Sergey Rybakov: “The Vladimir Region may become one of main tourist centers in Russia”

Sergey Rybakov: “The Vladimir Region may become one of main tourist centers in Russia”

Tribuna’s guest is Sergey Rybakov, the Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee of Science, Education, and Culture, the senator from the Vladimir Region.

- Sergey Yevgenyevich, we at the Tribune program have a traditional heading ‘From Kamchatka Territory to the Kaliningrad Region.’ In it we ask our guests to tell us about the regions that they represent in the Upper Chamber of Federation Council. In addition to world-famous landmarks such as the centers of Vladimir and Suzdal, I think absolutely everyone knows about them, what is necessary to pay attention to during a visit to you in the Vladimir region?

- Everyone knows, probably, but not everyone comes yet. I am a patriot of the region, I love my homeland, and I am willing to tirelessly promote the Vladimir region, so to all those who have not been there yet, I invite all to go there urgently, because, really, no one will regret it. This, I am not afraid of this word, is a unique region. I do not want, of course, to be biased, there are other beautiful regions in the same central Russia, but Vladimir  is still the ancient capital of our state.

Up until the time of Ivan the Terrible even the Grand Princes of Moscow came to register, so to speak, to get married in the realm in the Vladimir Cathedral of the Assumption, in the reign of whom formally were primarily the Grand Princes of Vladimir. Hence, the scope of the heritage. Vladimir, of course, is a magnificent city, there is the white-stone architecture of the pre-Mongol Russia, Suzdal, of course, a city which is actually a museum, what can I say? But the Vladimir region is even more blessed by other things: once again by my favorite small cities. Because really, apart from Vladimir and Suzdal, few people know the region. Firstly, I want to say that there are such wonderful cities as Yuryev-Polsky, for example, and Melenki and Sudak. Yuriev-Polsky was also founded in the middle of the 12th century, there are the most beautiful monuments.

By the way, one of the few existing pre-Mongolian white-stone cathedrals in Russia is located in Yuriev-Polsky, with beautiful carvings, this is a magnificent city. This, of course, is the estate of Khrapovitsky. Now people talk more about it, it has been partially opened, it is, incidentally, in very poor condition, it turned out that a museum was not created there at one point, and it turned out to be a somewhat abandoned. It is simply a magnificent monument – the largest Gothic castle in Russia. It is understood that it was Gothic, so to speak, à la Gothic, but it was built by the nobleman and industrialist Khrapovitsky in the second half of the 19th century. It is big, there is a beautiful castle, beautiful buildings around a pond, a fountain, which functioned previously, and I'm not afraid of the word, you can see the photos, it looked like Peterhof in previous times, like the fountain at Peterhof. That is a great place. And now there is hope that it will finally be recreated and put in order.

Of course, I cannot fail to mention Murom, a very beautiful city, which due to its ancient history and because of a huge number of attractions is worthy of every attention. Recently Murom has become better known, thanks to the holiday of St. Peter and Fevronia, by the way. I want to say that this is a great holiday, we have had a lack of it for a long time. Of course, there are more visitors there now. Murom is a wonderful town.

- What is your native town?

- My hometown is Gorokhovets; it is the third town in the Vladimir region, after Vladimir and Suzdal, which has the status of a historic settlement of federal significance. It is no accident. This is the most prominent town in Russia, probably, in terms of the concentration of 17th-century buildings per unit in area. Firstly, there is a perfect combination of landscape, that is, water, mountains, architecture, a large number of churches, monasteries, and almost all are only from the 17th century. There's a very unique story, each monastery is usually built over centuries, and in Gorokhovets it is not that way: the entire buildings of the monasteries are only from the 17th century. Half of all the non-church buildings preserved in Russia since the 17th century are there. That is, there are seven completely preserved merchant stone chambers. You cannot see the same in any other city in the country. 

That is why Gorokhovets will be put on the UNESCO preliminary list as a settlement of the 17th century. In addition, Gorokhovets is the only city in Russia described as the city of the Blessed Virgin Mary, these traditions are very serious there.

The merchants' history is very interesting, because in the 17th century, why this city was built up in this way, because it was a merchant city, where there were many rich merchants, some merchants were included in the living room of the sovereign hundred of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, every merchant built a temple named after him, that is, this is an interesting story: so far it is known who built every temple. It is not, as is usual in a kitty, but every merchant specifically gave money, and built a temple named after him. The following history is also amazing – a famous shipyard, which, unfortunately, was closed in the 90s, and probably very few people know that, for example, Shukhov, the famous engineer, worked only with the inhabitants of Gorokhovets. There was such an interesting profession: riveters, they originated from the shipbuilding industry, because the world's largest oil tankers were built there, and those riveters were travelling across the country and, for example, the Shabolovskaya Tower in Moscow, the overlapping of GUM, Kievsky railway station, bridges in Moscow and St Petersburg, anywhere where you can see pre-revolutionary iron rivets, be sure that most of them were made by the inhabitants of Gorokhovets.

And the Shabolovskaya Tower was installed by the inhabitants of  Gorokhovets, because Shukhov did not trust anyone else. There are many such interesting stories. In particular, the merchant Luhmanov in the 19th century owned the Moscow Okhotny Ryad, for example, the famous art dealer and trader. Here Gorokhovets, unfortunately, is almost a forgotten little town, because in Soviet times it was closed due to the defense shipyard, foreigners did not go there, and, accordingly, a showcase was not completed. I call on everyone to visit that town. In addition, the Vladimir Region is an excellent area just in terms of recreational tourism, in terms of, let's say, nature, right? Well, for example, hunting, I am not a hunter, but for those who like it, it is also very famous.

But I prefer peaceful holidays, for example, there are wonderful places for boating, kayaking, it is very popular there, in the Gorokhovets district there is the River Lukh, well, when in summer I stand on the shore, just watching: there is simply a string of those who are boating – kayaks, rafts, it is a very interesting sight. There are separate sections just of pristine nature, there are several dozens of kilometers and there are no settlements – and this is in the center of Russia, can you imagine? There are wonderful places, so we invite everyone to the Vladimir Region. I think in the long term this is one of the most important centers of tourism in our country.