Verkhoturye is fouded in 1597 by Vasily Golovin and Ivan Voyeykov's state expedition as a jail in the place of the existing earlier Mansi ancient hill-fort Neromkarr to protect one of the most popular waterways to Siberia: up the Kama to Solikamsk, then dry, and then down the Tour to the Ob.
Starting with Yermak who got into Siberia, having rafted down the The Tagil, Tura and Tobol, all expeditions tried to find the most convenient way of getting into the lands, which were fabulously rich with furs. For ten years the route through the Vishera, Lozva and Tavda rivers, with the transit point in the Lozvinsk Town was the main.
Then Artemy Babinov, a peasant from the Solikamsk County had discovered the route across the Tura, known since Babinov's Road, and Golovin and Voyeykov's expedition set off along it. After the foundation of Verkhoturye the Lozvinsk Town fell into decay, and Verkhoturye became the main fortress on the way to Siberia. The customs was arranged there,and all the Siberian goods were passed through the city. Since the 17th century the state Yamsky service was established. Construction of other roads was forbidden. There was a special state monopoly on furs: all trade transactions between the Russians and Mansi could be made only at Gostiny Dvor in Verkhoturye. Thanks to that, Verkhoturye was one of the richest cities in Russia. It had lasted from 1598 to 1753 when Elizabeth abolished all internal customs, including Verkhoturye.
Till 1627,just Golovin and Voyeykov had been the first two governors who were ruling the city. In 1604 the first Nikolaev's monastery in Siberia was founded in Verkhoturye. In 1704, in the remote village of Merkushino, the coffin of a certain Simeon, who was canonized (Simeon of Verkhoturye) went out of the ground, his life was described, and the relics were transferred to the Nikolaev's Monastery, which resulted a stream of pilgrims.
With establishing provinces, the county town in Tobolsk province was the biggest county in Russia — it included nearly all part of the Urals inhabited by Russians by then, from the Pechora in the north to the Ufa in the south, from the Vishera and Chusova in the west before inflowing into Irtysh in the east. From 1783 - the city was transferred to the Perm governorship. The defensive role of the city was gradually decreasing, but the trade role was increasing. Recruitment of workers for the Ural mining plants was one of jobs.
In the 19th century means of communication with Siberia had been shifted far to the south, and Verkhoturye also lost the trade value, but still remained the center of the largest county in the Urals and one of the main centers of a pilgrimage in Russia. In 1904, a railway line passed a few kilometers from the city. One more successful PR stunt was made in 1913: in the Nicholas Monastery, to the 300th anniversary of the Romanov's dynasty, a huge Holy Cross Cathedral was opened, and Nicholas II was invited to the ceremonial opening. That could not arrive at the last minute, but the empress's sister, the grand duchess Elizabeth Fiodorovna, shot in five years in Alapaevsk and ranked as a saint in the 1990s, arrived there. So the city was connected with one more Saint and became one of the main pilgrim centers in Russia. After the revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks first took power in the city, and from September 1918 to July 1919, Verkhoturye had been under Kolchak's army control. In 1926, Verkhoturye lost its status as a city, which was returned only in 1947, due to the 350th anniversary of its foundation.
Initially, Verkhoturye County was developed as administrative-territorial entity in the 17th century as a part of the Tobolsk category.
Officially the county was founded on January 27, 1781 as a part of the Ekaterinburg region of the Perm governorship. Since December 12, 1796 it was a part of the Perm province. On July 15, 1919, the county was separated from the Perm province into the newly formed Yekaterinburg province.
On November 3, 1923 the county was eliminated, its territory was a part of the Verkhoturye district of the Ural region.
The Verkhoturye Kremlin was the most recent stone city fortress built only in the Urals in Russia.
The Verkhoturye stone Kremlin (1698 - 1712), sized 125x194 m in the plan, was a gigantic manor of the governor’s house, built around the perimeter by fortress walls with towers. Other Kremlin buildings - the cathedral in the name of the Life-Giving Trinity, the executive chambers, the living barns, the guardhouse and the kitchen - were also placed around the perimeter of the site and formed with the walls of the fortress a continuous front building.
