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The town-monument, one of the oldest towns in the Ural Mountains, Verkhoturye was founded in 1598, during the campaigns of Yermaks Cossacks on colonizing Siberia.

Verkhoturye is located in the Sverdlovsk Region, on the bank of River Tura, 306 km northwards of Yekaterinburg. Earlier it was an important transit point on one of the major trading ways that connected European Russia with Siberia. It was seriously devastated by fires of 1674 and 1738. After the establishment of provinces in Russia it became the chief town of the Tobolsk Province. It was the biggest district in Russia. In the 19th century lines of communication with Siberia moved far to the south, and Verkhoturye lost all its trading significance.

After the revolutions of 1917 the Bolsheviks first took power in the town, but from September, 1918 till July, 1919 Verkhoturye was under the control of the anti-Soviet White forces of Kolchak. In 1926 Verkhoturye lost the status of a town and regained it only in 1947, in connection with the 350th anniversary since its foundation.

Nowadays the city is notable not at all for trading - Verkhoturye is one of the major Orthodox religious centers in the Urals. Holy relics of the highly revered Christian Saint Simeon of Verkhoturye, the Miracle Worker of all Siberia are kept there.

The town boasts a number of architectural monuments, in particular churches and monasteries. It is the only town of the Sverdlovsk Region registered on the list of Russias 115 cities and towns, having the most valuable architecture ensembles and complexes. Pilgrims from all the Urals flock in Verkhoturye, where special excursions are arranged for those interested.

The kernel of the town was formed by the Kremlin, founded on a rocky cliff in 1597. It was the only kremlin constructed in the Urals. The ruins of its fortress wall are quite picturesque.

Churches are mainly concentrated in the center of the town. Very beautiful is the cathedral of St. Nicholas Monastery and St. Trinity Church. In the square in front of St. Trinity Church one can see the set up municipal arm of Verkhoturye town. In the hotel in the same square various souvenirs are available. The town has a Museum of Local Lore located in a beautiful building, a monument of wooden architecture, constructed without a single nail.

There is a monastery and a convent in Verkhoturye. The St. Nicholas Monastery is situated in the center of the town, and the convent stands a bit further away.

How to Get from Yekaterinburg:

By bus or suburban train to Privokzalny Settlement, and then about 5 km by bus to Verkhoturye (the bus runs nearly every hour).

By car: about 300 km along Serovsky Highway.

Take an excursion arranged through the excursion and pilgrimage branch of Yekaterinburg eparchy.

Where to stay:

1) Sobol Hotel (a red brick building) is located right in the towns central square

2) There are free hotels for believers in the monastery and convent.

Vicinities: Merkushino

Once you find yourself in Verkhoturye, you will probably want to visit the Village of Merkushino that is located about 60 km to the east of Verkhoturye. This is where the holy Saint Simeon of Verkhoturye used to live and where he ended his days in 1642 and was laid to rest near the Archistratigus Michael Church. 50 years later there happened a wonderful ascension of his hallows, and a spring opened up from his grave. It became the source of what is believed to be the river of blessed healings. The glory of the new holy God-pleaser was growing, and in 1704 his hallows were solemnly transferred to Verkhoturye. Since then he started to be called Saint Simeonom of Verkhoturye, though earlier he was known as Simeon of Merkushino.

Nowadays pilgrims, just like in the past, throng in Merkushino.




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  (Sverdlovsk Region)

Cities of the region

    Nizhniy Tagil

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