Salt Town: Even in Moscow, Few Know Anything about Solikamsk. People May Have Heard Its Name, but Where and What It Is-This Is the Province of Connoisseurs of Russian Antiquities. and Yet, It Is a Surprising City, Which Could Become a Pearl in the Same League as Suzdal or Veliky Ustyug, Receiving Important Guests Year-Round from All over the World

By Mozhayev, Alexander | Russian Life, January-February 2007 | Go to article overview

Salt Town: Even in Moscow, Few Know Anything about Solikamsk. People May Have Heard Its Name, but Where and What It Is-This Is the Province of Connoisseurs of Russian Antiquities. and Yet, It Is a Surprising City, Which Could Become a Pearl in the Same League as Suzdal or Veliky Ustyug, Receiving Important Guests Year-Round from All over the World


Mozhayev, Alexander, Russian Life


In 1430, in the lands of the ancient, almost epic country of Bjarmaland (a civilization centered around Perm and the shores of the river Dvina and the White Sea), which for a millennium had traded with Persia and Khoresm (present day Central Asia), the Russian salt industry appeared along the Kama river.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Over time, the town founded there--Solikamsk (which means, literally, "salt of the Kama river")--gained the name "salt capital" and developed into one of the most beautiful of Russian towns. In the 17th century, local craftsmen built stone churches without equal in the richness of their decor. The intricate carvings of their porticoes and moldings were a joyful, resounding embodiment of the Russian Soul. In fact, for someone interested in comprehending this mysterious essence, the churches and palaces of Solikamsk offer no less enlightenment than the famous Rostov kremlin or the wooden splendors of Kizhi.

Thankfully, the city's most valuable historic monuments survived the ravages of the Soviet era. But the fairytale town itself has practically disappeared, the center having been built over with scruffy five-story apartment blocks.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

And yet, the losses are still reversible. If the city had a specific development plan, aimed at reclaiming the riches of its past, it would in time become famous not only in Russia, but in the wider world. For there is also a lush wilderness here--sunsets over the Usolka river are simply unbelievable, and Solikamsk is surrounded by a number of beautiful old towns: Usolye, Cherdyn, Nyrob. Yet there seems little hope of a renaissance. Even back in 1916, a travel guide to the city wrote: "In the progeny of Solikamsk we see few signs of inspiration, enterprise or concern for their town. Does this not evidence a wasting away of local residents' spirits?"

Today, in the very center of Solikamsk, the lace Krestovozdvizhensky (Risen Cross) Church (1698) is dying. Parishioners began to renovate it, took off the roof and then ran out of money. Ask whomever you like: the eparchiate of the church, the department of culture or the city administration, and each points their finger at someone else, trying to sort out exactly whose responsibility this is. There is no settling the dispute: in December of 2005, the head of the city was convicted of exceeding his authority and to this day the city is between leaders, which only aggravates the predilection for disorder.

The local paper announces gleefully that "the central square has donned a new asphalt coat." Yet in the center there is not a single acceptable restaurant. Even in the hotel there is nowhere to get a bite to eat, yet the cost of the room does include an adult movie channel. In the evenings, the hotel turns into something like a seaside bordello.

The city's singular, readily apparent achievement seems to be the development of an inexpensive taxi trade.

In point of fact, the difficulty with Solikamsk's preservation efforts lies in the fact that only cultural workers and religious leaders are concerned with turning this commonplace regional center into a renowned city. And both groups are small and act independently of one another. At present, they are distracted by legal proceedings regarding property transfer. The church has staked a claim to the recently-restored Bogoyavlensky (Epiphany) Church, which has belonged to the museum fund since the 1930s.

Nelli Savenkova, head of the historical department of the Solikamsk Museum of Local Culture, was indignant on the issue of property transfer: "The eparchiate is acting rather unpleasantly. Generally speaking, we have, to a limited degree, been fulfilling their missionary work for many years. Just where was a Soviet person able to find out anything about Christianity? Basically, in museums, where museum workers saved sacred objects under the pretext of their being elements in an exhibition on atheism. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Salt Town: Even in Moscow, Few Know Anything about Solikamsk. People May Have Heard Its Name, but Where and What It Is-This Is the Province of Connoisseurs of Russian Antiquities. and Yet, It Is a Surprising City, Which Could Become a Pearl in the Same League as Suzdal or Veliky Ustyug, Receiving Important Guests Year-Round from All over the World
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.