The Kremlin constructions differed in deeply thoughtful location. Thus, the coal towers with hipped roofs towering over 12-sazhen (about 25 meters) the rock, gave to the river facade ensemble shape of an impregnable fortress. On the opposite side of the cathedral, the fortress wall had a front gate. From the opposite side the Kremlin looked out onto the building of the Verkhoturye posad in an unusuall way: Trinity Cathedral was the main dominant of ensemble located between the fortress walls being adjoned from two sides.There was a front gate of the fortress wall on both sides of the cathedral. Mandative chambers and the corps of the living barns were set up along the southern slope of the Trinity Cape.
In the early years of Verkhoturye the villages were built near fortress where boyars' children, rifles, thieves and archers were living. This small village located near the fortress was surrounded by a jail with towers. The Verkhoturye posad, in process of developing trade and craft, increased the sizes and spread to the free territories between the Tura, Sviyagi and Dernyaki rivers. . The wooden Kremlin of the 17th century and the Posad jail were a common system of fortifications.
CATHEDRALS AND CHURCHES
Verkhoturye is the spiritual capital of the Ural.
Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the St. Nicholas Verkhoturye monastery
It is one of the largest Russian temples in the Neo-Byzantine style. The four-pillar three-apse five-domed cathedral, the volume of which is complicated by the lateral conchs and the refectory with peal of bells above the western porch.It was founded in 1905 in the territory to the east of the former monastic buildings, consecrated in 1913. Side chapels of Simeon of Verkhoturye and Uspensky had been closed in 1929, was used as a warehouse. It was returned to believers in 1990, renovated
Nicholas The Wonderworker's church in St. Nicholas Verkhoturye monastery
The brick St. Nicholas Cathedral with Simeon and Anna's the chapel was built in 1712-1738 as the main church of the monastery. It was a two-sided, single-headed quadrangle with a refectory, which was close to the buildings of Solikamsk in the decor. In 1863 it was expanded,Simeon of Verkhoturye's the chapel was found, the completion of the quadrangle was renovated. It was closed in 1922, taken down in 1936. In 1999, a new small single-headed brick church was built in its place.
Holy Transfiguration church in St. Nicholas Verkhoturye monastery
A large brick church in the style of classicism, built in 1821-1834 north of St. Nicholas Church. A single-domed building with symmetrical rectangular anchors and an altar, a refectory connected to the bell tower under the steeple. Chapels in the refectory of Blagoveshchensk and Archangel Michael. It was closed in the 1920s, the dome and the bell tower were broken, it was occupied by a sports hall. It was returned to believers in 1990, renovated.
Simeon and Anna’s church in St. Nicholas Verkhoturye monastery
Brick gate church, built over the southern gate of the monastery. The main construction was in the form of a massive quadrangle with cut corners surmounted by a small dome with a cupola. It was closed in the 1920s, served as a penal isolator. It was returned to believers in 1990, renovated.
The Life-Giving Trinity cathedral in Verkhoturye
Brick Church, constructed in 1703-1709 with funds granted by Peter I and with the citizens’ help and had a great influence on the Siberian architecture in the first half of the XVIII century. Richly decorated Cathedral was designed in the spirit of Naryshkin boroque style, tiles were widely used in the facades. It was closed in 1932, maintained properly. It was returned to believers in 1991.
The Holy Virgin’s Intercession Church in the Pokrovsky Verkhoturye Monastery
Eclectic brick church, built in 1898-1902. The main construction of the four pillared church was completed with a small octagon under the dome, with a bell tower adjoining it from the west. It was closed in 1925, the bell tower was broken, used as a bath. It was returned to believers in 1991, renovated.
Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Verkhoturye
The two-story church, built in 1786-1806 to replace the two previously existing stone churches of the 1710s. A small dome and bell tower were erected above the rectangular church decorated in the style of classicism. There was the warm Resurrection Church at the bottom. There was the cold Savior cathedral at the top. It was closed in the 1930s and used as a boiler room.
Church of the Icon of the Mother of God in Verkhoturye
The brick two-storey church decorated in the spirit of Siberian baroque, founded no later than 1781 and completed in 1808. A double-headed single-headed quadrangle was the main construction, refectory connected to a high bell tower under the spire. There was a warm Znamensky throne at the bottom and the cold Frolo-Lavra at the top. It was closed in 1935, top floor was demolished.
Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin in Verkhoturye
The brick church, built in 1744-1753 with funds provided by the merchant, later a wealthy breeder M. M. Pokhodyashin as the church of the Pokrovsky monastery. The octagon-type building on the quad was squat proportions with a five-sided altar and a small refectory, decorated in the spirit of the Baroque.. It was closed and locked in 1929.
Church of the Nativity of John the Baptist in Verkhoturye
The brick two-story church, built in 1754-1776 as a temple of the Pokrovsky monastery with the funds provided by the breeder M. M. Pohodyashin, south of the Church of the Intercession. One of the best examples of the Ural baroque with a rich and varied decor. There was a throne of the Baptist at the top and Varvarinsky at the bottom. The main construction was a two-sided five-headed quadrangle with a five-sided altar, a refectory connected with the bell tower, topped with a dome of complex shape. It was closed in the 1920s, partially dismantled in the 1940s. Only the bottom floor of the building survived.
Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in Verkhoturye
Brick cemetery church with classicist decor, built in 1793-1815. It is a rectangular construction, covered by a dome, with symmetrical apsidal altars and a porch, the tier of the bell tower was set above the vestibule. In the XIX century, it was assigned to the Trinity Cathedral. It was closed in 1941, returned to believers in 1946, and was no longer closed.
Check the schedule of church services with our managers.
The village of Merkushino is located on the left bank of the Tura River, 65 kilometers from Verkhoturye. The story of life, death and the miraculous power of the holy righteous Simeon of Verkhoturye and All Siberia is connected with it. The bank of the Tura River with granite exits is decorated with an architectural ensemble, the core of which is formed by the Archangel Michael and Simeon temples.
The tomb of St. Simeon of Verkhoturye, which is located under the altar of St. Simeon's church is the main shrine of the village Merkushino . The source of sacred water in a specially arranged font healed many people.
The imperishable relics of the holy martyr Konstantin Theophany are glorified in the face of the new Russian martyrs and confessors in the Michael the Archangel Church.
On the way to the village of Merkushino you can make a stop in places which formed a single pilgrim route to transfer St. Simeon's relics in 1704: Verkhoturye -village Krasnogorsk — village Kostylevo — village Ust-Salda — village of Merkushino. Each village is interesting for its history and has the temple.
RIGHTEOUS SIMEON OF VERKHOTURYE
Memorial Days: May 25th (Second Finding (Transferring) of Relics), September 25th (Transferring Relics), December 31st (Glorification).
The righteous Simeon of Verkhoturye (+ 1642) was a nobleman, but he concealed his origin and was living a humble life of a poor man. He walked around the villages and sewed short coats and other outerwear for free, mostly for the poor. However, he was suffered from his customer’s abuses because he hadn’t sewed it up deliberately - either the sleeves or the collar. The devotee was wandering much, ‘Saint Simeon loved the Ural nature and enjoyed watching its majestic beauty while praying. In his spare time, the Saint loved fishing alone because it reminded him Christ’s pupils, whose work he continued, urging locals to lead authentic Christian lives. His conversations were that fertile seed from which plentiful fruits of spirit in the Urals and gradually increased in Siberia where the Reverend is especially esteemed. His conversations were the fertile seed which the abundant fruits of the spirit gradually grew from in the Urals and Siberia, where the monk was especially revered.
Righteous Simeon of Verkhoturye died in 1642, when he was only 35 years old. He was buried in the Merkushin graveyard at the Archangel Michael’s church.
On September 12, 1704, with the blessing of Metropolitan Philotheus of Tobolsk, the Righteous Simeon’s relics were transferred from the Archangel Michael’s Church to the Verkhoturye Monastery in the name of St. Nicholas.
Righteous Simeon did a lot of wonders after his death. He often appeared the sick in a dream and healed them, urging those who fell into a vice of drunkenness. The peculiarity in Sacred phenomena was that with healing bodily infirmities he also gave spiritual guidance.
Church of Archangel Michael in Merkushino
Brick Michael-Archangel Church, consecrated in 1809, had St. Nicholas and Demetrius chapels. It was a single-headed quadrangle with a refectory and a bell tower. In the 1910s, it was demolished, a new temple was erected in its place, blown up in 1943, only the bell tower was preserved.
