пятница, 9 октября 2009 г.

The road which has created Russia (part 2)

Neither Demidov’s botanical garden (now it is a place in the modern micro district) nor Steller’s tomb (nobody knows Steller’s exact burial place) have been saved. Despite this the destiny of the people connected with the Siberian route has become an important achy-typical components of the cultural landscape of those places through which it passed (see for example: 4, 19, and 22). In 1719, in the second part of the book issued about Robinson Crusoe, the route of adventures passed along the Siberian route. Under the assumption made by the historian Verevkin (4), the reference that inspired Daniel Defoe, was one of the first descriptions of the Siberian route – notes made by an unknown military foreigner who had proceeded with forty six officers from Moscow to Siberia in 1666 (14, 264). These notes written in German, long time remained unpublished ad were stored in Copenhagen. They were published in our country in 1936 in the magazine "Historical archive" by M.P. Alekseev - the author of books "Siberia in news of the West-European writers", "Siberia in Defoe's novel", etc. Other important documents about the Siberian route from the end of the XVII century are traveling diaries of Russian ambassadors to China Izbrant Idess and Adam Brandt who traveled in 1692 - 1695.

The Siberian route has left the bright trace on architecture and landscapes of cities through which it ran. One of the paramount goals of the "tsar’s road" of Solikamsk, Verkhoturye, Tyumen and Tobolsk was to leave on new, uninhabited lands the major attributes of Russian statehood and spiritual culture. In these cities at the end the XVII - the beginning of the XVIII centuries many outstanding samples of temple and civil architecture were constructed, the largest monasteries were founded which are seen today as original spiritual items of this historical-geographical phenomena.

The beginning of Babinov’s road was in the Cathedral area of Solikamsk that has become the heart of an architectural ensemble of the city and the "pearls" of it constructed mainly from the 80s of the XVII till the 20s of the XVIII centuries are: Trinity and Cross-Erection Сathedrals, Epiphanies and Resurrection Churches, the Cathedral Belltower and the House of Commander. One of the most impressive architecture monuments connected with the Siberian route is considered to be John Predtechi's Church founded in 1715 in the village of Krasnoye, near Solikamsk. Not only the symbolical lay-out of this church, but also its external shape brings to mind a tall sailing ship symbolizing the movement of Orthodoxy to the East. Most likely, John Predtechi's Church was the first temple with such an appearance. Later, in the second half of the XVIII century, similar architectural styles were widely applied by the masters of Totma whose inhabitants have played a significant role in the development of Russian America.

The so-called "Moscow baroque" influenced greatly the external shape of the majority of Solikamsk’s temples. This architectural style, extending from the center of the country to its remote boundaries, alongside other architectural tendencies, arts and crafts, underwent the change, adapted some spiritual and aesthetic research, quite often being enriched by the original traditions, and developed in local schools of architecture. As a result, in different regions you can meet different definitions of this style, such as "Northern", "Ural" or "Siberian" baroque. The influence of traditional architecture of Great Ustyug, Kargopol, and Totma is clearly seen in the architectural ensemble of Solikamsk. In fact, the first artels (cooperative associations) that erected stone temples arrived precisely from these cities. At the same time, the original stylistic features of the Solikamsk ensemble are distinguished. They have become typical for Solikamsk’s craftsmen who subsequently have taken part in the construction of many temples not only in the homeland, but also in a number of other cities of the Ural Mountains and Siberia. One such masterpiece of local temple architecture is the Trinity Cathedral in Verkhoturye, which was included amongst the most outstanding architectural monuments of the world in 1959 at the international conference in The Hague. The Trinity Cathedral, for which the construction began in 1703 with the blessing of the Siberian metropolitan Filofey Leschinsky, became the main dominant feature of Verkhoturye’s stone Kremlin, being erected at that time. By all means this architectural complex symbolized the main administrative and spiritual attributes of the Russian state. Besides the Trinity Cathedral, there were the House of the Commander, the Decrees chambers, the Granary barns, the exchequer and a number of other buildings in its territory.

