[Sector 1]
Tower of Zeno
Citadel
Arched niches church
Barracks
City gates
Crypts
Southeastern line of defense

[Sector 2]
The Church of Saint Volodymyr
Ancient square
Main street
House of the 4th - 3rd cc. BC
Eastern basilica
Cave church
Uvarov basilica
Baptistery
Sixbased church
Northern basilica
Bell
Hostel
Hospice
Residential block and chapel
Kruze basilica
Artillery battery
Church in block 7

[Sector 3]
Theater
City cistern complex
Fourapsed church
Western line of defense
Mint
Reliquary church
Fiveapsed church

[Sector 4]
House with winepress
Fishsalting cisterns
1935 basilica
1932 basilica
Basilica in the basilica
Arched church
Basilica on the hill
Western basilica
Defensive moat and gate
Residential blocks
Necropolis of the first cc. AD

 
Cave church



      An interesting early Christian structure, often called the cave church, is located within the third block of the main street. It was carved out of the rock in the form of a gaunt quadrangle with three niches (conches) on each side. One descended into the underground space by a staircase, the upper part of which was carved out of rock; the lower part was wooden. Notches for a covering over the open entrance are visible in the rock. There had probably been a cistern for salting fish in this area before it was remodeled into a church.
       The dating of the church is problematic: some scholars date it to the 5th century, others assert that this was a secret church for the early Christians of the first centuries AD. A chapel was later erected above the church; only a part of its apse has survived.

       The cave church was discovered in 1883 during excavations by the Odessa Society of History and Antiquities. Judging from finds, one can surmise that there were several burials inside this structure. Architectural details, coins, and ceramic lamps were also excavated.

       In 1980-1984 S. A. Belyaev directed further excavations and provided architectural measurements of the church. He subsequently devised a reconstruction of the church and suggested that people entered the underground space not from above, but through a room which has not been preserved.

Church. Cross-section. Reconstruction. View of the eastern apse

Entrance to the church. Reconstruction

       In spite of the fact that today the church is nothing but a strange hollow in the ground, scholars have put forth plausible reconstructions. The church was once as resplendent as the other churches of Chersonesos. A hypothesis exists that relics of an unknown martyr were kept in this church, which is why it is often called the memorial church. It is interesting that the church probably existed here throughout reconstructions of the neighboring block and the Chersonites utilized it to the end of the city's existence.


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