Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO
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The old merchant village of Vyatskoe is situated in Nekrasovsky district - one of the most environmentally friendly and historically significant areas of Yaroslavl region, 30 kilometres away from Yaroslavl city by Lyubimskaya Road, and 300 kilometres away from Moscow. Vyatskoe is first mentioned in the official records in 1502. In the 18th century two Russian Orthodox churches were constructed in the village – the Church of the Resurrection and the Church of the Assumption.
The fascinating history of these places, favorable geographical location, richest natural resources make this region an attractive land. The surprising beauty of the nature of central Russian plain with a web of rivers and lakes (of which there are 38 here), with expanses that please an eye in any season of the year, with soft climate - all this make these places interesting to study in summer and winter alike.
Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
Vyatskoe village is a unique town-planning complex of 16th to 19th centuries with over 50 registered architectural monuments, which in the past were merchant and peasant houses, tea and public houses, poorhouses. The basis of Vyatskoe's historical and cultural heritage is primarily the planning structure of the village which almost completely dates to 18th century.
Vyatskoe village turned into a modern Historical and Cultural Complex with ten museums and the relevant tourist infrastructure. Each facility reflects unique specific features of the region, the originality and richness of local culture.
Museums in Vyatskoe:
- Museum of Russian enterprise or "History of one village which wanted to become a city …";
- Museum of "Vyatskoe's trading peasant - Gorokhov's house";
- House of Angels museum devoted to the feat of "heavenly roofer" Petr Telushkin;
- Interactive museum "Rooms of Urlov Brothers Merchants";
- Polytechnic Museum "Amazing world of mechanisms and machines";
- Museum of kitchen machinery;
- Children's World Museum;
- Black* Banya Museum (black-way banya, i.e. a bathhouse in which the smoke escapes through a hole in the ceiling, rather than chimney);
- Museum of Russian amusements;
- Museum of the recovered Sanctity;
Vyatskoe is a small but great place of excellence, where culture, arts and landscapes blend with quality of life and traditions dating back to hundreds of years.
Criterion (ii): Vyatskoe village exhibits successive development of architecture and town-planning and monumental arts as well as village landscape for over 500 years, representing historical process of this development in the vast central region of Russia.
All the cultural and historical sights of the route are located along the old Yaroslavl-Kostroma meadow road, the road which played an important role in the Russian history.
Big ancient village Vyatskoe is known from the 16th century, at that time it belonged to the metropolitan Philaret (Fyodor Nikitich Romanov – the father of Mikhail Romanov, the first Romanov tsar of the Romanov House) and represented large trading point with two wooden temples and metropolitan court. Later during the 17th century wooden churches were replaced by monumental constructions, and in the late 19th century there were built stone houses, rows of shopping stalls and pavements. So, the village began to look like a little town.
Through the ages the village of Vyatskoye has been an example of tolerance to the Old Believers’ and traditional orthodox churches.
Criterion (v): Vyatskoe village is an outstanding example of a deliberately preserved traditional settlement, representative of a culture that has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change. This village, which developed mainly during the 18th century, represents the traditional forms of rural life which were generally abolished by the agricultural revolution in the 20th century.
Vyatskoe is known for its involvement of rural inhabitants, which have preserved their traditional lifestyle, in processing of self-development and increasing the attractiveness of rural areas.
The village has always been famous by its pickled cucumbers. The taste of strong crispy pickled cucumbers was known almost to every man in the country: from Sanit-Petersburg to Ural. Cucumber products were catered for the local merchants to the tsar table and even were exported to Swiss and Switzerland.
Nature itself and the climate peculiarities of the land made the cucumbers growing prosperous and effective. The landscape factor favorers the falling of warm dew on the cucumbers crops, which leads to the active cucumber growing on the open ground without using greenhouses and hothouses.
After all the technology of production of pickled cucumbers has’t been really changed. Unique taste and physicochemical properties of the water make its cucumbers so delicious and original.
Statements of authenticity and/or integrity
Vyatskoe village is distinguished by high degree of preservation of outstanding monuments of architecture and the historical environment as a whole, which reflect the successive development of the ancient Russian villages from the time of its foundation up to our days. Most of architectural heritage objects survived until nowadays without significant reconstructions, with original front finishing and interior decorations.
The village has preserved the heritage elements and traditions that characterize it. The preservation of the traditional techniques of rural architecture, the local uses of materials and forms have been maintained. Exquisitely executed decoration elements once again confirm the fact, that people of Vyatskoe had a reputation of good bricklayers, plasterers, modelers. Wonderful masters of building were leaving the village, but the main thing was that they always went back to their native land to bring some skills to its motherland. Plasterwork done by modelers of Vyatskoe survived nowadays.
The base of historical heritage is village planning pattern. Constrictions were built facade to facade (frontage line); arch as the element of the urban environment was used for gateway. Here began to appear attributes of volost power: rural council, court, tea houses, grog shops, school, hospital, alms-houses.
Vyatskoe is not a museum village devoid of any traditional activity, but it is still a living community. Vyatskoe's community protects and looks after the village and its remaining houses, which provides them with space for community and religious life as well as job opportunities and the possibility of safeguarding and presenting their traditions.
Comparison with other similar properties
Among a number of ancient Russian villages with significant history and cultural heritage (for example: Kinerma – Republic of Karelia, Bolshoy Kunaley – Republic of Buryatia, Vorzogory – Arkhangelsk region, Andrichevo – Arkhangelsk region, Atsagat – Republic of Buryatia) Vyatskoe is prominent with its complete complex of planning, architectural and other forms of cultural heritage, natural and cultural landscapes preserved in quite integral form. Other similar villages suffered terrible destructions and ruining during the wars. None of the Russian villages are included on the World Heritage List.
Vyatskoe is the winner of the Cultural Heritage 2008 National Award, the winner of the Custodian of Heritage 2011 All-Russia Award. The authorities of the village were awarded in 2012 by the President of Russia V. Putin with State Prize of the Russian Federation in the field of art and culture for contribution to the revival and development of traditional cultural and historical values.
In 2015 the museum community at the country's main museum festival Intermuseum-2015 has acknowledged the Historical and Cultural Complex Vyatskoe as the best museum of the year in Russia awarding Grand Prix of the international festival. Museum collections of the complex are part of Museum Fund of the Russian Federation.