300 Years of Embattled Crimea History in 6 Maps

Crimea has changed hands many times in its history.

Crimea has long been a strategic and geopolitical prize. Ancient Cimmerians and Greeks, followed by the Goths and Venetians, were just a few of the embattled peninsula's many occupiers over the centuries.

The origin of its name is debated, but may have come from the word qrïm, meaning fortress, when it served as a capital of the Golden Horde in the 13th century. Long under the protection of the Ottoman Empire, the Crimean Khanate ruled the area for more than 300 years until Catherine the Great annexed the peninsula in 1783, part of a broad expansion of the Russian Empire under the Tsarina's reign. The five maps that follow illustrate how Crimea continued to change hands from the 18th century to the present.

Read This Next

Spectacular fossil fish reveal a critical period of evolution
What comes after Omicron? New variants are emerging.
Neon is making a comeback. Here’s why.

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet