If you want to explore not...
If you want to explore not only the capitals and big cities of Russia, but feel the spirit of the country, you might choose Murom as a site to visit. This city is relatively small now, but once it played an important role in the Russian state, and was the residence of Russian princes Gleb and Konstantin. It is one of the 5 oldest cities in Russia, that will celebrate their 1140 anniversary this year, so, it was founded in 862. This city is one of the examples how Christianity was spreading in Russia: not through bloodshed, but by way of personal example of christian life. When Prince Gleb was sent to rule Murom in 11th century (and Gleb was Christian of course), the pagan population did not let him in and closed the doors of the city Kremlin (at that time Murom was surrounded by a wall). Gleb decided not to fight with them, but settled within one kilometer off the Kremlin. Gradually, the conflict was settled. Later Prince Konstantin ruled Murom, and again he had problems with the population who were reluctant to adopt christianity. Konstantin was requested to send his 9 year old son, Mikhail, to the Muromers as hostage, to prove that Konstantin did not have any hostile intentions against the city. Mikhail went to the Kremlin, but was killed by the perfidious Muromers. Even in this case Konstantin did not send his troops to take revenge, because it was not in line with the Christian religion. After this case, gradually, the Muromers started to realize that the new religion is not evil to them, and they accepted it.
Murom got its name from...
Murom got its name from 'Muroma', the Finno-Ugric tribe that populated the area more than 1000 years ago. The Muroma people got gradually assimilated with the Slavs. The city has an unxepectedly intersting and rich museums of history of the region, and fine arts exhibition, including amazing icons, embroidery, wood-carvings dated by 13-16 centuries, as well as paintings, crockery and furniture of 17-19 centuries. The ruined church you see in this picture is standing on the place where Ilya Muromets once built a wooden church. Ruined churches were in line with the Soviet anti-religious policy. Now things have changed, but lack of money does not allow to start restauration.
the obelisk in the Kremlin
You will find this interesting obelisk in the backside of the Kremlin, close to the monument for the victims of WW II. I dont remember the meaning of it, our tourguide just said a few words about it and seemed to considder it not so very important.
Much more interesting for me was the celtic cross in my last photograph, but our tourguide was not able to give any further explations about it and unfortunately we could see it also just from a wide distance.
another great church
This is another great church, not more than just 200 meters from the Kremlin-walls, when you drive to it from the port-area, and about halfway to the upper Kremlin-walls.
Our bus had stoped there closeby, but the tourguide went into the other direction and I had to follow her in order not to loose the group. Maybe the interior is not so special, many of these churches are also still in a terrible condition inside, even though they are totally restored from the outside.
Has Art and Historical museums on the territory, quite good collection of Russian painters over there! Fantastic panoramic view over the two rivers, you'll see the point where they merge together.