Volokolamsk: what sights are worth visiting for tourists
The small town of Volokolamsk is located in the north-west of the Moscow region, 100 km from the capital of our country. This settlement with a population of only 20,000 people is the administrative center of the Volokolamsk district and the city of military glory. Despite its small size, Volokolamsk is an interesting city, and there really is something to see.
Volokolamsk site of ancient settlement is a unique sample of the architectural and archeological heritage of the city, which has federal significance. Every year tens of thousands of Russian and foreign tourists seek to visit these places. Visitors to the city near Moscow have something to surprise.
The history of this sights begins in the XI century — the oldest finds discovered on the territory of the settlement belong to this time.
In addition, the results of archaeological excavations made it possible to state with confidence that as far back as the 4th century BC here already the first settlements of people. Initially, the buildings had a defensive value.
Today Volokolamsk settlement, surrounded by an ancient fortress wall, has on its territory the following architectural and historical monuments:
- Resurrection Cathedral (XV century) with a bell tower (end of XIX century);
- Nikolsky Cathedral (XIX century);
- Church of the Nativity of Christ (XVIII century);
- ancient fencing with a chapel and towers (mid XIX century).
It is here that most tourists begin to get acquainted with Volokolamsk. Volokolamsk Kremlin, an ancient architectural ensemble, is known far beyond the city limits. This museum complex includes the Resurrection and St. Nicholas Cathedrals and the five-tiered bell tower.
Resurrection Cathedral — the oldest building in the city. It dates back to the 15th century and refers to samples of the early Moscow architecture. The cathedral was rebuilt many times, but most of it remained intact. In the late 80s of the 20th century, a museum and exhibition complex was organized here, and a little later, after a long break, services were again held in the cathedral. The temple functions to this day, church services peacefully coexist with museum exhibitions, which are always open to visitors and residents of the city. The bell tower of the Resurrection Cathedral began to be built in the 18th century, but only acquired its final form in the 19th century.
Not far from the Resurrection Cathedral is St. Nicholas Church, built in the middle of the XIX century. It was built in memory of those killed in the Crimean (Eastern) War. The red brick building with carved window frames, a large dome and white stone decorations on the facade keeps wall paintings of the beginning of the 20th century. Here you can visit the exhibition of the historical and architectural museum of the city.
The fence of the architectural complex, giving the ensemble a complete look, was erected at the end of the XIX century. It is decorated with decorative corner turrets.
City of Military Glory
From the earliest times of its existence, the city of Volokolamsk had an important military strategic importance. Many Russian and foreign princes fought for him; he was repeatedly subjected to raids by foreign troops. The city played a role in the war of 1812, and in World War II. For his services in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, Volokolamsk deserved the title of the City of Military Glory, which he received in 2010 according to a presidential decree.
In the period of fierce battles with the Hitler army, the city of Volokolamsk became the main barrier for the fascists in the north-western direction of Moscow. Thousands of citizens went to the front in the early days of the war, and those who remained in the city participated in the construction of fortifications.
In October 1941, the Germans, who planned to break through to the Volokolamsk Highway and rush to Moscow, met with a tough response from the fighters of the division of General I.V. Panfilov. For a whole month, the Russian soldiers held back the onslaught of the enemy army, surpassing them both numerically and technically. In the end, the Germans managed to break through the defenses, but the feat of the Panfilov heroes, which was of great importance during the war, remained forever in the history of our country.
This event is dedicated to the memorial of military glory, opened in 1975 in the village of Dubosekovo, located in the vicinity of Volokolamsk. The monument is made in the form of six monumental figures of Panfilov’s heroes, who fixed their eyes on the western direction of the Moscow Region, from where in 1941 German invaders attacked the city.
Another memorial complex has been erected in another village not far from the center of Volokolamsky district — Strokovo. It is called “The Explosion” and perpetuates the feat of 11 sappers who, at the cost of their lives, delayed the advance of the fascists and covered their comrades. There are 11 granite pedestals with the names of the fighters carved on them next to the image of the blown up tank.
