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Plyos In Ivanovo Region Opens a Central Museum For Tourists

Plyos, the view of the Volga River (infotravel.ru)

I’ve been twice to Ivanovo Region in the last two years, and now the news has it that a new museum has been opened in Plyos, a beautiful small town half-way between Ivanovo and Kostroma. I have not been there yet.

The museum is called Prisutstvennye Mesta, which in a literal English translation means “government offices”. These provincial towns, as in England, used to be quaint regional creations in the 19th c. where government officials indeed went, sometimes to purchase the dead souls, as Nikolai Gogol told us. The regional authorities mostly likely meant that this is the central place for Sobornaya Gora tourist complex, so the verb “prisutstvovat'” is used in its literal meaning, as in “to be in the place”.

The museum (which reconstruction cost the regional budget RUB 130mln) contains a permanent exhibition following the age-long history of Plyos. The ground floor houses the offices of the local lore museum. More temporary exhibitions will unravel the little-known pages of Plyos’s history. The current exhibition that can be seen during the next 6 months is dedicated to the Time of Troubles of the early 17th c. The museum also accommodates tourists with disabilities.

The town of Plyos had been founded in 1410 by the Great Prince Vassily I. Later archaeological excavations revealed that earlier settlements in the area date as far back as 9-14th cc. During the Time of Troubles Plyos changed hands many times, going between Russians and Poles, until eventually it remained in Russian hands. The ancient wooden fortress perished in these battles and was never restored. The oldest cathedral dates back to 1699, but most cathedrals and churches were built in 19th c., some in commemoration of victory against Napoleon.

The development of Volga trading fleet led to the industry growth at Plyos. There were breweries, ten smithies, salt warehouse, and numerous stalls that sold silks and wool. A fabric plant was also opened in Plyos in the 19th c.

And like many Volga towns (Yaroslavl, Kineshma) Plyos boasted unforgettable landscapes that attracted many an artist. The Russian painter Isaac Levitan lived and worked in Plyos in 1888-1889. His museum was opened in 1970s at the house he rented while staying in Plyos

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