Vereya. Western gates of a Moscow land
Arkhangelskoe — Kosma and Domian’s Church — Vereyskoe Gorodishche — Vkhodne-Jerusalem Church

While exploring the map of south-east of Moscow region, it’s hard not to pay attention to Vereya, lost in endless Naro-Fominsk forests.  We first heard of this town, located on the right bank of The Protva river, in 1371. It was when Vereya happened to be in the center of the confrontation between Moscow and Grand Duke of Lithuania Algirdas. Also the fortress city was sacked by a Golden Horde commander Edigu. Polish-lithuanian intervention, 1812 battle and, finally, Great Patriotic War, happened here. Such hard fate of Vereya — western gates of Moscow land — is reflected in its melodious name and the emblem. Old Slavic word “vereya” means “pillars, on which the doors are hung”.

1. Arkhangelskoe
You should definitely excuse for a while to see the church.

To start the trip, you have to drive 70 km on Minskoe highway until the intersection with Moscow Big Ring and then 30 more kilometers to the south. But be attentive: 7 km short of Vereya there is a sign Arkhangelskoye. Actually, it’s hard to miss: a big inscription says that 2,5 km from the highway there is a Michael Archangel Church, built in 1822 by a famous architect Osip Bove. You should definitely excuse for a while to see the church. Once Arkhangelskoe village was owned by Osip Bove’s wife, Avdotya Trubetskaya, and this building was a present from an architect to his beloved wife. 

Rotunda church in ampire style bears a resemblance to the church of Consolation of All Sorrows in Ordynka street in Moscow. Now the church is in a perfect state. It would be nice to cross the river, flowing under the northern wall of the church, go to the field and enjoy a mid-russian view. Unfortunately, other buildings of the Trubetskaya-Bove are destroyed.

2. Kosma and Damian Church
  • Kosma and Damian Church
It’s important to note that all Vereya churches — Ilyinskiy (1803), Saint Konstantin and Elena (1789), Spaso-Vkhodsky (1677 — 1679) are in a great condition.

When you reach the town, you should go to a beautiful bank of the Protva river and church in Zarechye, This church, recently restored, was built on the money of vereyan merchant Michael Sidelnikov in 1777 in the place where an old Kosma and Damian church used to be.

It might be the result of good care and hard work of Vereya archbishop, Patriarchy vikariy, Moscow Spirit Seminary and Academy dean Evgeny (Reshetnikov) — a very active and inspirational person.

3. Vereyskoe Gorodishche
  • The Nativity of Christ Cathedral
You should undoubtedly visit a museum of regional in an ancient private residence of a merchant Mityushin and a district school building.

Having left a car in front of a shop, continue your trip walking. Crossing the bridge over the Protva, you’ll find yourself near Vereyskoe Gorodishche with very impressive rocks. Ascension on sites of ancient russian settlements should become a must (think of Zvenigorod or Mozhaysk), because at this very place you can see what our ancestors saw many centuries ago. Of course, a lot of thins have changed, but the horizon, endless woods and bottomland meadows are still the same.

In 1522 at the top of the site of ancient settlement in honour of Kazan seizure Ivan the Terrible ordered to build a cathedral in the name of Christ’s Birth. In 1802 a baroque bell tower was added to it — you can see it when approaching Vereya. Unfortunately, the cathedral is closed at the moment because of restoration, so it won’t be possible to see a crypt of a Patriotic War hero general Ivan Dorokhov, who was buried there.

Leaving the site of ancient settlement, pay attention to Pyatnitskaya chapel: a well-proportioned building above the ravine looks like a incarnation of a Central Russian patriarchal spirit.

Vereya center is quite small and cosy — a shopping arcade of the turn of the 19th century, memorial park of Great Patriotic War heroes, bus station (buses to Dorokhovo, Naro-Fominsk, Mozhaysk, Moscow Tushino) and a modern trade center.

Where to eat

There are two places to eat: a café “Prestizh” and a restaurant “Akvareli”.

4. Vkhodo-Jerusalem Church
  • Vkhodo-Jerusalem Church

When leaving the city, don’t miss another local antiquity — Vkhodo-Jerusalem Church (Spaso-Vkhodsky) in Krasnaya Sloboda on a high bank of the Protva. Until 1764 there was a Spassky monastery here, built in the 19th century and then abolished by empress Ekaterina II. Today’s monastery (1677 — 1979) is the only building of the ancient cloister left. Not so long ago it was all ruined, but now there are prayer services here, and its territory is arranged very well, very attractive for walking. In Vkhodo-Jerusalem Church there is one of the relics of Mozhaysk and Vereya lands — a wooden sculpture of saint Nicholas Mozhaysky with a sward and a church in his hands.

Author: Maxim Gureev


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