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Ancient Balashov
November 29, 2016 21:36



According to another version, Balashov was founded by the Prince Vasily Balashka. In 1780 Balashov has been granted the status of district town by the decree of the Empress Catherine II.

A strong influence on the development of the town was rendered by the Kharkov-Balashov railway opened in 1895, which was a part of the private South-Eastern Railways nationalized in 1918. Another important event for the life of the town was the opening of Balashov district rural post-office in April 1876.


Balashov is an ancient town on the Khopyor River. The centre of the town is on the left bank, the right one has quarters of private houses overgrown with greenery of almost rustic appearance.

The Soviet history of Balashov had only a few years of rapid development (1954-1957), when the city briefly became an administrative centre of Balashov Oblast excluded from Saratov Oblast. Later, during the anti-religious campaign, Balashov lost all its churches except the Lutheran church building (now acting as the Orthodox Cathedral of Michael the Archangel), so there are no familiar ancient domes in the city landscape.

The preserved buildings include several merchants’ houses in the style of Art Nouveau and the pre-revolutionary provincial red brick factory building – a specimen of high-quality industrial architecture.

The Local History Museum is located in one of the most interesting old mansions - the house of the grain seller Evgenii Dyakov. It is a small wooden house on a stone foundation standing on Sovetskaya (former Khoperskaya) Street. It may seem nice and simple at first inattentive glance, but if you look closely, you will see many unexpected things. The facade and interiors are decorated with lots of bizarre things: there are dragons on the gutters and Russian-Moorish carving motifs, patterned parquet; and the tiled stoves deserve a separate excursion. Even if the cultural program of Balashov seems too modest, the town is worth visiting in late summer and autumn - in the season of watermelons. Sugar watermelons and fishing on the Khopyor River are the traditional local amusements.


One day an old man named Khopr walked along the steppe and came to a hill with twelve springs at its foot. The old man joined the springs into a single stream and built a mill on it. The resulting river was named after him.

Another legend tells how Tatars attack the Polovets land and killed all the men, though some were not killed, but captured with their wives. The survivors include only the wonderful Vorona, the daughter of Tokaj Khan, a dark-haired beauty with blue eyes. The Khan’s daughter was pursued by the best Tatar warriors - Chembar, Vazhd and Karai. Vorona asked help of the handsome Burtas that lived in the dense northern forests. But as soon as Burtas saw the evil and bloodthirsty warriors pursuing the girl, he immediately turned north and went into the dark forests of Mordovia.



Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Balashov Saratov region    

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