Pilgrimage To The Crimea Religious Excursions In Ukraine (for Christians)

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Itinerary: Simferopol-YALTA-SEVASTOPOL-Simferopol
Duration: 4 nights/ 5 days
Hotels used on the itinerary: YALTA****, Ukrayina**
Manner of transportation: by private coach

Ancient Ukrainian chronicles say that the first to bring the glad news of Christianity to the Crimea was St.Andrew - one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. Presumably It happened sometime in the mid-1st century A.D. At the end of the same century St.Clement (the first of the Apostolic Fathers, Bishop of Rome, disciple of St.Paul and St.Peter) accused for preaching Christianity, was exiled to the Crimea. There he died a death of a martyr for his dissemination of to the local population. In the Medieval centuries the Crimean Christians had close ties with the Byzantium.

Most of the cave monasteries in the Crimea date back to the time when the local monks fleeing from the persecution of the authorities established new monasteries in the remote places in the mountains where they could freely worship their icons.

Kyiv prince Volodymyr who brought Christianity to Ukraine was baptized in the town of Corsun-Chersonesus, he invited local Crimean (Greek) priests and craftsmen to come to Kyiv. It was from Corsun that holy relics and icons were brought to Kyiv as well. Later on prince Volodymyr was canonized.

 

 

1 Day:

Arrival in Simferopol, transfer to Yalta (105 km),check in the hotel.

 

 

2 Day:

Morning guided city tour of Yalta takes the group not only to traditional touristic high-lights but also to the Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevskyi (one of the most worshipped Russian Saints).

The guests are then transferred to the former Armenian church designed in the style of early medieval Armenian architecture and frescoed traditionally by Armenian artists.

This afternoon the guests will visit Livadia - the former summer residence of Russian Imperial family.

The programme includes also a visit to the praying house of the Christian Baptist community to meet the members of the community.

 

3 Day:

Sevastopol is a sensational destination in its own right! Fascinating shoreline drive begins the day. En route the passengers pass one of the most inspiring sites - the Baidar Resurrection Church that perched on a cliff's top.

After the check in the hotel in Sevastopol the tourists visit the highlight of the tour - Chersonesus. This is one of the most important centres of antique culture in this country founded in the 5th century B.C. It is from Chersonesus that Christianity started spreading in Kyiv Rus State after the Great Prince Volodymyr was baptized here in 988.

The tourists also visit St. Nicholas Church designed originally at the cemetery of Sevastopol defenders (Crimean War 1854-1855).

Another tourist site is Cape Fiolent that boasts a monastery which was founded by Greek sailors in the 9th century. The traditional story says it that the sailors were caught in a bad storm and they prayed to St.George to save them and the Saint who paid heed to their prayers restrained the waves. The sailors reached the shore safely and discovered in the cliffs an icon image of the Saint miraculously revealed to them. The monastery they founded was naturally given the name of St.George. The icon that the Greek sailors found among the rocks is now exhibited in the National Fine Arts Museum in Kyiv.

 

4 Day:

The day is dedicated to the memorable visits to former Orthodox Cosma and Damian monastery. An unforgettable and spectacular ride through the mountains that take your breath away!

Tourists find themselves in the very heart of the Crimean Mountains - the sheltered Central Gorge where the former monastery is situated. The Saglyk-Su spring ("healthy water") attracts pilgrims.

In the early evening the guests meet local clergy and believers of different confessions and discuss questions of mutual interests.

 

5 Day:

Today's final destination is Bakhchisarai, the former capital of the Crimean Khanate and also the seat of mufti-the head of Crimean Moslems.

The tour includes the former Khan's Palace with Khan- Dzami (Great Palace Mosque) and Minor Palace Mosque.

The guests are then transferred to Marjum-Dere (St.Maria Valley) to visit the medieval cave monastery of Assumption.