The town of Verkhoturye is an Orthodox center for all the believers of the Urals and Western Siberia. This place is really off the beaten track. It takes 4 hours by car (306km from Yekaterinburg) and much more by a local train to get to Verkhoturye, a small northern town with poor infrastructure. The town however was a dream place for the last Russian Tsar Nicolas II and his family to visit. Their dreams didn't come true as you know, but yours may.
Verkhoturski Kremlin was built in 1699 and became the last Kremlin set in Russia. Kremlin means a fortress. This one was to protect the country from the Asian tribes of Siberia. Being a n important religious center, Verkhoturye has two monasteries including the first female monastery in Russia and 4 churches of 17-18 centuries
The Romanovs' best friend Rasputin lived in the monastery of Verkhoturye before he went to St. Petersburg and made a career of the Tsar's first advisor. They say that in this monastery Rasputin improved his literacy although he used quite different skills (hypnosis, for example) to impress Tsarina Alexandra.
Unlike most of the churches in the Urals, the churches of Verkhoturye were not destroyed. Probably, because they were too far away from civilization. The Bolsheviks had another insane idea - the buildings of the Kremlin became a complex of prisons for juvenile delinquents...
If you decide to go and see Verkhoturski Kremlin, take snacks and a flask of coffee with you as the only the cafe in the town doesn't offer a large variety or may be closed without reasons. Both male and female monasteries offer beds for the travellers so you can stay for a night before going back to civilization.
I'd like to thank my Facebook friend Dmitry Lazarev who found time to drive to the north to take these lovely pictures.
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