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Torzhok — weekend in Pushkin

Ancient Torzhok located in the Tver region, 245 km from Moscow. It has something to see, where to go and what it is worth to come here for the weekend.

This summer Olga Zakharova, columnist for Gastronom magazine and site editor, I visited Torzhok, which I sincerely wish you. «The compact city, like a casket with family jewels, contains many historical and cultural values.

There are many sights here and according to local ethnographers there are about 200 monuments significant for Russia. One of the main intangibles is love for the city of A.S.


Ancient city Torzhok according to archaeological excavations appeared on the Novgorod lands at the end of the 9th century. The modern name stuck with it in the XIII century, before that it was called: Bargaining, New Bargaining and Torzhets. Despite such a variety of names, residents always proudly called themselves novotory and traditionally engaged in trade, malting, shipbuilding, leather and gold embroidery production (according to data from the middle and the end of the XIX century).

Savvy, handicraft, thrifty and sensible — they were and remain so.

According to local ethnographers, residents of Torzhok, the times of the Russian Empire, welcomed guests to the long-awaited guests.

Uninvited people were “marinated” in the hall for a long time, alternately sending servants and / or the youngest members of the family to them with the sole purpose of finding out how great the guest’s desire is to meet the host and why. And only the most stubborn could withstand such hours-long “Chinese ceremonies”. Novotory, constantly engaged in business, considered a waste of time, not only stupid meetings and aimless conversations, but also various ailments.

It was a real shame to be ill here, and doctors were rarely approached.

Fearless and determined men entertained themselves with fist fights, and unmarried girls at that time had a rather free character who called their gentlemen an “object” — walks around the city and having long gatherings on the boulevards or the Tvertsa embankment.

Watercolor Torzhkovskaya girl in a summer dress without a crown, 1832

At the same time, the feeling of elbow, loyalty to his family and clan was always put in the first place. And now representatives of glorious dynasties live in the city.

So the head of the department of a local hospital is a descendant of the Zemstvo doctors who treated Novots as early as the beginning of the XIX century.

The uniqueness of the disposition of the inhabitants of the city made a great impression on the visitors.

Alexander Ostrovsky, having visited Torzhok in 1856, he depicted the city’s structure in the play «Thunderstorm», and sketches made from nature, used to create the characters and characters of his characters.

To spend the weekend in Pushkin, you — ideally — should come to the city by car, repeating the poet’s journey in a horse-drawn carriage along the Moscow-St. Petersburg highway.

If there is no personal car, take the high-speed train “Lastochka” at the Leningradsky railway station and after 1 h 40 minutes you will be in Tver.

From the local bus station, buses go in the right direction, and in about an hour and a half you are hurray! — in Torzhok.

Getting around the city is convenient and fast by taxi.

Any city trip costs 80 rubles.

The city has several places for a comfortable stay.

I checked two: hotel for pilgrims in Borisoglebsky monastery and Staroyamskaya hotel on Kalininsky highway.

Hotel for pilgrims, of course, is remarkable for its location. To be in Torzhok and not to be in Borisoglebsk Monastery is impossible! This is one of the oldest monasteries in Russia.

It was founded in 1038 simultaneously with the Kiev-Pechora Lavra.

Territory of Borisoglebsky Monastery, Borisoglebsky Cathedral, Torzhok, Tver region

And here you yourself are almost a part of monastic life, and you should not forget about it. After eight in the evening, the gates of the monastery are closed until the morning — nightly festivities are not honored here, and breakfast in the local refectory is early and simple, without austerity.

But from 10 am a grocery shop is located next to the bell tower, where they sell delicious monastic bread, cakes and pies, gingerbread and even cookies on cucumber pickle.

You can also buy kvass, tea, coffee and compote.

The main building of the monastery is a unique Borisoglebsky Cathedral 1796 architect Nikolai Aleksandrovich Lvov (Russian Leonardo da Vinci).

Unfortunately, the cathedral is closed to the public, but by rising to the gate bell tower about 50 meters high, you can appreciate the beauty and majesty of the cathedral.

View from the bell tower of Borisoglebsky monastery, Torzhok, Tver region

Admire the local landscapes, picturesque urban buildings, make up an approximate route for walking. Take panoramic photos and take a breath, after a moderately difficult climb. Descended from the bell tower, walked around the monastery and still have power?

About 500 meters away there is a wooden one. Ascension Church the middle of the XVII century — reach it necessarily.

