Neighbourhood names like Chumka (Plague) and Quarantine aren't romantic, but they hark back to the city's past. Founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC under its current name, Feodosiya was rebranded Kaffa by the Genovese, who took over in the 13th century, turning the city into a meeting point for caravans from the Orient and European merchants. This brought together people of all nationalities, notably Armenians, who left a significant imprint on the city.
Kaffa's fortress, still partly intact, protected it from plundering nomad armies but not the biological weapon used by the Mongols during one siege: they catapulted in the bodies of people in their camp who had died from the plague. It is believed that the fleeing Genovese subsequently brought the disease to Europe.
Imperial Russians built opulent sea-facing palazzos in the town, and some still soar above the present-day city's myriad souvenir stands and fast-food joints.