The Church of St. Simeon of Verkhoturye in Merkushino
A small church built in 1886 on the site of the relics of St. Simeon Verkhoturye. A squat quadrangle, completed by a decorative five-domes, with symmetrical apsidal protrusions from the east and west, connected with the Michael-Archangel church. It was closed in the beginning of 1930s and used as a gym. In 1991, it was returned to believers, renovated by 2001.
Church of All Saints of Siberia at Simeon’s Stone
The wooden church built in 2002-2005 by a big stone in the bend of theTura where according to the legend, Semeon of Verkhoturye prayed and fished. A five-headed quadrangle with a hipped bell tower, looking like Seraphim’s Church at Ganina Yama.
There is a large stone in the quiet bend of the Tura. Saint Simeon loved praying and fishing for a long time here, in solitude and silence. Pure, sincere prayers of the Saint of God sanctified this place: here as if time stops, the soul calms down.
Contact our manager for church services schedule.
There is a a small village of the same name located 8 km west of Verkhoturye in a picturesque location on the bank of the Aktay River. There is an equipped skete of St. Nicholas Monastery — the Aktay small settlement.
Church of the Icon of the Mother of God. Life-giving Source in the Octay skete
Wooden Church covered with boards. It was built in a secluded Simeon Verkhoturye’s monastery in 1888 as the chapel, consecrated in 1894 as a Church. Rectangular one-headed building with a belfry. The site on the river oktay (Aktay) was transferred to the monastery in 1850, there was a farm. It is known as revered source, nowadays equipped. Currently skete is a farmstead of St. Nicholas monastery in Verkhoturye.
The Verkhoturye State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve was established on the basis of the Governor’s a decree of Sverdlovsk Region in 2000. The museum-reserve includes funds and an exposition of the Verkhoturye local lore museum, founded in 1977.
The museum is located in the historic center of the city of Verkhoturye and includes the Verkhoturye Kremlin on the Trinity stone above the River Tura and the House for hosting honored guests on the left bank of the Kalachik River - a tributary of Tura. The complex of the Verkhoturye Kremlin includes five monuments of architecture and urban planning: Holy Trinity Cathedral (1703–1710); House of Governor (1801); Order chambers (1825-1830); County Treasury (1913); Sovereign barns (1703, rebuilt in 1913-1914). Another part of the museum is a monument of urban archeology (cultural layer).
Permanent historical exposition "Verkhoturye" in the building of the Sovereign Barns of the Verkhoturye Kremlin
Permanent historical exposition "Babinovskaya Road" in the building of the Sovereign Barns of the Verkhoturye Kremlin
Image of the Mother of God exhibition
Russian Tea Drinking exhibition
"Rise Fires Blue Nights" exhibition
Exhibition "My Ural edge"
Exhibition "Colored eyes of the earth"
City streets on the Tura have kept the local color to this day, there are a lot of the interesting old buildings which kept the original appearance are met here. You must also see the "suspension" bridge and visit the Verkhoturye hydroelectric power station.
Verkhoturye is surrounded by the coniferous and mixed forests so there are a lot of berries and mushrooms. There are various species of fish in the Tura River. On the banks of the river Neremki, which flows into the Tura, there are apple orchards overlook the beautiful cliff. Here you can stay overnight with a tent. In summer children's camps come here to climb the rocks. Many tourists walk through the forest in search of Babinov’s road. Well, local landscapes are good for lovers of photography. We will be happy to provide you with the services of local guides, who will show you around fish, mushroom and berry places, as well as popular tourist routes.
ARTEMY SOFRONOVICH BABINOV
Our guesthouse is named after the great Uralian — Artemy Sofronovich Babinov. We cherish his memory, as well as honor and respect his heritage.
It is known that Artemy Babinov was a peasant by his origin, was born in the 60s or 70-ies of the XVI century. A number of researchers considered Artemy Babinov to live in Solikamsk, but the scribal books of 1579 (before the building the Babinov's road) and 1623 (after the building the Babinov's road) did not mention him among the residents of Solikamsk. The Solikamsk chroniclers call him a peasant from the village of Verkh-Usolka, Solikamsk County.
In 1595 the Tsar Fedor Ioannovich issued the decree on search of the eager people who know a way through the Kamen (Urals) and can point out the place for the construction of a state road from the center of the Russian lands to Siberia, which had been developed by Yermak. The official Vishero-Lozvinsk water-land route, which first passed along the Vishera River, then through the Ural Mountains, and then again along the Lozva, Tavda, Tura, Tobol Irtysh and Ob rivers, proved to be worse for an increasing flow of people and goods, and the existence of reliable land routes was one of the necessary conditions for securing the Siberian territories for Russia. Artemy Babinov responded to the royal decree, saying that he knows a shorter way to Siberia through the Ural Mountains.
