The Imperiia Project: a spatial history of the Russian Empire


Sudak was a garden paradise. Its thirty-two orchards and thirty vineyards - with over 56,000 grapevines - had been owned and tended by Tatars.

Petr (Peter) Keppen spent 5 years living in Crimea while serving as assistant to the chief of silk production. During that time he traveled obsessively, collecting material for his geographical and archaeological projects. According to Keppen, Sudak was not so much a town as it was a sprawling vineyard sewn with little houses occupied by their owners during the autumn harvest. (page 124) Writing at nearly the same time as Keppen, Bronevskii claimed that Sudak once had over 100,000 inhabitants but that the population had dwindled by 1815 to 100 invalids settled in poor quarters. In spring though, and in autumn, approximately 2,000 workers and manufacturers came to work the land and harvest the grapes.(page 123)

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