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Monastery of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Mount Ayu-Dag.

Most famous mountain in Crimea - Ajudag - visible from afar. Under a mountain valley located in the beautiful resort village Partenit - birthplace of St. John Gotha

In III century the Crimea crowded Germanic tribes ready. Destroyed the Scythian settlements and pushing them on the steppe, they settled in the mountainous Tauris. Goths formed a vast country Gotiyu centered on Mangup, they began to practice Christianity, but in VIII century gothic diocese was formed, the administrative center is located in Partenit.

St. John was bishop of Gothia Gothia when the Emperor Constantine and Leo. From the Life, knows what is going on it from the ground tavroskifov obeying authority is ready, namely the market place Partenit. He was born in the 20 years of VIII century. His parents Leo and Photina long time had no children, they prayed to God for the birth of a child and promised to dedicate his service to the Lord. Home of John in the role of the priest has coincided with the conquest of the mountain Tavriki Khazars, and in the Byzantine Empire at that time began the persecution of the icon-lovers.

Bishop of Gothia, the predecessor of John, signed under the decision of the cathedral, which said the refusal to worship icons. For this he was made Metropolitan Thracian Heraclea. As pastors Gothia suggested John. But first, John went into the holy city of Jerusalem, spent three years and bowed to all the shrines, and then with the deacon Longin went to Georgia (Iberia). After the death of emperors (Constantine and Leo) John the Empress Irene sent a scroll containing the faith: with sayings from the Old and New Testament and all elected fathers of the holy icons, relics and honest intercession of the saints. After receiving permission from the Augusta Irene, he arrived in Constantinople. There, he told everyone the freedom and boldness of taking holy icons in the holy church, and then returned to parthenites.

In 763 the Patriarch Theodore summoned a council of the three patriarchs: Theodore of Antioch, Theodore of Jerusalem and Cosmas of Alexandria, where they anathematized the heresy of the iconoclasts.

At this time in Tauris rebellion broke out against the Khazars, who had seized the land Gothia. In "The Life" about it this way: "And the Reverend Bishop John after that, along with his people (the flock) was issued Khazar rulers, because he entered into an agreement (conspiracy) with Mr. Gothia and his government and all its people, if not owned by the country of the aforementioned Khazars. Khazars conquered fortress grown (possibly Theodoro on Mangup) and they put their guard. John was captured, but later fled the city Amastridu, where he spent four years. When he learned of the death of the Khazar Kagan, who held him in captivity, said: "And I, my brothers, step aside at the end of forty days to sue the persecutor of my pre Sudieyu and God." Indeed, after forty days, June 26, 790, he died. The body of John was put in the tomb and sent to parthenites. Citizens and Bishop Amastridsky George accompanied him on a ship with candles and incense.

With the name of St. John is related to many miracles. Ship with the body of St. John arrived in parthenites with unprecedented speed: in just two days. The saint was buried in his monastery created the Holy Apostles. This monastery is famous for the beauty of its buildings, an abundance of religious books and holy vessels.

Thus, the existence of the Monastery of the Holy Apostles was aware of the "Life", but where he was and whether the settlement Partenit so parthenites ancient market place, reliable information was not. All allow the case in the XIX century Partenit Valley became a possession of the family Rayevskys. If by vineyards in the surrounding hills found pithoi, the remnants of ceramic pottery, printing, once belonged to the officials and the local ruler of a medieval settlement. In 1869, the estate manager Ms. Raevskaya paved a new road on the eastern slope of the mountain Ajudag above the ancient, forested roads. Employees found in the thickets of the ruins of a large structure, which decided to look at the stone. We evacuated about 200 carts of stone, before finding small caps and a carved marble gravestone. In Partenit arrived researcher Antiquities DM Strukov, who restored the temple in Inkerman cave monastery, and Alushta priest Nicholas Klopotovich, investigated the ruins, they came to the conclusion that in front of them - the old building and a three-nave basilica trehapsidnoy. Near the altar, they found another building inscription, dating from the 1427 year. It states: "The honorable and divine temple of the holy, and glorious Apostles Peter and Paul Church was built with a foundation in ancient times his ilk in the holy city of our father, Archbishop Theodore and all Gothia John confessor, but now is renewed, as it is seen, the Metropolitan City Theodoro and the entire Gothia kir Damian in 6936 let Indikt 6 th (1427), on the tenth day of September ".

ruins of the basilica was consecrated, made a thanksgiving service and left in the same place as the local shrine. The first excavations there had NI Repnikov in 1905-1907, is now possible to imagine, looked like a temple, and learn its history. The length of the Basilica of 17 meters, width of about 12 meters. On three sides the building was once surrounded by a gallery. Paul nave, narthex and the gallery was decorated with mosaics, composed of different size and material of the tiles. It used the red and yellow tiles of ceramics, greenish-brown sandstone, bluish-gray marble and white of the feldspar. The temple adjoining business premises.

