It is the administrative center of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in southern Ukraine. It is situated in the center of Crimea Peninsula at Salgir River. The name Simferopol from Greek means “the city of profit”. The Crimean Tatar name Aqmescit is translated into Russian as “white mosque” (aq – is white; mescit – mosque).
Simferopol is allocated in the foothill of mountain Crimea in the shallow gully created by crossing of valley between Exterior (the lowest) and Interior ridges of Crimea Mountains and Salgir River valley. Simferopol water reservoir was created at the river near the city. Thanks to such allocation the valley where the city is situated is blown by the winds from mountains. 1784, considered to be the official date of the city foundation. But many historians dispute the right of this date to be the date of city foundation.
Archaeological evidence in Simferopol indicates the existence of an ancient Scythian city, collectively known as the Scythian Neapol. First human settlements at the territory of modern Simferopol appeared B.C., but the most famous among the ancient predecessors of the city is Naples-Scythian – the capital of old Scythian state. Ir appeared approximately in III century B.C. and suppose to be ruined by Goth in III century A.D. The ruins of Naples is near Petrovskaya Balka at the left bank of Salgir. The location was also home to a Crimean Tatar town, Aqmescit. After the annexation of the Crimean Khanate to the Russian Empire, the city's name was changed to its present Simferopol.
As the capital of Crimea, Simferopol is an important political, economic, and transport center of the peninsula. As of 2006, the city's population is 340,600.