The reason for writing this article was the unexpected call from Moscow from the editor of a glossy travel magazine. «Write something about Novgorod – asked Anton. That there you have this year built tourist?» «The bike path to the Khutyn monastery,» I called without thinking. «Too small. Well, the head of state came to youabout? That’s it look?» – «Yuriev monastery». – «Hmm, well, as you yourself where guests will receive, who for the first time in Novgorod?» – «Bus № 7 to a stop Perynsky skit. There are pine trees in the monastery is just wonderful, the view of the Ilmen lake and the small beach with the cleanest water».
Afterwards, I got to thinking.
Toured for the last three years more than a dozen Russian and Belarusian regions, as a party to all the press tours, I suddenly realized that the palm among all the tourist sections of clusters should be given Orthodox domes. Yes, it is they, the Church domes, the walls of monasteries, monastery churches. There are most important, vibrant, memorable attractions among all segments of the travel industry: exhibition, Museum, cooking, sports, environmental…
Such a conclusion for myself today is unexpected. How much I remember, at the end of last and beginning of this century, when at meetings on tourism at the regional and city levels were discussed, how and what to draw in Veliky Novgorod tourists than fifty medieval churches, it was even somehow uncomfortable. We have a range of dome Yes bells. Well, as museums, libraries, cultural centers, exhibition halls, roller coasters, Spa, water Park, 4D cinema, Bicycle rental, wheel review, hydrometery, grayling fishing, rafting, honey sbiten, bear steak, Jacuzzi in the hotel room? Imagination can be limitless, but all technical and just innovations, admittedly, very quickly acquire a replica of «Yes, and we are not worse», and the public interest in the cultural and secular pilgrimage is lost. But old and remains eternal along with the desire to touch. There are a number of things that people in robes, as it turns out, are much wiser than all of the modern tour operators. However, maybe I’m exaggerating, maybe I have a purely personal opinion? Try to understand the pilgrimage as part of the old but surprisingly reliable mechanism, not only under my eye.
Traces of aliens
Vasco translator from Serbia came to me for a couple of days last summer after a trip to Solovki – to compare, because Novgorod is also surrounded by a dense ring of Orthodox monasteries. Let me remind you that your humble servant is one of the most hospitable people in the region accept strangers thanks to the Internet-club for free «night and day» traveling pilgrims from all over the world. There were a hundred, and, increasingly, you see guests come to Novgorod with the purpose to look at religious shrines.
So Vasco, foreign guest, there. Accumulating a sufficient amount, the freelancer decided to go after his favorite abode, for which specially arrived to Russia. The glory of the, perhaps, harsh climatic conditions Russian monastery with a very difficult destiny, pokorivshei thousands of human lives during the Soviet years, extends far beyond the borders of our country. From St. Petersburg by train to Kem station, from there by boat on the White sea and three days on the island with an overnight stay at locals. Vasco sat in my kitchen and talked for a long time. The emotions he got huge. «Can you imagine, we have 30 degrees in the summer, it is warm and it’s cold. I was forced in July to put on a sweater and a jacket!». Yes, in very difficult conditions Russian people live. We have free tickets to give to the warm seas, and then penalties with the inevitable rise in the price of the dollar… «So you are a believer, an Orthodox?!», – ask the guest of a kindred spirit to us in the country. «Oh, no, not really, he admits. – That is the culture Yes, but so to Church regularly go, it’s no» – «So you have the same temples and more ancient than our own, and Cyril Methodius from you came to us, writing brought» «No, then the Bulgarians bet with you. And the monasteries have not the same». As it turned out, the areola of monastic life in Serbia tarnished publications. I will write that the head of the monastery stood a former crime boss, is massively flat ordinary citizens by the monks to rewrite…
