Church of St. John the Baptist
The Church of St. John the Baptist in Kerch – is outstanding monument of Byzantine architecture. It’s classified as cross-in-square domed temple of Eastern Orthodox architecture. The most similar analogs can be seen in Asian areas of Byzantine Empire and in its capital Constantinople.
The unique temple in Kerch – the Church of St. John the Baptist – is the only landmark which survived since the glory of Tmutarakan Princedom. That is, since 10th -11th centuries.
The Church represents a graceful four-pillar cross-in-square domed temple with a single dome on a elevated tholobate. The stripes, so traditional for Byzantine architecture, is caused by the fact that layers of stone slabs are alternated with layers flat bricks – plinthite. This trait increases durability and seismic resistance of the building, let alone the decorative effect.
Mixture of various forms makes the Kerch church original and outstanding – there is no way to confuse it with any other. The Church of St. John the Baptist is an outstanding masterpiece of architecture. Some its peculiar trait can be traced in Old Russian churches.
The researchers still disagree about the time the Church had been erected. Some say it was in 8th, some say in 10th century. The one proven fact is that its construction had been finished by the 13th century. A legend tells that the construction commenced after Apostle St. Andrew had given his blessing. This temple was considered the second oldest temple within Russia after New Athos in Pitsunda.
Before being closed during the Soviet times, the Church stored very old icons, religious items – manuscripts and a wooden bowl dated back to the 4th century A.D. Author of restoration design – architect E.I.Dopushinskaya. The Church again was give its initial and lost appearance of Byzantine architecture masterpiece and by 1990 it started ceremonial service again.
Use bus routes No. 5 and 19 and go to the station “Lenin Square” (Russian Ploshchad Lenina).