Besides the administrative and trading functions which solved the problems of the Siberian colonization, Babinov’s road had also an important missionary function. First clerics and monks used that route to the East. In 1604 the priest Iona, who became the founder of the Saint-Nikolaev monastery arrived in Verkhoturye. Some decades later, on this road the future heavenly patrons of the Ural Mountains and Siberia - Sacred Just Simeon of Verkhoturye moved to the village of Merkushino which was situated 60 versts from Verkhoturye. After Simeon’s relics were transferred to the Saint-Nikolaev monastery of Verkhoturye in 1704 Babinov’s road in the minds of many people took on a new, sacral sense of a pilgrim’s route. Consideration of the spiritual value of the Siberian route is important in understanding how self-sacrifice and beliefs of separated people have changed these lands.

In Tyumen the Siberian route passed close to the Trinity monastery. It should be mentioned, that unlike most other cathedrals often found in Siberia with Moscow and North Russian architectural elements, this cathedral had typical Ukrainian features. It can be easily explained by the fact that the Siberian metropolitan Filofey Leschinsky who took part in the construction of stone temples of the monastery was of Ukrainian origin. Unlike Verkhoturye and Tobolsk, there was no stone Kremlin in Tyumen. However, in the historical part of the town, which was the place of the first wooden jail, during the XVIII century the original architectural ensemble was built. In 1700, on the bank of the river Tura, stone barns for the storage of treasury were founded, above which the Annunciation church was built. Later, on the opposite bank of the river the church of Ascension-George was erected and was sanctified in 1789. In the 70s - 90s of the XVIII century was constructed the Nikolskaya (Cross-Erection) church which has become one of the most important dominant features of the historical Tyumen center. Owing to its placement on the «tsar’s road ", in Tyumen, as well as in Verkhoturye, a Coachmen’s village developed near the Trinity monastery.

The Tobolsk Kremlin became one of the most outstanding architectural complexes - symbols of power of the Tobolsk province during that time covering the huge territory from the Ural Mountains to the east suburbs of Siberia. In 1697 the architect and mapmaker Simeon Remezov received the commission to make the project of the stone Kremlin and make calculations of its costs. One of most difficult problems he faced was to unite the various buildings of the Troitsk cape in one architectural and military-defensive system. The Kremlin complex included: the house of the Bishop, a consistory, the monastic buildings, the Sofia cathedral, the Covering church, the Cathedral Belltower, the Chambers of Orders, the largest in Siberia, a court yard in which greater caravans with the overseas goods quite often stopped, and a number of other economic and administrative constructions.

In Tobolsk the main architectural frame of the Siberian route was the Dmitriy Gate of Renteriya. The Tobolsk regional specialist Boris Eristov wrote about it: "Many Siberian cities (Verkhoturye, Tyumen, Tobolsk) were called symbolically "the gate of Siberia", however there is such a gate in Tobolsk. The matter is that in the past the well-known route to Siberia went through Tobolsk. The Moscow path directly approached the "Dmitriy Gate» of the Tobolsk Kremlin, passed through it and then on the hilly part of the city went further to the east, to Omsk, Irkutsk, Kazakhstan and China. Here they are, real «Gates of Asia ". Through this gate passed the ambassadors of eastern lords, who did not manage to reach St. Petersburg, as Tobolsk played the major role in eastern policy of the state « (26, 196).

During the XVII and XVIII centuries Tobolsk was not only the largest administrative, spiritual and trading center of Siberia, but also one of the main transport units of the Siberian route. It was also the beginning of the overland Irkutsk route. Owing to the connection with the Ob-Irtysh basin, Tobolsk was given the key role in the development of Western Siberia. Probably, that is why Tobolsk is often called «the father of the Siberian cities ".