The monastery hotel is located in a separate renovated 2-storey building. With pilgrims take donations — 400 rubles (indicated on the site of the monastery). The furnishings of the 4-bed rooms are modest: two bunk beds, a table and stools, plus conveniences on the floor.

Everything is very clean and tidy.

Double rooms are more comfortable.

Hotel «Staroyamskaya» — this is a completely different story.

It is located a few minutes from the federal highway M10 and it’s better to take a taxi to the city center. This hotel is for those who want to get the most out of their travels in the Russian province. The cost of the rooms is decent, but it includes not only breakfast: a swimming pool, billiards, a bowling alley, and some spa services.

A great option, especially for family holidays.

The restaurant at the hotel is a good place for a detailed dinner after a day full of walks.

And how canaries here sing is a separate “song”.

I recommend to try the branded warm salad, Staroyamskiy burgers from Nikolai Korobov, chefs and delicious pancakes.

In addition to the restaurant at the hotel, I visited two more local establishments. I must say that gastronomic tourism for Torzhok is a fairly new phenomenon and everything is just beginning. But unlike many Russian cities, here there is a unique base and the foundation of all the basics — fire patty.

No need to invent anything!

Pozharsky cutlets with fresh salad

And then it’s time to just quote A.S. Pushkin:

«Dine at leisure

U Pozharsky in Torzhok,

Try fried meatballs (meatballs)

And go light«.

In Pushkin’s time in the city there was a post station where horses were changed.

The poet, except for his trip with his parents in infancy, was here 23 times.

It was a stop not too long, but noticeable and rich.

And they were all accompanied by a local specialty.

The restaurant life in the city is now twisted around it.

Cafe «Lira» located on the banks of the Tvertsa, in the Park of love and loyalty next to the Pushkin Museum and the Belt House.

The place is calm and quiet when weddings and other noisy holidays are not celebrated here.

Park of love and loyalty

A small room, slow service, low prices and a short menu. But what a view from the window and from the summer veranda!

The cafe has no long history, a rich change of chefs and a global alteration of the menu.

Maxim Pimenov, director of the cafe, has just begun to implement his ideas. And he goes the right way.

In honor of gastronomic festival «At Pozharsky in Torzhok», which was held in June of this year, a special menu was developed in “Lire” “Favorite Dishes of A.S. Pushkin”: kalya with vegetables, apple wulff pie, blancmange cottage cheese. Pozharsky cutlets also participated — where without them.

Here they are prepared in their own way, according to the recipe of Daria Pozharskaya from 1853.

Apple Wolf cake from the chef cafe «Lira»

Restaurant «Onyx» at the eponymous hotel — a place with a long history.

During its construction, coins and decorations of the pre-Mongol period were found, which were solemnly transferred to the ethnographic museum of Veliky Novgorod.

Despite such a historic find — a clear sign! — the restaurant was first decided to make “ultra-modern” to the pleasing tastes of any guest. A rich menu included both marbled beef and Guryev porridge.

It’s nice that this time has passed!

Now in Onyx they focus on Russian cuisine. Beef tongue is boiled here, tormen are boiled in pots, and rye and wheat bread is baked.

This summer, they began to prepare handmade gingerbreads according to the help of the XIX century Nikolai Bakunin.

Gingerbreads from Onyx Restaurant

And, of course, fire burgers are fried.

Sergey Vinogradov, the chef prepares them in three versions and conducts master classes in their preparation.

Of course, the main historical and cultural monuments in Torzhok are churches and temples. The city has 22 examples of Orthodox architecture.

Back in 1668, the Dutch traveler Jacob Streis wrote: “Torzhok is very populated and beautiful because there are more than thirty churches and chapels in it”. It is good that many of them have survived to this day. It is bad that they are little restored and some are in very poor condition.

I hope that the situation will improve for the better in the foreseeable future.

But there are more idle, worldly sights in the city.

Here is the glorious five that impressed me the most.

one. Bulk Kremlin Hill, walking along Zdorovets brook. It offers a wonderful panorama of the city — another reason to use a smartphone or click the camera shutter. Plus The Upper Town — part of the Novotorzhsky Kremlin, a railing walled.

When Maslenitsa is celebrated here, ethnographic holidays or interactive programs or festivals take place, always noisy and spectacular.

2 Tveretskaya Embankment — real old Torzhok.

On the one side of the river are the city buildings of the 19th and early 20th centuries, on the other side of the river are the remains of the old road, along which the ships mounted upstream along Tvertsa.

