The Ruins of Chersonesos
Chersonesos was a Greek colony founded around 200 to 300 BC. It is located in the south west of the Crimean Peninsula in the outskirts of the city of Sevastopol, in the bay now called Quarantine. The word Chersonesos derived from the Greek word “Hersonissos” meaning “peninsula”.
Chersonesos had a democratic government and the state power was held by a national assembly. The city-state was constantly at war. It held a long and bloody war with the Scythian and in 1 BC it lost its democratic form of government under the Roman Empire. In the 4th century Christianity became the official religion, Greek monuments, art, theaters and temples were all destroyed and replaced by Christian churches and monuments. In the 5th century Chersonesos was absorbed by the Byzantine Empire. They called the city Kherson and the newcomer Slavic people called it Korsun. The most tragic invasion was at the end of the 13th century when nomadic tribes raided and burned the city.
The Bell of Chersonesos
After the Russian annexation of Crimea in 1784 efforts were made to preserve ancient buildings.In 1827 a Russian officer of the Black Sea Fleet made the first excavation finding buried treasures of the ancient city. Systematic excavation continued during the 1880s. During Soviet times the area was protected and given the status of archaeological and historical reserve becoming one of the largest research centers for archaeologists and historians in the Soviet Union. The ancient city and its architectural ruins were reconstructed.
Today it is visited by thousands of tourist. The museum and archaeological site depicts collections of works of art, crafts, household items and tools that inhabitants of the ancient city of Chersonesos used in everyday life. Visitors can walk along its restored streets, explore the city, theaters and what is left of the columns of once majestic buildings. The growth of cities nearby has put the site in danger of urban encroachment. Coastal erosion and pollution are other dangers that Chersonesos is facing.
The archaeological site and museum is located at: 1 Drevnyaya Street. Sevastopol.