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John the Baptist Сhurch in Kerch

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John the Baptist Сhurch in KerchJohn the Baptist Сhurch in Kerch is a remarkable monument of Byzantine architecture. Classified as a cross-domed church of Eastern Christian School. The closest analogy derived from the Asian regions of the Byzantine Empire and its capital of Constantinople.

Church of St. John the Baptist is one of the architectural monuments that have survived from the heyday Tmutarakan principality in X-XI centuries.

It is an elegant four-pillar cross-domed church with one dome on a high tower. "Banding" of the building is traditional for Byzantine architecture due to the fact that the layers of stone blocks are interspersed with layers of flat bricks. In addition to the decorative effect that improves the strength and seismic stability of buildings.

The combination of various forms adds to the church of Kerch originality and poignancy, it can not be confused with any other. Two systems of architecture - Basilica and cross-Dome - are combined in the Church.  Some peculiar features of Church of St. John the Baptist can be traced to ancient Russian churches.

Researchers disagree about the time of construction of the temple. Some called the eighth century, while others - the tenth. It is known only that the building  was finished to the XIII century. According to the tradition, building of the church began with the blessing of the Holy Apostle Andrew. The temple was considered the second oldest within Russia after the New Athos in Pitsunda. The undoubted antiquity of the church points to the fact that during the reign of Genovese on the Black and Azov Seas, this church has great popularity. Kerch Strait was better known under the name of St. John, not Cherkio. Common name of the town was Port of St. John.

At the beginning of the XIX century. church was lengthened by extension to the west. To the north of St. John the Baptist church in 1963-1964. archaeologist, TN Makarova found crossing paved, at right angles to each other streets with masonry houses built on the site of the destroyed buildings of Khazars. Cemetery of Korchev belonged to the church from the south.

Before the church was closed during Soviet time, there were ancient icons and religious items - manuscripts, as well as wooden bowl, referring to the IV. In the church library were two manuscripts: "St. Gospel" and "The Apostle", written on parchment in Greek. In the 1980-th years church building was reconstructed. The author of the restoration project is an architect, E.I. Dopushinskaya. Church got a lost shape of masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, and by 1990 started  services.
Four layers of red clay on white lime mortar, which are the highlight of the temple served as a prototype for the city flag.

How to get there.
Bus Stop "Ploshchad Lenina" in the city center. Buses number 5 and 19.

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