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December 27, 2015 02:47


The quiet town of Khvalynsk located on the Volga River, between Syzran and Saratov, is not familiar to ordinary tourists. In recent years some people associate it with the “Khvalynsky” ski resort and the national park in the famous chalk mountains. However, this small town, the oldest one in the Saratov region, deserves more attention itself, at least among the fans of Russian antiquity.

Khvalynsk was historically glorified as one of Old Believers’ centres of the Volga region, the town supplying delicious apples sold all over Russia and as the birthplace of the artist Petrov-Vodkin. Apples grow here even now, the situation with the Old Believers is more difficult – two of the three Old Believers’ cathedrals are destroyed, the third one - of the Protection of the Mother of God – was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church and remains the only Orthodox cathedral in the town. Now it is called the Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. As for Petrov-Vodkin, he described the town in his autobiography titled “Khlynovsk”.

The features of local nature - the bright colors, the wide expanse, the white mountains and the blue Volga - predetermined his avant-garde painting style. Modern Khvalynsk has a memorial museum of the artist - a touching little wooden house with three windows with carved frames (there are a lot of fancy frames in the town, these are especially attractive on the facades of very shabby houses). In addition to the museum, there is an art gallery named after Petrov-Vodkin with an interesting collection of paintings by Russian artists of the first half of XX century, including those of Petrov-Vodkin and Favorsky, Lentulov, Pimenov, Udaltsov and others. Khvalynsk has a mosque as well - a small beautiful building built in 1913. Typical constructions of Soviet times are also present, the town was expanded at their expense. However, these low boxes don’t contribute to the beauty.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Khvalynsk Saratov Region    

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