How do you do, ladies and gentlemen? I will be your guide today. To say the truths, I am lucky to show you around my native town. We`ll find together interesting sights to explore.
My small town differs little from tens of other quiet provincial towns of central Russia. It cannot boast any unusual sights or exotic landscapes which usually draw crowds of tourists. The town is like an extended village of wooden houses with lace curtains and geraniums in the windows. Everethyng here is simple and quiet. Our excursion will be foot walking. If you are not afraid to get tired I`ll begin just now. Follow me and I’ll tell you some interesting facts about the town
My native town has an excellent geographical position. It is in the Tver region. As you see, it’s located between the two largest and most developed metropolises of Russia: Moscow and St-Petersburg. There is a joke that Bezhetck is «somewhere between two capitals». Maybe in a few years it will be included in one of these cities because Moscow and St-Petersburg are expanding rapidly. But now Bezhetsk is hidden in spaces of Valdai Hills and only one railway and some auto roads connect our town with other settlements. But wait… I’m wrong!
Bezhetck is situated on the two rivers of Mologa and Ostrechina. It means that from my native town we theoretically can go to any point in the world! But the rivers are not only the water “roads”. They provide us with water for technical needs and drinking. And many years ago the Mologa saved us from invaders.
Well, now it is the time for a brief history of Bezhetsk. It was mentioned in Novgorod’s chronicles in 1137. The name of the town probably comes from the word «bezh» that means «running», «taking refuge». Bezhetsk was founded by refugees from Novgorod who lost in political struggle and wanted to avoid the reprissions. Bezhetck was an apple of discord between Moscow, Tver and Novgorod. That’s why, it suffered not only from tatars but from armies of this princedom too. Later after the centralization of Russian territory around Moscow it became the centre of trading.
All those historical events are reflected in our town emblem. Bush of raspberry symbolizes fires and desolation of ancient times, three flowers of flax stand for our rich flax fields. And crown symbolizes the power of the leader of the country.
Now we see the monuments devoted to one of the most tragic events in the history of our country.
When the Great Patriotic War broke out in 1941, dozens of Bezhetsk people volunteered to fight at the front. Vasily Ivanovich Andrianov, Vasily Nikolayevich Barsucov, Mikhail Alekseevich Belov, Mikhail Ivanovich Druzhinin, Pavel Dmitrievich Bystrov, Grigory Dmitrievich Vasiliev and many others became Heroes of the Great Patriotic War. We are proud of them and very pleasant for their victory.
There is a memorial complex devoted to the heroic defenders of the Motherland from Nazi invaders in the centre of our town. Close to the top, there`re bronze figures of soldiers, at the foot of the monument there are flowers all the year round. Along the entire alley, framed by flower beds and bushes, graceful fir trees are growing. On the 9th may celebrations many citizens pay their respects to Soviet soldiers who fought heroic battles in the Great Patriotic War in which every single family lost a member.
I`m sure you will be greatly impressed by classical mansions. Their owners were majorly merchants such as the Nevorotins, the Corovkins, the Sergeevs and the Chernovs. Most of the buildings of the nineteenth century were built in early modern style.
Left to right: Corovkin`s house, Sergeev`s house, Nevorotin`s house
By all means, you should visit the churches of Bezhetck, admire their gilt onion domes and clad.. Unfortunately, a lot of temples were destroyed by Bolsheviks. But the Spaso-Cladbishenkaya church, the Spaso-Preobrazhenskaya church and the Krestovozdvizhenskaya church are still exist and continue to take parishioners. If you want to give someone a picture that symbolizes Bezhetsk, the Vvedenskaya belfry is a good choice. By the way it is the only one that is left from the Vvedensky monastery, that was founded, as legend say, by the Saint Nectary one of the virginal and kind men of our country.
There are a lot of museums and monuments in my native town. Majority of them are linked with or devoted to such famous people as Vasily Vasilievich Andreevwho breathed new life into balalaika and domra (also he was the leader of Great Russian orchestra), Alexei Petrovich Ivanov, the opera singer, Anna Ahmatova and the Gumilevs, the great poets of Russia, Vyacheslav Yakovlevich Shishkov, the author of such novels as «Moody river» and «Yemelyan Pugachev», Victor Sergeevich Popov, famous conductor. You possibly know such names as Peter Alexandrovich Pletnev, literary critic of Pushkin’s time, Fedor Nikolaevich Glinka, poet, the hero of the Patriotic War of 1812, and Alexei Andreyevich Arakcheev one of the most influential and powerful men in the days of Alexander I. All these people played significant role in history of Bezhetsk. So it could be called the town of poets, writers, singers and musicians.
1. The Spaso-Cladbishenkaya church
2. The Spaso-Preobrazhenskaya church
3. The Krestovozdvizhenskaya church
Museum of V.V.Andreev
Museum of V.Y.Shishkov
As I’ve said, you will not find any amazing landscapes in our provincial town. But simplicity of nature is so beautiful! Bezhetck is surrounded by fields and woods, quite usual for central Russia. Tourists say that Bezhetck is a green town. The trees grow almost everywhere. But to my opinion the most attractive park in our town is a Linden alley. It’s the place where all my problems seem to be so far from me. Agree, it’s nice to sit in a shadow of lindies or walk between trees, listen to rustle of leaves and dream about something…
To say the truth everyday life is not easy in our town. But people are hospitable here. A friendly smile is a common thing in the street, in a shop, everywhere… Bezhechane work hard but they remember that “man does not live by bread alone”.
So they try not to miss any celebration. One of the most beloved celebrations is Bezhetsk City Day (first weekend of August). It is well organized. About 30 cultural events take place in the town. Starting from opening ceremony an atmosphere of warm hospitality, kind attention, real respect surround the participants and the guests of the celebration. For two days the appreciative audience enjoy wonderful performances, impressive singing and poetical recitation. Concerts by children`s and folk groups as well as famous pop stars are held in Sovetskaya square and our City Park from morning till night. To feel the atmosphere of the event just read some of messages of the participants: “Such celebration reaches our emotions. Our feelings cannot be put into words…” The final chord of Bezhetsk City Day is the fireworks. Lights and fireworks all round, it`s quite a view!
There is much more to tell you about these unique celebrations. Just come and feel them yourself.
To sum it up I`d like to say my native town is for those people who are looking for peace and a lovely rural environment. Bezhetsk is an island of simple beauty in a sea of mediocrity. But this ancient Russian town is a provincial jewel of the Tver region indeed.