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Complex of the Sudak Fortress Monuments of the 6th - 16th c.

Date of Submission: 12/03/2007
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(v)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Ministry of Construction, Architecture, Housing and Municipal Economies of Ukraine
State, Province or Region:
Ukraine, Autonomous Republic of Crimea
Coordinates: N44 50 33 E34 57 24
Ref.: 5117

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The Sudak Fortress is a unique complex of the monuments of medieval archaeology and architecture of the 6th - 16th centuries. The total area of the fortress is 27,9 ha. The overwhelming majority of the architectural monuments located on this territory are included into the State Cultural Heritage List: The Port Fortification (the 3d - 9th c.), Frederico Astaguerra Tower (1386), Twelve Apostles Church" (14th c .), The Lower Tier Defense Tower (14th - 15th c.), Baldo Guarko Tower (1394), Giovanni Marione Tower (1388), The Barbican (14th - 16th c.), Jacobo Torsello (1385) and Bernaba di Franci di Pagano (1414) Towers, Battista di Zoalio Gate (1389), Pascuale Giudice Tower (1392), "Semicircular Tower" (14th - 15th c.), Lucini di Fiesco di Lavani Tower (1409), Corrado Chigala (1404), The Northern Tower of Citadel (14th - 15th c.),The Southern Tower of Citadel (14th - 15th), The Consular Tower of Citadel (14th - 15th c.), "St. George's" Tower with a Chapel (14th - 15th c.), Dozorna Tower (14th - 15th c.), "Church on the Console" (13th - 14th c.), Nameless Towers NcNc 1-7 (13th - 14th c.), Cisterns no no 1-2 (14th c.), "Temple with an Arcade" (14th -1 6th c.), Defensive walls (14th - 15th c.), "Building with fireplace" (14th - 15th c.), Barracks (18th c.), Church of the Virgin Mary (15th c.), complex of burial constructions on the 14th curtain (8th c.), a Church on the 15th curtain (14th - 15th c.).

Towers, walls, complex of city gate and other defensive constructions, compose a unique, well-preserved fortification system, which skillfully harmonizes with a natural relief. The basic material of masonry is local dense sandstone the extraction of which was carried out not far away from a city. The masonwork of the walls, merlons and parapets, construction of loop-holes and other architectural elements enable to study the building techniques applied at their creation, tactical methods of defense and also stages of fortifications construction.

The remains of early, mainly fortification architectural buildings according to the latest researches of the 3d - 7th centuries, which are located in port part of ancient city, testifL to the existence of settlement here. Till the second half of the 8th century Byzantine Sugdeia (Sudak) was a fortress, which guarded anchorage, the place of repair and wintering of ships. In the 8th - 10th centuries, Sugdeia became one of the largest city centers of Taurida. Not later than in the 9th century, there appeared powerful defensive constructions on the north slopes of the Kriposna mountain, which protected the territory of an area about 20 ha. In the 11th - 12th centuries the city turned into one of the most important international trade centers of Byzantine Empire in a region. This circumstance became the main reason of permanent disputes for the dominion of the city. From the middle of the 13th century, Sugdeia as well as all the Crimea was under Golden Horde dominion, remaining one of the largest ports of the North Black Sea region.

Since the end of the 13th century, a military confrontation between the Italian city republics of Genoa and Venice has begun, for the exclusive right to trade in Sugdeia. In 1365, Genoa gained a victory and had control over the city until 1475. Most of the architectural buildings of the Sudak Fortress, which have survived till nowadays, date from the Genoese period. That's why the fortress is also called "the Genoese". At present, they constitute the unique complex of fortification buildings of the times of Italian colonization of the North Black Sea region.

After accession of the southern coast of the Crimea to Ottoman Empire in 1475, Sudak didn't lose its significance. At the early 17th century, began the decay of the city and at the time of the Russian troops invasion (1771), it was a small, but picturesque settlement.

The integral defensive system of medieval city has been preserved in all the details, organically harmonizing with a surrounding natural landscape. The territory within the limits of fortress walls is the entire, unique archaeological sight, a place for medieval city's constructions, early fortification and cultic buildings research.

Since 1958, the Sudak Fortress has acquired the museum status. On its basis, archaeological and monuments protection researches are conducted.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

Up to now, the Sudak Fortress has preserved its integrity and authenticity. It is included into the State Cultural Heritage List as a branch of the National Conservation Area "St. Sophia of Kyiv".

The basic documents, which guarantee the preservation of integrity and authenticity of the Sudak Fortress complex are the Law of Ukraine "On conservation of cultural heritage" (of June the 1st 2000) and regulatory acts concerning the historical and cultural monuments protection.

Comparison with other similar properties

The Genoese Fortress in Sudak occupies an important place in the Italian strong points system in the Black Sea region. Analogues to the Sudak fortification constructions of the 14th - 15th centuries are located in Balaklava (the Chembalo Fortress), Feodosiya, Constantinople, Trebizond. At present, the above mentioned monuments have been only fragmentary preserved and do not represent their authentic state. However, the Sudak Fortress territory avoided modern building, and due to exceptional safety, remains the unique integral example of fortification architecture of the genoese times. As to the quantitative and qualitative state of the monuments, the Genoese fortress in Sudak has no analogues among the medieval Italian colonies in all Mediterranean basin.