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Kalyazin: monument to human blindness
September 28, 2010 14:28

A church bell tower sticks out waters of Uglich water reservoir as a monument to human blindness and faith of early Soviet period that nothing but new world is valuable. Most part of the city with almost thousand-years history is now retired under waters, with market square, Holy Trinity Monastery and Nikolsky Cathedral, the bell tower of which is still to be observed. Kalyazin was mentioned in written sources in the 12th century for the first time, but archaeologists say it appeared earlier.

This place is a monument to such human vices like pride, blindness and disrespect to the history, a monument which was constructed not by design, but appeared almost naturally: it was only protected from destruction during floating of ice: the bell tower is overblown with ground and sticks not directly out water. Other buildings, cathedral and monastery cannot be observed, even by divers: they were blown up and ruins bulldozed. That happened in 1939 - 1940. It leads us to the bottom of the Russian history, in all senses: first, to the early Soviet times, when whole towns and settlements disappeared under waters and bulldozers, because the people believed that they were building a new world, or even universe, much more better one, and history is not a thing to regret. On the other hand, Kalyazin's history began in the times when Russian medieval history was in its early days.

The history of Kalyazin begun on the place, where a bell-tower stays. It was a monastery of St. Nikolas-on-Zhabna (Zhabna is a river, flowing into Volga) on that place, existed since 11th century. It was founded by the Novgorodians, who were spreading their influence all over the Russian territories, and not only Russian ones. Monasteries of Russian Middle ages were not only centers of intellectual culture, but fortresses as well. St. Nikolas monastery existed till 15th century, when it lost its value and destroyed and place by a church, which was built and rebuilt for several times. We can see bell tower of the last edition of St. Nicolas church.


Kalyazin now is a pretty provincial town with 13, 000 tenants on Volga, Zhabnya River with forest along river banks and Uglich water reservoir, of course. It is still and beautiful. Old Kalyazin is partly saved, and we can recommend you historical buildings of churches Epiphany (1781), Ascension (1787) and Presentation in the Temple (1882). Moreover, Kalyazin Museum of local history is also worth to peep into. And of course, it is worth to have a walk in it, to sail to the bell tower and realize something, not only about Russian history but about yourself as well, because all of us can commit rash acts.

Getting around
Kalyazin is situated not far from Moscow and the way takes about 5 hours, regardless of way you choose. From Moscow you can take a train to Rybinsk from Belorussky Railway terminal. Or take suburban train to Savyolovo from Savyolovsky Railway Terminal. From Savyolovo take local train which runs two times a day, or "Rocket" boat. From Moscow you also can take a direct bus. There are direct buses from Tver and Sergiev Posad. There is one more way from Moscow, but it takes more time: to take a motor vessel from Moscow. But this one is believed to be the most beautiful.

translated by Yulia Buzykina


Tags: Russian tourism Kalyazin Uglich   

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