Our route from Moscow to St Petersburg is a long 1,367 km. We travel on canals, rivers, reservoirs and lakes, and traverse about 20 locks. The Volga Dream's cruising speed is 22 kph.
Geo: 59.8685, 38.2509
Goritsy is a small river village whose main feature is a 15th century convent. As is common in rural Russia, this is complemented by a monastery in the nearby town of Kirillov. The monastery was founded in 1397 and is one of the largest in Russia. These institutions (especially convents) were favourite places for the exiling of widowed or divorced nobles, where they often lived out their days in prison conditions.
We visited the monastery in cold and slightly rainy weather. Ludmilla gave another great talk, on Russian arts this time. Our team won the Pick the Liar competition after dinner.
Kirillov Monastery In its 17th century heyday it housed over 200 monks. Their rooms (called cells) were 8 sqm and their only furnishing was an icon to pray to. No bed, chair or desk, and with an outside loo. Now only 10 monks live in the monastery and museums take up some of the space. I think my attention span for icons is less than for Catholic Church decorations, so I've seen more than enough so far.
Lace museumThis is one of the featured pieces that demonstrates the incredibly fine detail in a quality lace. Lace making in Russia came from Belgium and the next two pics show a little of how this is done.
Lace templateA paper template depicts the design, just like a tapestry.
Crafting the laceAt strategic points on the template tiny pins are placed and the thread is wound in and around these pins, and itself, to form the pattern. Somehow the right tension is maintained in all parts of the lace and the design is replicated in linen, silk or wool thread.
Church of St CyrilCyril founded the monastery and this church contains his tomb. It was unusual for us to be allowed inside photos, so I took this opportunity. All Orthodox churches have the altar on the eastern side of the building. The priest's area is behind the eastern wall of icons and it's accessed through a central double door. Always on the right side of the door (when viewed from the congregation) is an icon of Christ, and on the other side is a Madonna icon. The most important icon in the church is the second on the right, beside the Jesus icon. The congregation stands for the service (there are no chairs) which goes from 90 to 180 minutes. There are no hymns or singing. The service is usually conducted in a medieval form of the language which is quite different to modern Russian. Robyn with Mindy from California.