The Imperiia Project: a spatial history of the Russian Empire

Gardens of Crimea

When Russia annexed Crimea in 1783, property values were driven by salt air and stone fruit. Explore the gardens of the peninsula in the early days of imperial rule.

The Source

This dataset is sourced from a series of registers of newly-acquired state properties. Each register focuses on gardens left behind by Tatars, Greeks, and/or Armenians and claimed by the Russian state to be leased out. Some reports contain detailed accounting of the quantity and type of fruit trees and grape vines cultivated in each garden.

The Format

5 spreadsheet files, 5 shapefiles (vector data), codebook, glossary


The dataset describes the locations of the villages with which the gardens were associated as well as the attributes (area, owner type, garden type) of each garden. Information about trees and vines is available for a subset of the gardens.

The shapefiles include location data for 73 of the 89 villages listed in the registers. (The others are "lost" or cannot be associated with known places with confidence.) The shapefiles also contain location data for the orchards and gardens. This data is a rough approximation based on modern land use data from OpenStreetMap.

Temporal coverage


Geospatial coverage

The Crimea peninsula

Spatial Units

73 garden sites (polygons); 73 villages (points)

Access the Data

Publication date: August 5, 2022

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