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21Oct/100

Merkushino – the oldest village in the Urals

Merkushino village is the oldest settlement east of the Urals. It was a gateway to Siberia until 17th century. When the new Great Siberian road and later Trans-Siberian rail road were built, Merkushino was about to be forgotten. However, the village became a spiritual place to Orthodox believers thanks to St. Simeon. A man of a noble descent who called himself Simeon came to Merkushino as a pilgrim. He spent his life there praying in summer and making shubas (fur coats) for the villagers in winter. For his righteous life, Simeon was lifted to the status of a saint.

St. Simeon was buried in the Verkhotursky monastery (50 km from Merkushino). After the Revolution the Bolsheviks brought the remains of St. Simeon to Yekaterinburg and displayed them in Ipatiev house - the place where the Romanovs had been killed served as Anti-religious Museum of Revolutionary Revenge.

St. Simeon is now a patron saint of the Urals. His coffin was returned to the monastery. After the collaps of the USSR Merkushino village has become a center of Orthodox pilgrimage. It's one of 12 most popular tours around the Urals 


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