Location: right bank of river Volga, Southern-Eastern part of the Nizhni Novgorod Region. District centre is the working settlement Bolshoe Murashkino.
This district refers to one of the most tragic and unclear pages in the history of the Orthodox church - Raskol. Pastor of the ancient orthodox church, fighter for the old faith protopope Abbacum has been born exactly here on the Bolshemurashkinskaya land in the village Grigorovo in 1621. Abbacum’s incredible inner strength, his belief in his words, torments, comparable to sufferings of the first Christians, will excite everyone, who has read “Protopope Abbacum’s life, written by himself”.
Year 1478 is important for these places, when Novgorod craftsmen are sent here after the rebellion in Novgorod. They have “presented” leather-dressing and fur craft to this district. Representatives of high-born Morozovy have been owners of lands in the 17th century. The fact that the latest owner of these lands from Morozovy family has been Fedosia Prokopievna, boyar Morozova from Surikov’s picture, seems to be the strange coincidence and perhaps the consistency. It has been she, who has remained committed to her teacher Abbacum and she has given her life for her faith.
The monument to Abbacum himself is in his motherland in the village Grigorovo. Abbacum’s figure expresses firmness and unearthly will of the whole Old Belief. The monument is very impressive and unexpected for the usual village but the village Grigorovo is a special one for the history of Russia and for the history of Russian literature.
The church of the 18th century, hallowed in the name of Icon of Our Lady of Kazan, has remained in the village Grigorovo. Bell-tower of the 20th century is next to it. And one can see the picture “Abbacum” by the painter A.Maltsev in the Palace of culture.
This Bolshemurashkinskiy district is a wonderful place! One can recall history of orthodoxy here and one can come back to Pre-Christian times. They honor Yarilo, pagan deity of the Sun, every third Sunday of June in the Ivanovskiy village. The performance takes place this day, folk music groups perform.
The district centre itself, Bolshoe Murashkino, deserves separate walk. The old layout of the village of the 19th century has remained there as well. Good merchant houses, made of stone, remind about the times when Murashkinskie furs have been known in London, Brussels and even not in the coldest city Buenos Aires. The interesting fact is that production has disappeared only in 2005.
Historical-art museum is located in one of such merchant manor houses. The museum exposition amazes because of its variety: there are tusks and the most interesting specimens of furs color of the end of the 19th century here.
The collection of painting, unusually rich for the district centre, amazes too: Gorkovskiy painter L.A. Khnygin’s works are mainly shown here, who has been the student of the past master of coloration N.I. Feshin. Moreover, “Abbacum readings” take place in the museum one time per 3 years, where Old Belief researchers from different cities of Russia arrive.
The Old Believer church is located in Murashino itself. The temple has been hallowed in the name of priestly martyr Abbacum.
Of course, there is the orthodox temple here as well-Trinity church of the 19th century. Besides, one can see the monument of Federal importance - the preserved part of the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior.
Yes, strange meetings, coincidences have taken place and are taking place at such a small piece of the Nizhni Novgorod Region.