After the construction of the road to Siberia, Artemy Babinov had been engaged in exploration and construction of roads for over 25 years - along Tura to Tyumen, from Verkhoturye to the Tagil River, then to Nina, and along these rivers - down to its confluence with the Tura. He arranged a post road from Solikamsk to Tyumen and organized the Tyumen pit. At the confluence of the Neiva and Rezh rivers, he found rich chernozems and declared that to the authorities (in 1621 the Nevyanskaya Sloboda was founded here, and village Babinova was founded by one of the sons of Artemiy 4 miles away from it, but it doesn’t exist now.
Road construction became the Babinov and the brother Artemy Babinov’s family – Babikhin’s families’ business. In 1617, Tsar Mikhail gave Artemy Babinov the honorary title - “Siberian Road “Vozh”(Vozh - a builder)” (“Vozh” - the ancient Russian word, people who built roads were called “Vozh”), and he started doing public service. The Verkh-Yaivinskaya Slobodka founded by him later became a churchyard and the volost village.
Artemy Babinov was last mentioned in 1623: a letter in which he was writing about the transfer of arable land to the hegumen of the Solikamsky Ascension Monastery was saved . Artemy’s date of death is unknown. There is information that he is buried between Verkh-Yaiba and Kochengino. There was a stone on his grave, but the cemetery was abandoned in 1914, and the grave was lost.
A.S. Babinov's descendants continued family business. There is an information about Kuzma Babinov, who improved the road between the villages of Chikman and Mol Chan in 1637. He was most likely Artemy’s grandson. In 1670, Stepan Babinov built the Verkhozim-Verkhoturie road at his own expense, thanks to that he was awarded 57000 tithe of land near the road. This road connected the capital of the Urals - Verkhoturye - with the Irbit fair, it had to increase the capacity and cargo transportation from Russia to Siberia. Stepan’s descendants were deprived of the land by the government which was transferred to immigrants to live, to be fruitful and carry the burden there. Babinov, however, was asked to develop the empty lands on the Pyshma River and further to the south - in Kamyshlov County, so they agreed to do it and never regretted that.
The way he was exploring the road to Siberia was unknown. According to the legend, he managed to follow Voguls (Mansi) on the secret path through the forests to the headwaters of the Tura River. On the way Volguls (Mansi) were performing the pagan rites near the Chanvinsky cave.
Babinov reported to Moscow that he could make a direct dirt road, which would significantly shorten the path between Sol-Kamskaya and Tobolsk, the capital city of Siberia. In 1597, he received permission to build a road, and began it.
Construction of Babinov’s road began in 1595 and was carried out for two years. By imperial decree, two land merchants and forty peasants helped Artemy Babinov, whose duties included clearing, building the road and bridges over the rivers.
In 1597, the road reached the village of Vogul of Nerom-Kar, located in the headwaters of the Tura River. Construction of the road was completed. The Cathedral bell tower in the city of Solikamsk became the kilometer zero of this road, and the road itself passed through the “overland route” across the Usolka, Surmag, Yayva, Kosva rivers, the village of Rostes, the village of Pavdinskaya, the Mostovaya and Tura rivers (where the construction of the city of Verkhoturye began a year later). The length of the road was about 260 miles, which was about eight times shorter than the former Vishero-Lozvinsky route. The road was named Babinov’s after its pioneer and builder.
The opening of the Babinov’s road was widely published in chronicles, documents, historical literature, and also in folk legends. Thanks to it, Russian explorers had passed all Siberia for 40 years, and in 1639 reached the Sea of Okhotsk, and in 1648 - the Pacific coast. Tsar’s decrees, money, post were delivered along the road, embassy delegations and scientific expeditions rode along it. Following the route, Russian peasants who inhabited the Kama Region went to discover new lands. Babinov’s road served Russia for over 150 years (until 1763), being the only officially allowed route between the European part of the state and Siberia, and only after the discovery of the Great Siberian route from Perm through Kungur - Yekaterinburg - Tyumen lost its initial importance.