Embankment Tvertsi in Torzhok

3 All-Russian Historical and Ethnographic Museum in Torzhok — this is not one single building, but the whole complex, where each addressee is interesting and curious. For example, on the street.

Square January 9 — Exhibition Hall VIEM. This is a collection of birch bark letters, and the exposition “Walking through the old Torzhok” and joy for children are the quests-detective stories “Museum Investigations with a Mouse by Fercula”. And on the territory of the Borisoglebsky Monastery in Strannopriimny house you should visit the exhibition “The genius of taste.

N.A. Lvov ”with a theatrical excursion“ Whenever I was married to happiness ”, telling about the romantic love of N.A.

Lvov and his wife MA


four. Museum A.S.

Pushkin (Dzerzhinsky St., 71). Torzhok enters the so-called Pushkin ring of the Upper Volga region — a 250-kilometer route associated with a visit by the poet to the Tver region.

Therefore, the city simply could not do without the Pushkin Museum.

If you go to it, try to book a theatrical tour, and to be sure it will be led by the amazing Galina Vasilyevna, who knows how to wear the clothes of the 19th century so naturally and speak so enthusiastically about Pushkin as if she were her personal friend.

The museum is housed in a one-story wooden mansion of nobles Lvov-Balavinskih. This is not a memorial apartment / house of the poet. Pushkin did not even live here.

The exposition is dedicated to the poet’s travels along the Moscow – St. Petersburg road, his road impressions. Materials on the trips of Alexander Sergeevich on the “sovereign road”, on the life of coachmen and station supervisors are presented.

The museum has recreated the interior of the postal station, living room of a noble house of the XIX century. And these decorations Galina Vasilyevna and her colleagues play theatrical miniatures on Pushkin’s themes.

Superbly and impressively!

Exposition of the Museum A.S.

Pushkin. Guide Galina Vasilyevna — on the left

five. «Belt House» (Dzerzhinsky St., 73) and Museum «Torzhok Zolotahs», Kalininskoe, 12).

Gold embroidery remains in Torzhok from the X century.

Until now, innovators have embroidered their works with threads containing 5-8% of the precious metal. They use the old way of sewing — «in the attachment».

The metallic thread is not passed through the fabric, but is attached to its surface on the front side with transverse silk threads.

Local goldsmiths own up to 200 ways of prekrepa gold thread!

They were the ones who made the costumes for the films. «Anna Karenina» with the brilliant Samoilova and Lanov, “Tale about how Tsar Peter arap married” and “War and Peace” Sergey Bondarchuk.
The Belt House is located almost at the door with the AS Museum. Pushkin, so do not be lazy and go there too.

It is quite small: a souvenir shop with gold embroidery and directly one hall of the museum. In the center there is a 12-meter handmade belt, the largest in the world, with gold embroidered paintings on the walls. During the 20-minute tour you will learn about the belt, as an important and sacred element of the Russian folk costume, a lot of new things.

For example, that in a fist fight to rip the belt from the enemy, it is the same as to dishonor it. The expression «loose» meant a person without conscience, and all honest and respectable Orthodox had to wear a belt, from the age of 8.

The belt was only removed when they went to the bathhouse, considering this place to be not entirely clean — from the point of view of a believer.

People of different age, gender and employment had their own special belts. For the little baby’s mother — a gourmet belt, with pockets for various children’s delicacies. For men who worked in the field — a mowing belt, with a special insert for the sickle and spit.

And how many would take and fortune telling on the belt.

Go to the «Belt House» and find out everything yourself!

Gold embroidery. Handmade, Torzhok

Tatyana Sokolova, novotorka, entrepreneur and founder of a new tourist destination «Expedition to Torzhok»:

«I was born and raised in Torzhok. The last two decades I live in the capital.

The development of tourism in their small homeland is my goal, my ideology and truly my business, filled with great and true meaning. I am in favor of tourism of a new type: dynamic, interesting for everyone — regardless of age and position, close to us both in terms of distances to be overcome and in content. Torzhok is an ancient and many-sided city.

Although it is not trodden by tourists, it contains a lot of expressive, bright and original. It only needs to be seen and felt.

This is what I do — the discovery of the possibilities of modern Torzhok, through the unification of historical, gastronomic and ethnographic themes.

Hiking with local historians in the city and surrounding estates, participation in gastronomic and handicraft workshops, tastings, trips to personal farms.

Interactivity, historical truth and human factors are the foundations of my travel product.«.

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