Arzamas is a beautiful Russian town
on a high right bank of the Tyosha River. It is
410 kilometres to the south-east of Moscow.
Nowadays it is a town of the developed industry, education and science, the centre of the Arzamas district.
Among the ancient Russian towns Arzamas has few equal either in its historical appearance or in the abundance of architectural monuments. Truly, it is one of town museums.
As a car approaches it from the west, or a train approaches it from the south, the cupolas of Arzamas’ numerous churches and bell towers spring into view. Clustering behind monastery walls or towering among houses and trees, they land a certain fairy-tale air to the skyline of the town, which throughout centuries has acquired a character of its own.
A view of Arzamas in spring from the countryside
A sightseeing tour of the town starts from its historical core – Cathedral Square. The central square of the town is situated on the highest hill, so it offers a splendid view of the southern and the eastern parts of Arzamas as well as of the vast plain across the river Tyosha.
At the beginning of the XX century the town was famous for its 36 churches and 4 monasteries. It was a treasure-trove of architecture and unique works of Russian applied arts and paintings.
Cathedral Square includes the Voskresenskiy cathedral, St. Nicolas monastery, the winter church with the bell tower and the Town Hall.
A new age in the history of Arzamas began with the October revolution of 1917. Most churches were pulled down but for the central structure, the Voskresenskiy (Resurrection) cathedral and the buildings surrounding it.
The three cathedrals left dominated over the town which was full of rich vegetation. They were the Voskresenskiy cathedral, the Spasskiy (Our Savior) cathedral and Our Lady of Smolensk cathedral in the village of Viyesdnoye. Many cupolas and bell towers were pulled down though the buildings themselves were preserved.
Most of the town’s churches date back to the XVII-XIX centuries. Richly decorated and various in form the churches look gay and pleasant to the eye. In Arzamas monasteries and cathedrals are majestic in their splendor. Built in the Russian classical style they are the town’s architectural dominants nowadays.
Arzamas is one of the most interesting towns of the Nizhniy Novgorod region. It ranks high due to its industrial importance. The population of the town is 109,000.
Arzamas is situated in the centre of the right-bank part of the region, at the distance of 110 kilometres to the south of Nizhniy Novgorod. It is at the crossroads of railways and highways of the federal importance. The geographical position of a so-called ‘capital’ of the Nizhniy Novgorod right-bank territory is very favourable.
Our Lady’s Resuscitating Spring church (1794)
Thanks to the efforts of the town’s government a number of churches have been recently renovated or restored.
Arzamas is an old Russian town. The histories mention the year 1366 when Bulat Temir ruined it.
The date of its founding by Tsar Ivan IV is taken as 1552 when he crossed the place on his way to Kazan. Arzamas was ordered to become a fortress. 1578 is the official date of the beginning of its history.
The fortress was founded in the place of an ancient native settlement. According to a legend two brothers Arzay and Masay of the native people met the Tsar heartily, presented him with gifts and were the first ones of their people to adopt Christianity.
The fortress played a very important role in the defence of the south-eastern boarders of the Russian state. Its contribution to the history of Russia was highly merited by Catherine II who granted the coat of arms to the town in August 1781.
The view of the fortress in the middle of the XVII century
before the Fire of 1726
In the XVII century Arzamas became a very important transport centre on the way from Moscow to the south-eastern parts of the country. At that period the trades, especially the production of leather, onions and breeding geese made Arzamas very famous. The well-known Arzamas leather was exported to England, France and Germany.
The middle of the XVIII century is considered to be the Golden Age of Arzamas when thanks to its favorable geographical position the town became an important trade centre at the crossroads of ten big roads, four of which were the biggest ones in Russia. That finally led to the growth of the town and the period of furious construction of churches which was unlike anything that had proceeded in the history of Arzamas.
The building of the Town Hall, the only one of the kind preserved in Russia (the XVIII century)
In 1781 Arzamas began to be regularly planned and built. On the whole the planning of the town has remained the same as it used to be in the XVIII-XIX centuries. By the beginning of the XIX century 20 churches had been erected. They looked extraordinary beautiful even when they were compared to those of Moscow.
The Voskresenskiy cathedral, the heart of the town, is an outstanding monument of the Russian history and culture. It was dedicated to the victory of the Russian people over Napoleon in the Patriotic war of 1812. The cathedral was designed by M.Korinfskiy and built by many talented individuals. It has a marvelous sense of continuity and harmony. The magnificent cathedral crowned with five cupolas dominates mightily over the town.
The Voskresenskiy cathedral (1814-1842) designed by M.Korinfskiy, a citizen of Arzamas, a graduate of the Academy of Arts, a representative of the classical trend in architecture
The building of prominent churches was accompanied by the growth of crafts including icon painting which was possible, to the great extent, thanks to the academician Stupin who had founded the first provincial art school in Arzamas.
The school itself was a very important event in the history of the Russian culture of the first half of the nineteenth century. Its school leavers were valued in Russia. Their paintings can be seen in the best picture galleries of Moscow, St.Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, Kazan and Arzamas.
The monument to academician Stupin
Arzamas belongs to town-museums. More than 130 monuments of history, culture and architecture are considered to be of state importance. The town is included into the list of the 116 historical towns of Russia.
The old shopping street
Every year more than 100,000 tourists come to Arzamas or via Arzamas to Diveyevo and Boldino. Boldino is connected with the name of A.Pushkin, the great Russian poet. Diveyevo is a sacred place devoted to St.Seraphim of Sarov.
The scenery of Arzamas is picturesque.
The park of school number 12
The Day of the Town at the beginning of the XXI century
The contemporary Arzamas is a city of colleges, schools, hospitals and libraries. There is an opera and a drama theatre, three literary museums, a historical museum and a unique park with more than 100 kinds of trees of the European, Asian, American and Australian flora.
Comfortable restaurants, cafes, night clubs and a new hotel ‘Diana’ are ready to meet the needs of tourists.
The square in front of the Nizhniy Novgorod State Technological University
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