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Excursions

Antique Chersonesus

Khersonez Sewastopol1Sevastopol is located in the south-west of the Crimea. Rocky cliffs of the water-front in this area are indented with deep bays sheltered from winds and storms. In the 6th century BC, on the shore of one of these bays the ancient Greeks founded a "city state" - Tauric Chersoneus (Chersonesos, Chersones, Khersonesus): it`s history is about 2,000 years old and it is tightly interwoven with the history of the Tauri, Scythians, Sarmatians, Ancient Greece and Byzantine. In the 13th-14th centuries Chersonesus was ruined by the Golden Horde khans and   in the 15th century ceased to exist. Currently, the site of the former Chersonesus is an open-air National museum.

As a rule, a sightseeing tour about the city begins with Chersonesus Tauric. Founded by Greeks in the 6th century BC, it had played a key role in the Crimea`s life for over 1,200 years. In the ancient time Chersonesus was a big trade centre, the main partner of the Scythians, one of the bread suppliers to Athens. Here you will see an ancient theatre, the only one in the North coast of the Black Sea, and magnificent columns of the Greek Churches and houses of the ordinary citizens. Superb mosaics of the museum`s exhibits will open for you the world of comfort and luxury of the ancient epoch supplemented by the period red and black lacquered vessels, ornaments, glassware. Here you will see the inner lay-out of the ancient mint and the winepress - tarapana. Besides, on your request, you can be provided with an ancient secret recipe of the most expencive and splendid fish sauce which was exported to Athens, Rome and was worth its weight in gold.

By the 4th century AD, having survived practically intact the Great Migration of peoples, Chersonesus, renamed Kherson, was fully incorporated into the Byzantine Empire and became its main outpost in this area.

The Byzantines brought along Christianity. According to the legend, the first Christians turned up here as early as 1st century AD, accompanying Apostle Anrei who came to Chersonesus on a visit. According to another legend, the fourth Roman Pope St. Clement was sent here on exile. It was here that  Vladimir the Great was buptized, and we can say that it was from this place that Christianity spread over Kievan Rus` and from Kiev to future Russia. Christianity became firmly established along with the Byzantines. Later, a cathedral was built here to commemorate the event. 

Sergey Tsarapora private guide