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It remains indefinable when the town of Serpukhov was founded. It was first mentioned as a town in the ecclesiastical letter missive of the Great Prince of Moscow Ivan Kalita. The text dates back to the year 1328, 1336 or 1339. Serpukhov, however, celebrated its official 650th anniversary in 1989.

From 1341 to 1456 it was the capital of appanage Serpukhov Princedom and later became part of the Moscow State.

The early history of the town was in many ways determined by outstanding statesmen and pastors of the Moscow Rus, namely Metropolitan Alexis, Prince Vladimir Andreyevich the Brave, Sergiy of Radonezh and his disciple Athanasius Vysotsky.

In 1358 Prince Vladimir Andreyevich of Serpukhov became the only heir of the Serpukhov Princedom. In 1374 he founded the towns first Kremlin made of oak, though he did not live there permanently, being the owner of a third of Moscow city and a number of settlements near Moscow.

In the 14th century the strengthening of Serpukhov appanage started from the foundation of the Lords Monastery in 1360. The monastery was established by Alexis Metropolitan of Moscow who sent his lay brother Barlaam to find a place for a cloister there. In 1374 Vysotsky Monastery was founded by Prince Vladimir of Serpukhov: by his request St. Sergii of Radonezh came on foot to Serpukhov and laid the first stone in the foundation of the monasterys Conception Cathedral. The monasterys first fathers superior were Athanasius Vysotsky Senior and Athanasius Vysotsky Junior. The monasteries built on the banks of Nara, near its inflow to the Oka River came to be spiritual and cultural centres, as well as outposts of the Moscow Princedom on its South-Western border.

Prince Vladimir Andreyevich took part in campaigns of Great Prince Dmitry Ivanovich of Moscow against Lithuania, Tver and Rzhev. In the famous Battle on Kulikovo Field in 1380 his regiment determined the victory of Russians over the Horde. This victory brought him the honourable title of the Brave.

In 1382 Khan Tokhtamysh burnt down Serpukhov and seized Moscow. Vladimir Andreyevich with his troops crushed one of the Khans regiments and in that way made the Mongols retreat from the Moscow lands. In 1408 Serpuhkov was burnt down by the Horde Khan Edigu and two years later it was smashed up by the Lithuanian Prince Svidrigailo.

In 1410 Prince Vladimir the Brave died and was laid to rest in the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The family of Serpukhov appanage princes came to an end in the early 1480s. In the late 15th- early 16th centuries the town was given up to Kazan khans. Afterwards Serpukhov was eventually annexed to Moscow State.

Under Ivan the Third riverside service was organized, with Serpukhov among other towns forming the protection forefront against raids of Crimean khans.

In 1556 white-stone fortress was built instead of the wooden one. In wartime the town was hosting a big regiment. The fortified walls were designed for placement of cannons and huarquebuses, since artillery was already widely used at that time.

In the end of the 17th century, a new building of the Trinity Cathedral was built on the Kremlin territory after a fire (the cathedral on this place existed since the first fortress had been built there in the 14th century).

According to the first census of the Serpukhov population of 1552, most of the town dwellers were into leather and iron working and pottery.

In the 18th century Serpukhov became centre of sail-cloth manufacturing. In 1761 already 30 per cent of Russian sail-cloth export volume came from the towns factories.

In 1781 the towns coat of arms was established: it was a peacock with extended feathers against red background.

In 1784 Serpukhov got a regular building development plan. In the 19th century it was developing as the centre of textile manufacture. 92 per cent of all workers were employed at fabric factories. Konshins textile mills in Serpukhov became the largest textile producer in Russia of the second half of the 19th century.

The name of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov is associated with Serpukhovs Municipal Council, which played an important role in building of schools, hospitals and roads. The famous writer when living in his Melikhovo Estate was a member of the Assembly of Land and took part in meetings of the Sanitary Council.

Monasteries and churches imparted inimitable outlook to the town. In 1918 Serpukhov with the population of around 30 thousand people boasted 2 monasteries, 22 churches and 6 belfries.

Places of Interest

Rich historical past imparted us a number of interesting monuments, among them buildings of civil and industrial architecture. Serpukhov is also rich in cultural traditions. Its pride is History and Arts Museum, which is famous for its richest collection of fine art and location in the towns best merchant mansion (dating back to 1900, by architect R.I. Klein) once owned by manufacturer A. V. Marayeva.

The suburbs harbour memory of the once luxurious park and palace ensembles of manorial estates of the 17th-19th centuries, such as an 18th century estate in Rai-Semyonovskoye Settlement formerly belonging to Pavel the Firsts knight marshal A. P. Nashchokin, Pushchino-na-Nare (18th c.) an ancestral estate of the Vyazemskys Princes, Podmoklovo Estate owned by the Golitsyns Princes in pre-Peters epoch and to Dolgorukys Princes in the early 18th century.




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  (Moscow Region)

Cities of the region

    Sergiev Posad
    Pavlovsky Posad


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