January 19, 2014

0972 UKRAINE (Autonomous Republic of Crimea) - Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora (UNESCO WHS)

Chersonesus is an ancient Greek colony founded approximately 2,500 years ago, by settlers from Heraclea Pontica, on the shore of the Black Sea (now in a Sevastopol's suburb), in the southwestern part of the Crimean Peninsula, known then as Taurica. During much of the classical period, it was a democracy ruled by a group of elected archons and a council called the Damiorgi. In the late 2nd century BC it became a dependency of the Bosporan Kingdom, in 1st century BC was subject to Rome, and in the 370s AD was captured by the Huns.

Becoming Byzantine possession, was used as an observation point to watch the barbarian tribes, and also a popular place of exile for those who angered the Byzantine governments. After the Fourth Crusade it became dependent on the Empire of Trebizond, and then fell under Genoese control in the early 13th century. Sacked by the armies of Nogai Khan in 1299, was destroyed a century later by Edigu and permanently abandoned.

The buildings mix influences of Greek, Roman and Byzantine culture, being "an exceptional example of a peripheral centre of movement of people which acted as an important gateway to the north-eastern parts of the Greek trade influence, including the Crimea and the Scythian state". The most famous basilica excavated in Chersonesus is 1935 Basilica (in the postcard). The original name is unknown so "1935" refers to the year it was opened. The basilica was probably built in the 6th century on the site of an earlier temple, assumed by historians to be a synagogue, itself replacing a small temple dating from the early days of Christianity.

About the stamp
The second stamp, depicting Fagus sylvatica / Fagus sylvatica (4,80 UAH), is part of a large definitive stamps series about leaf and fruits, about which I wrote here.

Chersonesus (Crimea) - Wikipedia
Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora - UNESCO official website

Sender: Savenko Svetlana / pochemychka2009 (postcrossing) UA-886553
Sent from Sevastopol (Autonomous Republic of Crimea / Ukraine) on 11.01.2014
Photo: V. Rudenko 

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