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Kerch

After covering another 55 km. you get to the city of Kerch.The first known settlement founded by the Milesian Greeks in the 6 century B.C.-Pantikapey – was situated in place of present-day Kerch on the mountain­sides of Mitridat. The remains of the antique city state were discovered by archaeological dig. The Great Mitridat stairs ornamented with lanterns, griffin sculptures, and balustrades lead to the top of the mountain, Glory obelisk. Beside Lenin Square there is the Church of St. John the Baptist built in the time when Kerch was part of Kyivan Rus (10th-14th cent.). To the left of the stairs there is a technological model of Demeter’s vault (the vault is conserved).The original structure had wonderful frescoes on its wail. One of them represented the goddess Demeter mourning for her daughter Persephone abducted by Hades.

Unfortunately, the vault was robbed as long ago as the mid-19 th century. Many burial mounds have been discov­ered in the environs of Kerch. Some of them such as Czarist mound (township Adzhimushkav) and Melek-Chesmen (V. Dubinin St., near bus station), resemble Egyptian pyramids in diminished form. The first one is situ­ated near Adzhimushkav quarries (Adzhimushkav, 36 Malchenko St.), where partisans con­cealed themselves during the Great Patriotic War.

An interesting historical memorial is found not far away from the ferry Port Crimea located in the eastern outskirts of the city. It is the remains of the Turkish fortress Eni-Kale built in 1703 for supervising the narrowest part of the Kerch Strait.

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