It takes a little over an hour to fly from Moscow to the capital of the Nizhny Novgorod region, while getting familiar with the local museums, churches and crafts, requires more than a week

 

The history of Nizhny Novgorod dates back to the 13th century. The city started with a small wooden fortress, that in the 16th century turned into a gorgeous stone kremlin. Today, the beautiful view over the Kremlin walls and the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers is complemented with the elegant Church of St. Elijah the Prophet of God. It combines features of the 17th and 19th-century architecture.

Berries, flowers, leaves, outlandish firebirds and intricate patterns etched in gold and cinnabar make up the world-famous Khokhloma. The craft center is located in the town of Semyonov. At the local factory, you can witness the birth of decorated spoons, cups and plates, and at the factory museum, you come face to face with the masterpieces of the last century.

10 000 square meters is the area covered by The mural, that artist Mikhail Chuprov painted on the wall of the Vyksa Steel Works plant. Currently, this is the largest monumental painting in Europe.

Historically, Pavlovo was home to blacksmiths, gunsmiths and tinsmiths. The knives, locks, cutlery, scissors and razors created by handicraftsmen of the Russian capital of locksmiths were famous all over the country. Their heritage is preserved in the Historical Museum that houses knives in shape of a pig, an airplane and a bus, among other exhibits.

Since the 16th century, the wares of the Bogorodsk potters were known all over the Volga region. Now, with the establishment of the Center for the Development of Pottery in the city of Bogorodsk the craft is experiencing its second birth.

According to legend, the mythical city of Kitezh has long been hidden in the depths of Lake Svetloyar. The lake keeps the secret of the invisible city from the time of the Horde invasion, while its picturesque shores attract pilgrims and tourists.

Although it was the center of many crafts, Gorodets won national acclaim thanks to printed gingerbread. Before the Revolution, three dozen local varieties were sold in the markets of the Volga region, the Urals and even Central Asia. Today, the city has several production centers, and a themed museum.

Vyksa was once the capital of the iron-making empire of the merchants Batashevs. And today, you can go on a tour to see the facilities of the metallurgical plant in action. Vyksa also boasts works of modern art – graffiti masters come here from all over Russia to participate in painting the facades.

The convent in Diveyevo settlement was founded at the end of the 18th century with the active participation of Saint Seraphim of Sarov. For a century and a half, the convent was revered as one of spiritual centers of Russia. Reborn after decades of Soviet devastation, Saint Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery is now once again striking with the beauty and grandeur of its churches.

3 Museums

 

The art of lacework came to the town of Balakhna at the end of the 17th century. Balakhna style was notable for a very complicated weaving technique, in which up to 500 bobbins were used. Plotnikov House Museum invites visitors to admire lace tablecloths, towels, and shawls.

 

In Boldino, unlike in many other Pushkin-related places, almost everything is genuine: the manor house, the patrimonial office, the park and the cascade of ponds. Here the poet wrote the Bronze Horseman, the Queen of Spades, the Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish, and the Belkin Tales.

 

In Chkalovsk, the homeland of the great aviator Valery Chkalov, his residence was turned into a museum, where numerous exhibits, including the personal belongings of the pilot, are preserved. The hangar houses real rarities – the planes that Chkalov flew, as well as his car and boat.

 

 

Техт: Dmitry Ivanov

Published on: August 24, 2018