Kerch (Crimea)


The town spreads picturesquely on the shore of the Kerch Peninsula, between two seas the Black and the Sea of Azov.
It attracts numerous visitors with its interesting monuments of ancient times and medieval architecture.
In the 7th c. BC the settlement of Panticapaion was lounded here, which subsequently became the largest ancient Greek city in the Eastern Crimea. Over 800 years Panticapaion was the capitai 01 the mighty Bosporos slave-owning state.

In the 4th c. AD it shared the late 01 other towns - it was completely destroyed by the Huns who flooded the Crimea.
The same century the city revived under the name of Bosporos and became a Byzantine fortress. In the 8th c. it was seized by the Khazars which named it Karsha. Numerous devastating wars and inexorabte time destroyed the unique majestic monuments, only some of them have survived, in particular burials of Bosporan and Scythian aristocracy in the torm of huge barrows with burial chambers.

Among these, special mention should be made of the Tsars'kyi Kurhan (Royal Barrow), the grandiose burial vault built in the 4th c. BC, the tamous Kul'-Oba, Zolotyi (Golden), and Melek Chesmens'kyi barrows with their invaluable treasures. For one and a half centuries (14th - 15th c.), Kerch, renamed Cerchio, belonšed to the Genoese. In 1476 the Turks seized the town. They turned Kerch into their stronghold and later built another fortress - Eni-Kale (1703).

Kerch has a number of memorable places associated with the events of the Great Patrioti c War of 1941-1945.

In the near future this town, where the traces ot different epochs and historical events have intertwined, will become a national archaeological preserve and an intemational tourist centre.