Starocherkasskaya Cossack Village

Valery Matytsin/TASS
Starocherkasskaya Cossack Village is the former town of Cherkassk, the historical capital of the Don Cossacks. The main church, the Don Нost Cathedral of the Ascension, was consecrated in 1719. Peter the Great, who once issued an order forbidding construction of stone buildings anywhere outside St. Petersburg, personally insisted that this strategic cathedral be built of stone. He even took part in laying the foundations, as witnessed by the memorial plaque on one of cathedral’s walls. The main adornment on the cathedral is a carved, gilded icon stand with 150 icons, made by Moscow icon painter Yegor the Greek, who was specially invited to complete the task. Other notable details are the antique church chandelier weighing 500 kg (1,550 pounds) and the shackles nailed at the entrance. It is believed that these shackles were used on Chieftain Stepan Razin after he rose in rebellion at Cherkassk. The rebellion was put down and Razin was taken to be executed in Moscow.