Kerch remained one of the most ancient churches of the Crimea. It is believed that the temple was built in the VIII-IX century, the confirmation of this is the Greek inscription on one of the columns supporting the arch of the temple: "Here lies the servant of God, the son of George. Reposed month mummy 3 (days) 10 hours (in summer) from Adam 6260 (from R. X. 752). In the masonry of the temple were found amphorae VIII-IX century, they were used as golosnikov.
of the temple referred to in the inscription of the so-called "Tmutarakan Stone", which is stored in the Hermitage: "In the summer of 1576 g, 6 Benindikta prince Gleb measured the sea of ice from Tmutarakani to Krcheva 10000 and 4000 yards. In those days the temple stood on the shore of the sea. The builders of the temple gave the unusual, and therefore an unforgettable image. The walls are built of white limestone blocks, alternating with rows of red brick. This is a cross-domed church trehapsidny with a hemispherical dome on a high drum. He was consecrated in honor of Saint John the Forerunner and Baptist of Christ.
John the Baptist was born of pious parents the priest Zechariah and Elizabeth. His birth was predicted by the Archangel Gabriel. Shortly after the birth of Christ the King Herod, fearing the coming of the Messiah, ordered to kill all the babies in Bethlehem. To save his son, Saint Elizabeth disappeared with him in the desert, but the righteous Zacharias refused to open the envoys of the king of their place of residence and was killed. John the Baptist in the wild wilderness preparing himself for the great service of a strict life, fasting, prayer and compassion for the fate of the people of God. St. John was the voice of God, and he came to the people and began to preach, preparing people to take the Savior: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven." At the River Jordan he baptized those who came to his baptism of repentance. Because of him baptized Jesus Christ, John the Baptist came to be called.
the courtyard of an ancient temple a stone slab with depression, resembling a human footprint. Tradition says that this mark of John the Baptist.
temple consists of two parts: the ancient church and additions made in the XIX century. In the guide G. Muscovite church of John the Baptist is described as follows: "The church below ground level and therefore to enter into it is arranged in a staircase of eight steps. Inside the ancient temple of a heavy body is supported by four dark-gray columns with beautiful capitals of Corinthian style. Icon of the Savior and the Mother of God -- excellent in its antiquity and the very old paintings, but the greatest antiquity differs temple icon of St. John the Baptist, placed in a special icon case the right-hand side solei. From ancient objects worthy of attention - a wooden bowl, assigned to the VI century, with a barely visible image of the Savior, the Virgin Mary, St. John the Baptist and the Crucifixion, the two silver bowls - one of XVI-XVII century, and another - the end of the XVIII ", in the church library contained two of the manuscript, written in Greek: The Gospel of XI century and an apostle, he attributed to the XII-XIII century.
ancient temple was small, so in 1834 dismantled the narthex and the Western Wall and built a trehnef-tion in the vestibule psevdovizantiyskom style. In 1845, the church has built a two-tiered bell tower, and later the north porch. During the reconstruction of the temple in the 30-ies of the XIX century under the dome of the temple were discovered murals, which depicted two saints. Academician Igor Grabar suggested that they were written by disciples of the famous medieval painter Theophanes the Greek.
In Soviet times the church of John the Baptist was declared a monument of architecture. He is not destroyed, but not particularly cherished. Building waxed, crosses on it was not long ago, the dome is gradually destroyed, but it still attracted the attention of tourists. In 60-ies around the temple came a market where trading in fish. The smell of fresh fish, the cries of vendors, praised his goods: the Black Sea sprat, fat bulls, delicate red mullet and sturgeon, and above all this - the temple. With broken windows, with bushes growing up on the walls and roof, he was in those years a sad spectacle.
Finally, in the 70-ies it was decided to restore the temple, Architect E Lopushinskaya sponsored a renovation project. Restoration of the ancient church was not easy and long. To not collapsed remnants of the dome and drum, made a metal frame that supports them. First restored wall extensions and the bell tower. And in 1972, began to revive the ancient temple, artists try to keep all old parts, replacing only those that are completely destroyed. But there has not been without difficulties. The restorers had to learn the ancient samples of tile, plinfy - flat and broad bricks, and produce the same. Pick up such as limestone, from which twelve centuries ago, the temple was built. Artists consolidated murals and the remains of the ancient plaster. Around the southern and eastern facades of the ancient temple to the initial level lowered the land surface. On the dome set up a cross, despite the fact that the authorization to do so was not.
After the restoration of the temple was opened lapidary museum's collection. Only 90 years old temple of St. John the Baptist was returned to the church, today it divine services.
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