place also had a post office and associated stamp. In the double ring mark the place is indicated, НОВЫИ СИМЕИЗЪ [NOVYI SIMEIZ], New Simeiz.
After the placename the government is indicated again: ТАВРИЧ.Г. , the abbreviation for ТАВРИЧЕСКАЯ ГУБЕРНИЯ [TAVRICHESKAYA Guberniya], Taurida government.

Nice card from Yalta to France. On the map of the subtropical south coast, the famous seaside resort of Yalta is located just east of Alupka. In tsar time this was also an important seaside resort and it is therefore quite easy to find postcards from Yalta.


On the card to France, sent from Yalta in 1903, 'Carte postale' was struck through by the sender. For the sake of clarity, he also wrote ПЕЧАТНОЕ [PECHATNOE] -printed matter- above, so that it went along for the cheaper printing rate: 2 kopecks. Used here is the aforementioned double-cross-type stamp from ЯАЛТА [YALTA]. Behind it is the government mentioned: ТАВРИЧ.Г. , the abbreviation for ТАВРИЧЕСКАЯ ГУБЕРНИЯ [TAVRICHESKAYA Guberniya], Taurida government.

This postmark gives already more information than the early one-ring-postmarks: at the bottom is indicated:
ПОЧТ. ТЕЛЕГР. КОНТ. , the abbrevation for ПОЧТОВО-ТЕЛЕГРАФНАЯ КОНТОРА (POCHTOVO-TELEGRAFNAYA KONTORA = Post-Telegraph Office), since 1884 the post office of a larger city.

In the classification of the EESTI-handbook we see on this card the type 6 of the of the circular date-stamps: gubernia (when given) at top and the type post office below.
There is again a subdivision of this type:
6A date in three lines, month in letters, with gubernia
6B same type but no indication of Gubernia
6C with month in numerals with gubernia, the 'cross-date'-type
6D with month in numerals without gubernia, also a the 'cross-date'-type


The postmark of Yalta on this card is therefore type 6C. The U.P.U., the Universal Postal Union, gave the recommendation to indicate the months in Roman numerals. In Russia, circular 13 of 5 April 1890 instructed us to indicate the month in Roman numerals: the introduction of the cross-date stamps. The postmark on this card has serial number 8: there are at least 8 stamps of this type of Yalta to collect.

This card was also sent from Yalta, but has a different type of stamp: double-ring.
The cross-type-type stamp is - as of 1903 - slowly - followed by the double ring type, in EESTI type 7. Stamps were expensive, so they were only replaced when they were really worn out. In the circular with which these postmarks were introduced, no. 9 of 3 February 1903, a detailed description of the new postmarks is also given. The postmark consist of two rings with day-month-year in one line ('19', the century is omitted). The post offices had to have two sizes of postmarks, a larger one for the mail, and a smaller one for receipts.



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