As for the region of the Ural Mountains, similar definitions are often applied to Solikamsk and Verkhoturye. These cities played an important role in the development of the land, situated to the south of the basic direction of the Siberian route. In the XVIII century the main agrarian and trading centers of this region became such cities as Kungur, Krasnoufimsk, Irbit, Kamyshlov, Yalutorovsk, Ishim, etc. In 1699 Peter the Great issued the decree concerning «The Establishment of the Verkhoturye iron factories ". During this period Verkhoturye became the important center, which was the beginning of the future «mining civilization «of Ural Mountains region. The mining era of the Ural region began with the construction of the Nevyansk factory in 1700 where one year later the first cast iron was produced. In 1720 the Nizhniy-Tagil factory was founded, soon to become one of the largest industrial centers of the Ural Mountains Region, and in 1723 the construction of Ekaterinburg began. In 1781 on the place of settlement of the Egoshihinsk factory the city of Perm was founded which later became the center of Perm Region. In the XVIII century these new economic centers of the Ural Mountains Region and Western Siberia more and more actively defined the character of the further development of this land, so that the first advanced posts of its development were involuntarily pushed aside into the background. The given process predetermined the displacement of the basic transport ways. So, in 1735 the new post route which went through Kungur and Ekaterinburg was opened. Despite its existence, all basic streams of cargoes continued to use Babinov’s road, because at that time it was forbidden to use other routes for trading purposes. However, in 1753 after the abolishing of collecting taxes for the goods transportation to Siberia and the closing of the Verkhoturye customs, artificial restraint of the development of new transport routes lost its meaning. For a very short period of time, Babinov’s road conceded its role to the Big Siberian route; its official opening took place in 1783.

The process of «displacement of accents« in the economic life of the Ural Mountains and Siberia during the XVIII century caused the loss of former transit value of the cities situated on the Siberian route, that finally predetermined the decrease of their administrative status. In 1781 the Perm Delegation was founded, which was transformed in 1796 into the Perm Region, with district cities of Solikamsk and Verkhoturye. The period of time, from the end of the XVIII till the beginning of the XX century was characterized by the gradual loss for Tobolsk of its former status of the «capital of Siberia ". At the beginning there was the division of Siberia into two Delegations: Tobolsk and Irkutsk in 1782. In 1838 Omsk became the administrative center of Western Siberia, and in 1918 the regional capital was moved from Tobolsk to Tyumen. This could be explained by the fact that, by that time Tyumen, through which passed the Trans Siberian route, began to play a more important role in the economic and political life of the region.

Despite the loss of the former administrative, economic and transport value, such cities as Great Ustyug, Cherdyn(?), Solikamsk, Verkhoturye and Tobolsk continue to play today the important role in the life of regions of the territory in which they are situated. These cities are the unique spiritual and cultural centers whose uniqueness cannot be defined only by the existence of outstanding monuments of architecture and fragments of historical architectural design in their territory. In some areas of the Russian North, far away from the large transit routes, it is still possible to meet certain norms of behavior and elements of daily culture linked to the vital things of people, typical for Old Russian people who since the olden days developed these lands. As was noted by the authors of "Sketches of history and culture of Verkhoturye city and Verkhoturye region", prepared by employees of the Ural State University: «last decades Verkhoturye is often called an open-air museum. It is absolutely incorrect: Verkhoturye is not a museum, this is a city and today the alive organism living by the rules, a little bit different from ours vain and momentary ". (16, 259).

Being cities played an important role in the first purposeful stage of development of Siberia, carried out during the end of the XVI up to the middle of the XVIII century and joined by the road not existing nowadays. Today they form the original historical and geographical route which stands out through a cultural landscape of modern Russia.

Reconstruction of similar historical and geographical routes opens a lot of new opportunities for a wide range of cultural-historical researches. In this case their object becomes not the space limited by administrative frameworks of separate regions, and an existential area of socio-cultural processes which are taken place in its territory. Their complex consideration allows more deep insight into the nature and essence of many historical phenomena.


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