Arctic Orthodoxy - The Journey of Pilgrims to the Site of the First Church in the Russian Arctic (PHOTOS)

On June 26, 2022, Naryan-Mar Diocese held a procession to the site of the foundation of the first city of the Russian Polar Region (Russian Arctic) - the legendary Pustozersk, which no longer exists today.

The procession of clergy and believers from Naryan-Mar to the site of Pustozersk is a traditional local summer procession, reports the website of the Naryan-Mar Diocese.

В город, которого нет: в Заполярье совершили крестный ход к сердцу Русской Арктики
Photo: orthodox-arctica.ru

This time it took place after the Liturgy on the Day of Remembrance of all Russian saints - "in order to establish the Russian Arctic in Orthodoxy". The procession was lead by bishop Iakov of Naryan-Mar and Mezen. It was supported by the local administration, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, law-enforcement agencies and the Nenets Autonomous District (NAO) Museum of Local Lore.

Traditionally pilgrins travel along the river Pechora to the location of Pustozersk, where they pray on the place where the Church of Transfiguration was located some time ago.

According to a cleric of Naryan-Marsk diocese, priest Artemy Derizemlya, "we reached the place by boat and hovercraft on the Pechora River," according to the website of the Archangelsk diocese.

В город, которого нет: в Заполярье совершили крестный ход к сердцу Русской Арктики
Photo: orthodox-arctica.ru

The deputy governor of the NAO, Alexander Dudorov, took part in the procession with gratitude for the invitation.

"It was a pleasure to note the large number of parishioners who joined this good cause. On the way to Pustozersk, our boat ran aground - with God's help, we survived the ordeal without consequences and made it safely to the place. I would also like to thank everyone who helped us to deliver the parishioners to the place where the procession was held," Alexander Dudorov wrote on his social media account.

В город, которого нет: в Заполярье совершили крестный ход к сердцу Русской Арктики
Photo: orthodox-arctica.ru

Pustozersk is the first town in the Russian Arctic, located 20 kilometers from the modern Naryan-Mar, which was abandoned by people in the middle of the XX century.

It was founded by Tsar Ioann III in 1499 to protect the northern borders of the Moscow State. The cathedral church of Pustozersk has always been the Church of the Transfiguration, erected not later than 1545, and then rebuilt several times.

Initially Pustozersk was the center of the Lower and Middle Pechora: the largest settlement in the Far North, as well as a military-administrative, commercial, cultural and spiritual center of the Pechora region.

From the 18th century the town was gradually losing its importance, and in the 1920s it was no longer a town, but a small northern village with 25-30 dwelling houses and about 40 non-residential buildings. In 1924 Pustozersk finally lost its status as a town, and in 1962 it was abandoned by the people.

В город, которого нет: в Заполярье совершили крестный ход к сердцу Русской Арктики
Photo: orthodox-arctica.ru

Now on the site of Pustozersk there are cemeteries with many crosses and symbolic signs, among which is a white-stone obelisk dated 1964 - a tribute to the vanished town.

Tradition of making procession to Pustozersk appeared in 2012 when vladyka Jacob came to Naryan-Mar chair. The procession takes place twice a year - in summer or autumn by water and in winter on the ice of the Pechora River.


Source: foma.ru (Russian)

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