The Greeks from Miletus founded ancient Panticapaeum, the forefather of the modern city, in the early sixth century ВС.
St. John the Baptist’s Temple is a remarkable architectural monument. The most ancient eastern part of it was built in the 9-1 Oth centuries AD. Earlier, before the temple was constructed, there had been a Christian basilica, the columns of which were possibly used in the construction of the temple. On one of the remaining columns, there was an inscription dating back to AD 757. The temple’s design is that of a cross-vaulting type, which was widely spread in the Byzantium. Presently, examples of similar architectural constructions can be found in Bulgaria. The temple was reconstructed in the 14th century, and during the 19th century two annexes were added to it, utterly changing its exterior. The first annex was the western-side chapel with a small bell-tower, and was reconstructed by architect A. Digbi in 1845. Later, in 1896, the northern-side chapel was erected on the place of the former vestibule dating from the first third of the 19th century. The church was turned into a museum during the Soviet period and restored by local craftsmen in the 1970’s -1980’s (architect E. I. Lopushinskaya). St. John the Baptist’s Temple is the most ancient Orthodox Temple in Eastern Europe. In 1990 it was given back to the people and became the city’s Cathedral.