What to see during your trip to Kerch

What to visit in Kerch while on a walk. What to see in Kerch during your vacation, here we will tell you. A good option would be to visit the Church of Ioanna Predtechi in Kerch and thus know its great history and architecture.

In the center of Kerch, at the foot of Mount Mithridates, is the Church of St. John the Baptist, a wonderful example of architecture, made in the tradition of Byzantine architecture. It is considered one of the oldest Christian churches not only in the Crimean peninsula, but also in Europe, and its elegant and picturesque appearance distinguishes it notably from several Orthodox churches. In architectural terms, the church building is a three-apse temple with a single flat dome that rests on cruciform arches, which in turn are supported by four pillars. The entire structure is fortified with columns; They are crowned with Byzantine-Corinthian capitals. In the masonry of the walls of the eastern part of the temple, alternate rows of white stone and red brick were used, a characteristic technique of Byzantine architecture. By the way,

The Church of St. John the Baptist is considered one of the oldest Christian churches not only in the Crimean peninsula, but also in Europe, and its elegant and picturesque appearance distinguishes it notably from a series of Orthodox churches.

Temple history

The question of the exact time of the appearance of the Church of Saint John the Baptist is not yet fully defined. The most common opinion is that the temple was built in the 8th or 9th century. According to a legend, the construction began with the blessing of St. Andrew the First Call. Already in those days, the Church of San Juan Bautista was very famous: they say that the Strait of Kerch was called the Strait of San Juan, and that Kerch was called the port of San Juan.

In the era of the Crimean Kanato, the Church of St. John the Baptist, like most Christian churches, became a mosque and eventually fell into disrepair. It again became an Orthodox church in 1774, when Crimea was annexed to the Russian Empire.

In the 19th century, the church underwent a small restructuring, a narthex with three naves in the Pseudo-Byzantine style was added, and later a two-level bell tower and a north narthex. At this time, instead of being called the “Greek Church,” the temple received its true name: the Church of the beheading of John the Baptist.

In the cemetery you can see a block of stone with a hole in the shape of a footprint of a human foot. According to legend, this is a trace of John the Baptist himself.

The twentieth century did not support the church too much, which shared the fate of many Orthodox sanctuaries of that time: in the 1930s, it was closed, according to the official version, due to the lack of a parish. The Great Patriotic War brought to the church the loss of many sacred relics, the building itself was severely damaged by the fire. Covered with bushes, with broken windows, the church of San Juan Bautista partially destroyed produced a depressing view, a fish market was noisy around it.

Visit the Church of Ioanna Predtechi in Kerch

In the heart of the city, at the foot of Mount Mithridates, you can visit the Church of Ioanna Predtechi in Kerch; which is a good example of architecture, carried out in the Byzantine architecture tradition. It is considered one of the oldest Christian churches not only in the Crimea; but also in Europe, with an elegant and scenic aspect that distinguishes significantly from the rest of the Orthodox churches.

The architectural plan of the church building consists of the trehapsidny temple with a single flat vault supported by the cross-shaped arches; which in turn rely on four pillars. The entire structure is reinforced with columns that are crowned with Byzantine-Corinth capitals. The masonry walls of the eastern part of the temple use rows of white stone and red brick; a characteristic technique of alternating Byzantine architecture. By the way, this “layer cake” doesn’t just look impressive; but also performs the anti-seismic function, which helped the construction to reach our days.

On the question of the exact time of the appearance of the Ioanna Predtechi Church there is no complete certainty. It is believed that the temple was built in the 8th or 9th century of our era. According to a legend, the construction began with the blessing of Andreya Pervozvannogo. Even in those days, the Church of Ioanna Predtechi was well known. In the era of Khanate, the Ioanna Predtechi Church of Crimea; like most Christian churches; It was turned into a mosque, and over time it has come to desolation. In the Orthodox church it became again in 1774, when Crimea was annexed to the Russian Empire.

In the 19th century the church underwent a small restructuring, attributed to it in the portico of the Pseudo-Byzantine style; and later the two-level bell tower and the northern portico were restored. At this time, instead of naming the “Greek Church” the temple owes its current name as the Church of the decapitation of Ioanna Predtechi.

In the cemetery you can see the rock with a cleft in the form of a footprint of a human foot. According to the story, this is the trail of Ioanna Predtechi.

In the 20th century it was not a great support for the temple, since it shared the fate of many orthodox sanctuaries of the time; in the 30s it was closed; according to the official version, due to the absence of the parish. World War II brought to the Church the loss of many sacred relics; The building was severely damaged by fire. Over time, the bushes grew on the site; with the broken windows, partially the temple of Ioanna Predtechi was in ruins reason why it produced a depressing spectacle; and around it was the noisy fish market.

Church restoration

The revival of the church began in the 1960s, when it was declared an architectural monument of national importance. After a dozen years the event of restoration work began on a large scale, which took four years. In the first place the reconstruction of the wall extensions and the bell tower, only then, the old temple building began to be cleaned. Due to the strong subsidence of the foundation, the surrounding earth had to be cleaned.

The restorers have tried to preserve the virgin building elements as much as possible using ancient techniques and materials.

Today’s temple

After the completion of the restoration of the Church of Ioanna Predtechi; This opened Kerch’s Historic lapidary exhibition and the Archaeological Museum with a collection of ancient carved stones with inscriptions. Only in the summer of 1990 was the church handed over to the Orthodox community of Kerch. Now it is a functioning church, which regularly carries out its worship.

What to visit in Kerch only in GuiaRus you will know. What to see in Kerch with our expert guides will be more than a tour !!!

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