A couple of weeks ago we have visited my cousinтАЩs family in Semyonov, a small town in the north of our region. My cousin moved there after he got married.
Semyonov is known for its craftsmen. The whole northen area of the region hosts Khohloma painters in numerous villages. The idea behind Khohloma is to show the abundance of forests and fields of this part of Russia, various kinds of grass, flowers, and birds that are living here. However, Khohloma is known to exist in other parts of Russia as well but this medieval craft has survived only in this remote area. It is well known that the forests at the north of our region were home to various kinds of religious groups that separated from the official church during the reformation of 17th century.
Semyonov is known for its museum of Khohloma. The museum as well as Khohloma shop are located in a two-storied building. The earliest works in the museum are related to 19 century which is not necessarily very old. But the most impressive part of the museum is not Khohloma history but rather Khohloma present. There is one room in which every piece of furniture is painted in Khohloma. It looks gorgeous!
We have also visited cultural and church fair that was happening in Semyonov. A number of monasteries and religious organizations were taking part in it, including even representatives of Old Believers. Btw., there are still lots of Old believers in Semyonov, a very rare branch of Orthodox Church elsewhere. One of the most interesting parts of the fair was where they were selling books. I have noticed that last TzarтАЩs family is attracting lots of people, new books are published quite often. The attention to the Family grew when their remnants were found in Siberia in 1990s and then transferred to Saint-Petersburgh, even though their authenticity is still questionable. The books related to the Family that are published nowadays deal with historical evidence of various people who got to know them. I was more interested in the books that deal with Church directrly. I bought the following books: life of Patriarh Kirill, history of Diveevo Monastery, and Old Russian architecture.