Verkhoturye is a small city in the Sverdlovsk region, located in 300 kilometers from Yekaterinburg and in 450 kilometers from Perm which totals more than 400 years of history and 10 thousand citizens. Here there are 2 unique monasteries - man's and female, and also huge set of churches and temples. Today Verkhoturye is the spiritual center of the Ural Mountains and Russia where orthodox pilgrims, and also many of those who is interested in national history are flown down there. For all comers are organizing sightseeing tours and excursion to monasteries of Verkhoturye, and also are organized pilgrim trips from Yekaterinburg, Perm and Nizhniy Tagil.
In spite of the fact that Verkhoturye is a very small city which can be passed round on foot for 1 hour, there are a lot of places of interest: the unique Ural Kremlin, 2 monasteries, temples, museums and holy sites in vicinities - Merkushino and Aktay.
Man's St. Nicolas monastery- the largest and oldest in Ural Mountains man's monastery which was established in 1604. In St. Nicolas monastery there is the grand eight-domed Cathedral of Exaltation of the Holy Cross which is the third cathedral by size in Russia, after the Temple of the Christ Savior (Moscow) and the Isaakievskiy Cathedral (St.-Petersburg). The Cathedral of Exaltation of the Holy Cross was constructed to the 300 anniversary of Romanov's House. On its opening should be emperor Nikolay II, however it couldn't arrive and on cathedral consecration came grand duchess Elizabeth Fedorovna. In a temple also there is a unique faience iconostasis.
Also there are relics of St. Simeon - a local holy of village Merkushino - on the monastery territory. In 1692 the coffin with relics of Simeon Verkhoturskiy (initially he was called Simeon Merkushinskiy) left the earth, on a tomb place emerged a spring, and also wonderful healings started to occur. In 1704 after the St. Simeon canonization the healing relics of Holy Righteous Simeon were translated to Verkhoturye. The Silver shrine with holy relics is contained until now in the St. Nicholas man's monastery and it is accessible to pilgrims. St. righteous Simeon is considered as the spiritual patron of Verkhoturye and all Siberia and his relics are prescribed for treatment of barrenness and feet and eyes illness.
Town church of Simeon-Anninskiy is interesting by the fact that there are kept the relics (bones and skulls) of monks who couldn't be identified at excavation in monastery territory.
It is a very unique scene - the skulls were put in a heap, the icon lamp in a complete silence is burning, and on a wall there is an inscription "We were as you, and you will be as we". In the brotherly housing of a monastery it is also located the Orthodox museum where is presented the history of a monastery and of the Yekaterinburg Diocese.
The Pokrovsk female monastery is the first female monastery constructed beyond Ural Mountains. The year of foundation is 1621. The Pokrovsk monastery at first was wooden, and then was gradually reconstructed in a stone. In temples of this monastery there are some wonder-working icons.
Also city churches like St. Troitsk church, Znzmenskaya church, Spaso-Voznesenskaya and Uspenskaya churches. Verkhoturye Kremlin's wall. In Verkhoturye there are walls of the city Kremlin - one of two, constructed in Ural Mountains. The Kremlin was constructed in 1698-1714 as the strengthened house of local voivode. There are 2 interesting facts about the Verkhoturye Kremlin: first, it is the smallest Kremlin in Russia (a square of walls is 100 by 200 meters), secondly, it is the penultimate Russian castle (last is upwards of the Kremlin of Verkhoturye by 10 years and it was constructed in the Tobolsk city).
Halls of the local history museum of Verkhoturye (Verkhoturye culture preserve of history and architecture) are devoted to history and city architecture, and also to a long time non-working Skates factory of Verkhoturye. The museum is interesting by the fact of preserved spirit of an antiquity - the exposition wasn't updated about 30 years.
Merkushino Village. Merkushino is located in 50 kilometers from Verkhoturye. A small Church of St. Simeon was erected here at the site of the finding of his relics. Visiting of this village is usually included in organized there excursions: the most interesting places are St. Simeon church, St. Simeon town church, the Novo-Tikhvin women's monastery, the church with the magnificent Cathedral of St. Michael the Archstratigos and also city buildings of 19 century.
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