In Russia the state was ashamed of Soviet repression, and the last decade of the Russian Orthodox Church is permitted, all is help and support. A critical press hid under the press law. The article is now the article — insult the feelings of believers. Here in the West – where, Yes, the Protestants and the decline of morals, and the Exodus of parishioners from churches, and even disgusting to say! – pedophilia, and we in the clergy like the Renaissance. It was in Russia in 1918 of about a thousand monasteries are now almost the same. They grow fast as mushrooms in autumn forest. The reasons for this speed during the erection I was once in conversation revealed the father education of the Builder. According to an experienced superintendent, if you look at the estimated cost of the civil object closely, but with the knowledge that, more than half of the aforesaid works out you can throw it without any damage. This is a different sort of expertise, agreement, binding, control measurements and other nonsense. The basis is always possible to take a model project and use it to build, making the necessary variety. «The manpower and materials – here’s what you need the site. Masters we always find for our Holy cause, and building materials sponsors give us,» said the developer in a cassock. Here is the secret of the revival of Orthodox Russia. If we had the stadiums to bridges learned how to build as well, housing the world was erected for the young!…
There is another point explaining the effectiveness of the monastery of the contract. The temple was built taking into account donations, and this is the big intangible sense: first, like ask people if they want to build (or refurbish) the Shrine, and if donations are, if the people vote ruble, and apply lever to cash inflows. Watering it is better where there are seedlings and not everywhere, right? Civilian objects are often built on the desire from above. Pleasure official to swim butterfly, so he gives money for the construction of the pool. Here you are, supposedly a gift, be like me toned! And people want to be themselves. Besides, it’s well out of the public budget, and not from the personal coffers. Then wonder why few people attend the gym, why is the swing creak, where such an ungrateful grumbling dissatisfaction?!…
Most Solovki Serbs surprised the strange footprints left on the island by the monks. Just in the field, near the edge of the strange circles of vegetation and stones… the Guide provided the tourists their version of their origin and meaning, but my guest had another idea, and he eagerly told me. Do, why they do it, monks?! They all wanted to tell us the intricate drawings, when their way of life is for ordinary people an unsolved mystery?! Go out of the world and pray-pray for yourself and for us, although we about it do not ask.
The Bible on tickets
In the Crimean Bakhchisarai two main attractions: the Palace of the Tatar khans, included now in the Museum complex, and a valid assumption Orthodox monastery. In the first have to buy a ticket on every corner, that is, want to see the exhibition of bladed weapons – pay, wanted to see the collection of firearms – again pay, and in the cave monastery guided tour is free, and even candles can take «for free». And now the question: where more tourists and where they are more fork: in front of the cashier or in front of the box to collect donations? I personally liked the «pay» after I was convinced that the case of monks started good. I wish all entertainment so I thought. And it turns out that year the picture is advertised as a seminal masterwork, and then all of a sudden see that «Matilda» is zilch, there is even nothing to discuss. In other words, monasteries and museums have different marketing, though, and act according to old patterns. But to compare them is necessary because both methods of reimbursement very are often in the same place.
For example, the territory of the former Kirillo-Belozersky monastery in the Vologda region of water you can drink for free, because it is in the temple of Chan and the father consecrated and toilet on the territory only for the money, it is a Museum. Close the door, I thought, causing some jealousy. The guide in the midst of his story about the monastery suddenly asked: «Raise your hands, who have a separate room for stays of more than 15 meters?» A few of the journalistic fraternity, but mostly it was my St. Petersburg colleagues, could boast such footage. «But our monks live in the cells for 18 square meters and all the necessary utilities. Not bad, huh?!» concluded guide. Public outcry was pretty strong. «Why not go to the monks?!» – rustled in the group.
On the way home, in Chelyabinsk, from the shores of lake Ladoga Svetlana, a psychologist by profession, decided to come to Novgorod to see the ancient city, and stopped at me. A young woman was driving from the Valaam monastery, where three weeks were trudnica. The volunteer did say, in the kitchen, in the monastery of the greenhouses, cleaning the monastery, and for this she was given the couch in the Dorm, eating with fasting, a bike for trips around the island and Sunday excursions. But what else does a person of modest means to spend your holidays bright, with immersion in a completely new life?! If you just take the bus and drive through the cities of «Golden ring» or «Silver necklace», it will bring hundreds and thousands of photos on the smartphone, which will repeat exactly the same, but the other tourists. And here is a unique experience, a story to tell, have something to surprise colleagues, relatives, neighbours. «I’m from another trip back, now full of ideas as I work with children in school,» said a school teacher.
