Folk arts and grafts of Russia
The towns of Pavlovo, Vacha, Vyksa, Vorsma and Kazakovo village in the Vach
district specialize in the art of metalwork. Pavlovo is the largest Russian
producer of decoratively painted, engraved and even gold plated cutlery. Pavlovo
craftsmen also produce many types of knives and swords: touristic, hunting,
gift, and decorative. Some of them are even made of precious metals and decorated
with precious stones. One can learn about the history of Pavlovo crafts at the
Production and Art School's museum and at the plant's museum in Kirov. In 2013,
the plant developed a whole set of cutlery for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
In Kazakovo village, in the Vach district, craftsmen create high-class works
of art: vases, jewel-boxes, glass-holders, jewelry, oil icon lamps, icon frames
and many otherarticles.
The Katunky village, in the Chkalov district, is thought to be the birthplace
of Nizhny Novgorod guipure. The "Gorky Guipure Lace" production is
now developing in the city of Chkalovsk too. At the museum at the "Guipure"
factory, one can learn about the craft's history At the factory's shop, tourists
can purchase laced tablecloths and drapes.
The "Gorodets Golden Embroidery" is also famous all over Russia.
"Gorodets Wood Painting" is as famous as Khokloma.
This craft was born in thetown of Gorodets.
Another famous type of folk painting comes from the Polkhov-Maydan village.
Its main subject is the legend of Alyona from Arzamas. A beautiful scarlet rose
grew on the spot where she died. This scarlet rose appears on the locally made
matryoshka dolls and the hand-made amulettoys.
The Kitezh region is a picturesque and an area filled with
legends. "There Russia is still pure, it's preserved now the way it was
in our grandparents' time," - this is what Russian writer Pavel Melnikov
wrote about Zavolzhye (literary: "the Trans-Volga Region"). One of
the pearls in the Northern Zavolzhye is the mysterious lake Svetloyar. Legends
say that it is hiding the ancient town Kitezh under its waters. The lake is
located at the edge of Vladimirskoye village, 130 km from Nizhny Novgorod.
Semyonov has entered the list of historical inhabited places.
The town's structure plan was created by a famous Russian architect Y.A. Ananyin.
He used the architectural concept of a French town with all streets coming together
to one square.
The solid merchants' houses of the Rekshinsky Nosovy, Shlyapnikovy, Kiselevy
families will remind visitors about the town's memorable merchant past. In one
such house -a two-story mansion that once belonged to the old believer merchant
Peter Sharygin - Semyonov Museum of History and Arts has been located since
1980. The first museum's exhibits were unique works of local craftsmen that
were collected and curated by G.P. Matveyev - a founder of a decorative wood
processing school that later became the production association "Khokhloma
Wood carving, wooden sculpture and traditional Semenovo toys are exhibited in
the museum along with the best examples of khokhloma paintin,. Guests can enjoy
folk holidays "At Semyon the Spoon Player's" devoted to the local
people's customs and traditions. In 2013 the Museum of People's Lifestyle was
opened: Semyon the Spoon Player's house. This museum's exposition gives a chance
to visit a real Russian house where the lifestyle of Semyonov peasants of past
centuries is shown.
Saint Nicolas Church, build by old believers, the Nosovs, at the end of the
19th century as well as merchants' mansions and retreats tell about the old
One can see how the Golden Khokhloma and beautiful matryoshka dolls are born
at the arts and crafts factories: "Khokhloma painting" and "Semyonovo
painting". These factories' production has won international acclaim. At
"Khokhloma painting" guided tours are held as well as workshops on
painting the matryoshka dolls. A museum and tourist complex "Golden Khokhloma"
will show its guests the splendor and variety of products created by the Semyonov
craftsmen. One can also order a lunch served in "royal dishes" at
the factory cafe.
A festival called "Golden Khokhloma" is held in Semyonov every June.
There one can visit "Crafts Fair" and "Craftsmen Town".
From 2013 the festival has acquired an international status.