Basilica several times rebuilt and redone. Perhaps the first time it destroyed the Khazars, after the suppression of the uprising, the Temple, where they buried St. John the Confessor - antihazarskogo spiritual leader of the uprising, they could not leave intact. But this time the basilica rebuilt in its present form. In the X century it was again destroyed, possibly by fire. The monastery continued to exist all the time, but about the past greatness had only to recall. At this time the temple lay in ruins for a long time, perhaps, his rebuilt only in 1427. Now he did not look like the beginning of its existence. The new building was erected on the foundation of the middle part of the basilica, and the side aisles and gallery turned into business premises, such as the temple stood for a short time, he destroyed and burned the Turks during the siege of the Southern coast of Crimea in 1475, but a holy place was not forgotten. Somewhat later there was erected a small chapel with a wooden roof. It operated until the XVIII century, and only after the expulsion of the Greek Christians in Russia, which left the monastery and the monks of the Holy Apostles, we finally came to desolation

Regarding burial in the basilica of St. John Gotha, his holy relics were not detected. NI Repnikov found a niche-arkosoly, which was carefully Blocked tomb, but at autopsy it was empty. Was it a symbolic burial of a man who died in a foreign country, or might actually buried here first, and then moved to another place? While these questions remain unanswered. Active archaeological research on Ajudag conducted throughout the XX century, they continue today. As a result of excavations in the light reappeared long-abandoned homes, numerous churches, fortifications. Whom they belonged? When and why people left?

course, the Goths did not come to an empty place. Ayu-dag was populated already in antiquity. On the western slope of the mountain by Artek, a tract of Osman, archaeologists dug up a small settlement, which existed for a long time with the IV century BC to IV-V century AD. People lived in small huts, closely pressed to each other. The abundance of pottery found here, scientists found that the settlement was Taurus. Next to him a little lower in the VII-X centuries to form another settlement. Who lived in it? Rather, they were the descendants of tribes mingling brand-Scythians, Alans, Goths and Greeks. It is interesting that the Goths were able to preserve their language to the XVI century.

In VIII century on the western slope Ajudag appeared large settlement - nearly a hundred houses: from the poor on the outskirts lachuzhek to large two-story mansions in the center. It found the remains of two nurseries, which produced iron anchors and other metal parts of ships. The north-west settlement was defending the wall. The excavations revealed a large quantity of fish bones, shells of mussels, oysters. But the bones of domestic animals not found at all, On this basis, scientists have concluded that the inhabitants were engaged in sea fishing, caught fish and other prey they sold. Settlement ceased to exist in the XV century, after the departure of people at home were destroyed by landslide.

On the eastern slope of the mountain in the Middle Ages were also the village. One of them discovered during the construction Sanatorium "Krim" , stationed at the foot of the mountain. An asphalt path leads from the sanatorium in the mountain, in ancient times this road for people going down into the valley, worked in the vineyards, fields and orchards, and in the evening returned to their villages of the hill. What made them do such a path, not whether it was easier to settle in the valley? The answer is simple. Impregnable mountain was not only home but also protection from uninvited guests, Tourist trail will lead to a clearing Ai-Constant ( "Saint Constantine"), located on the south-eastern slope of the mountain, high above the sea. In the VIII to X century people lived here. Archaeologists found about 30 houses built on small terraces. Preserved remains of the foundation of a large rectangular building, possibly the tower donjon (the so-called tower of the castle lord). In center field, you can see the ruins of a small temple, built of rubble in lime mortar, based on an altar to the east entrance to the southern wall. The temple was built in the XII century in place of the older buildings. It is believed that the meadow Ai-Constant founded the monastery of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

According to the same type were built and other temples Ayu-Dag: Church on the south-eastern paw Bear Mountain, found NI Repnikov, and a church built on the ruins of the Basilica of the Holy Apostles. Medieval settlements defended the three belts of defensive walls built on the more vulnerable eastern slope. And on top of the mountain are the remains of a ring-shaped building with 14 small rectangular and 4 semi-circular towers. The height of its walls, built of rubble on clay, reaching three meters. Most likely, the people here did not live permanently, and hid during the war danger elderly, women and children, as well as livestock - the main wealth of the villagers at that time.

Archeologists believe that in ancient times all the surrounding settlements, and they are about six, subordinate to the governor, his castle could be located in a clearing Ai-Constant. During the war, advocates met the enemy at the defensive walls, and those who could not fight, took refuge on the mountain top. But people still had to leave their homes and resettle in the valley. This happened almost simultaneously in all the villages, and the reason for one - on the hill lost water. Perhaps as a result of the earthquake the water left in crevices in the valley, sources have dried up, no more life to the once-crowded mountain. And later landslide came down from the steep sides of the Ayu-Dag, and abandoned houses and temples were buried under a layer of earth.

Many temples found on the Ayu-Dag, forced to think about the name of the mountain. Perhaps originally it was called Aya, which means "holy", and after the village deserted, and the Greeks moved into the Sea of Azov, the Tatars have renamed it Bear - Ayu-Dag.

Today Partenit of pilgrims to visit the holy places connected with the name of St. John Gotha. In 1996, the sanatorium "Crimea" erected a monument to St John of the means VI Sheveva. He completed the Yalta wizard brothers Tsvetkova. The monument consecrated Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea Lazar.

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