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Tauric Chersonese: traces of Ancient Greece and Prince Vladimir

The ruins of the ancient Greek city of Tauric Chersonese (Chersonesus) in Sevastopol are dated to the middle of the fifth century BC, when the neighboring lands were occupied by the Tauri tribes. Thanks to the grain and wine trading in the IV century the city became one of the largest ones in the Black Sea region. A Roman garrison was deployed in Chersonesus in the II-III centuries. Then there was built a circus for the fights of the gladiators, the thermae and the water pipe. Tauric Chersonese has a status of a national preserve, and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. 

 

In the fifth century Chersonesus became part of the Byzantine Empire. At the end of the tenth century the inhabitants of Chersonesus raised a riot, which was suppressed by the Russians led by Prince Vladimir, who was baptized in Chersonesus in 988, and took the Byzantine Еmperor’s sister Anna as his wife. In the VI century the first large three-aisled basilica with a mosaic floor was built here. In several centuries it was destroyed, and in the 10th century a new basilica was built here within the old one, using columns and the foundation of the original. In 1399 Chersonesus was destroyed by the Mongol-Tatars. Many centuries passed before the time when in 1827 Lieutenant Kruse discovered in Chersonesus the ruins of churches. Then excavations began. They started calling the city the Russian Pompeii or Troy. Now here one can see the ruins of several churches, a theater, a house of a winemaker - this is all that remains of the ancient Greek settlement. In Chersonesus one should pay attention to the Misty Bell. It was cast at the end of the 18th century from the captured Turkish cannons and by the order of Alexander I was given to the Chersonesus Monastery. During the Crimean War the French transported the bell to Paris. But in 1913 France returned the bell. In 1925 it was set ashore to ring during a storm, that is why it is called so. 

 

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