In Volokolamsk itself, there are also sights related to the merits of Russian soldiers in World War II. This is a monument to the T-34 tank installed in the center of Volokolamsk, the Memorial to the Heroes near the Central Square and a sample of the war howitzers standing at the entrance to the city.
Every year, a huge number of people visit these places to see the majestic sculptures, pay tribute to the heroes of World War II and once again recall the priceless feat of the Russian people.
Monuments of architecture
As mentioned earlier, Volokolamsk is one of the oldest Russian cities, so the best sights of this place are associated with its architectural heritage. Without a doubt, the Volokolamsk Kremlin is the main urban decoration, but in addition to it in the city you can see other architectural monuments. These are old buildings and beautiful churches with a long history:
- The Church of the Intercession is a modest church built in 1695, erected by decree of Queen Natalia Kirillovna, mother of Peter I. The church was rebuilt and restored many times, but it retained its original style of Moscow baroque. Here you can see the old icons of the XVIII century;
- Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. The first building of the church was built in the 30s of the XVI century and was part of the Vozmittsk Volokolamsk monastery, which was later abolished. The temple still has frescoes of the XVI century;
- the former church building of Peter and Paul. The history of the place begins in the XV-XVI centuries: at that time the Vlasyevsky monastery was located here, where, according to legend, the mother of Saint Joseph Volotsky, especially revered in Volokolamsk, spent many years. At the beginning of the XVII century, the monastery was burned, and at the end of the century the church of Peter and Paul was erected, but it was not destined to live in its original form to this day: during the Soviet era, the building was severely destroyed and rebuilt. Today in the former temple is located one of the communal institutions of the city;
- The office building, also known as Zemsky Council, was built in 1815. A little later, in the middle of the 19th century, a prison building was added to the Administration, where the detention facility is located today. The House of Government Offices is one of the oldest budget institutions in the Moscow Region.
If you go for a walk through the streets of the city, you may notice a large number of architectural monuments of residential buildings. Basically, these include merchant houses in one or two floors, made in a variety of styles. For example, a couple of such buildings can be found on October Square.
You can look at the best architectural sights of the Moscow region if you go to the neighborhood of Volokolamsk. First of all, you can reach a place like the village of Teryaevo, where the Joseph-Volotsky friary is located.
The monastery with more than 500 years of history is located on the picturesque shore of the lake. The building of the beginning of the XVI century — the majestic refectory — is still preserved here. The main temple of the monastery, the Assumption Cathedral, which is visible far beyond the territory of the shrine, was erected at the end of the 17th century. This is a solemnly decorated monumental building with an ancient carved iconostasis and powerful golden columns. The relics of the saint are also kept here, in whose honor the monastery is named.
Among other notable structures of interest are the Gate Church of Peter and Paul built in 1679 and the skete with the Church of All Saints, erected in the middle of the XIX century.
During its long life, the monastery was used not only as a monastery. At various times, it was the venue for fairs, imprisonment of unwanted, the last refuge of the princes, and in the Soviet years, and was completely closed. But in 1999 the monastery again began its activity, and the monastic life in it continued.
Those who come to the city of Volokolamsk are advised by art historians to visit the village of Yaropolets, which is located 13 km from the district center. This area is known for old manor buildings. One of them is the manor in which the Goncharov family lived, including the spouse of the famous poet A.S. Pushkin. By the way, there is even a Pushkin room in this manor — the poet stayed there twice when he visited the manor’s estate.
In Yaropolets there is also the Chernyshevs’ manor, which was once called the “Russian Versailles”. It belongs to the objects of cultural heritage of Russia. The once magnificent structure today, unfortunately, has completely lost its former beauty and grandeur, however, like the other sights of Yaropolts, but this does not diminish its cultural value in the least.
Volokolamsk is a city with a rich history, amazing ancient architecture and stunningly beautiful landscapes. This place is ideal for recreation for those who are tired of the noise of big cities and dreams of getting closer to nature and the history of their native state.