The monasteries with their declarative closure manage to be open to the public. Student teams did not, but in monasteries the youth stretches. The entrance to the monastery, however, available to everyone, but not everyone. We must still follow the rules of conduct, dress – not to go to the monastery with the Charter… specifically to work on Balaam, must be recorded in April on the website of the monastery, when it announced a set of groups.
The path to the monastery’s staff sometimes it works and spontaneous. That’s how, at my request, the first working contact described the normal tourist Elena, visited Diveyevo convent in Nizhny Novgorod region:
— Circled areas, I went to the Cathedral and just in time – there was a service that people already accumulated a lot. Sang just fine. Truly angelic voices! I went into a totally blissful state, and even from morning I have eaten was not, I decided to wander – and then I was approached by a woman, a nun: «Sister, you do not want to work for a monastery?». «I want!» – said without hesitation. I soon saw a long table covered with a clean cloth, sat several women in headscarves and a choir sang softly. I sat next to, put a large cardboard box with delicious-smelling crackers and read the instructions: «Sister, take the bag, open, a glass poured crunches, and crunches and eat is blessed».
Eka Prodigy – crackers. As can be seen, demand, if employees are already among the tourists are recruiting.
Another big plus monasteries – they keep the course on a properly prepared, environmentally friendly products, whether it is kvass, sbiten, honey, bread or «set lunch» for tourists. Group the pilgrims did not even notice the specifics of the preparation of meals in a fast day, so all is good. Remember Kostomarovskiy women’s monastery in Voronezh region the soup was vegetable, fish collet, but one of the tourists even broke down and said: «wow post delicious feast!…». Then he was advised: «you take parasoli».
Monastery near Kostomarov were once men. Here in lumps of sand rocks — an extensive network of caves all year round the same temperature at which cool in summer, not cold in winter. They were dug by the monks in the first Christian century. When showing cells particularly the imagination affects the story of the Stylites, the monks who never sat down and even slept in their cells, tying his feet to the pillar. So now they had a vow of poslushnika. They passed food through the window with two doors to communication with the world was impossible. Now father is very talkative. Due to force of habit in the evening at leisure, look through dozens of TV channels in search of videos without ads or hot discussions, where all yelling and interrupting each other. Often, noticed, staying on TV, where sits the good girl and listens very carefully to a man with a beard and a cassock, and he says that as a Yes, answering the questions of viewers, and nobody interrupts. Where else can you see?!
And again: megacities grow, pulling the population of the provinces, and only monasteries are fixed as anchors in economically weak territories. In the same Valdai now, perhaps, the city-forming enterprise — the monastery, not the plant «Jupiter». There, the monks carry taxi passengers, their mansion in paintings, about them shoot films. And Kirillov, and Kostomarovo, and Diveevo – the small cities of Russia, which was lucky. As it turns out.
Among the reviews of my friends, and blogs on the Internet it is possible to collect negative feedback on the presence of workers, novices and tourists in the monasteries. But those are in relation to five-star hotels in Turkey. Then there is word of mouth with the world’s information dump, to everything you can find. But it seemed to me that now another aspect more relevant.
Frankly, I had one guest from Bielefeld – which has requested that I not on bus 7, and in the pool took. It was a unique citizen of Germany, beer is not drink, and the name of his German is very weird. Swam the 25-meter pool in the «ice Palace» Sergei is too small thought. In North Rhine-Westphalia such structures are trying to build with a twist to give people the motivation from one town to another to ride. Somewhere pool with jumps, but it with sea waves, that diversity. In Novgorod the building was built on the principle of «Senka cap.» Neither Muscovites, nor Petersburgers is not interested. They «and Shirshov, and deeper» as they say. But the monasteries around Novgorod is unique. We sat down with Sergey for some tea to discuss after the water treatment is an issue, and 40-year-old Caucasian, long visits in the US, in Vietnam, admitted: «I haven’t chosen a religion, but I like to thank God and not ask someone to do something». The typical pilgrim, the word, Maverick. Oh, we had it into the font, and then in the bath, Yes a broom-a broom! Would return home a different person, having acquired a profound belief in the proper structure of society.