The All-Russian Poetry Festival at the estate of Fyodor Tyutchev.
BRYANSK REGION (BRYANSHINA) IS THE LAND OF ALEXANDER PERESVET, A RUSSIAN WARRIOR MONK WHOSE SINGLE COMBAT WITH TATAR WARRIOR CHELUBEY OPENED THE BATTLE OF KULIKOVO. IT IS ALSO THE HOMELAND OF RUSSIAN POETS FYODOR TYUTCHEV AND ALEXEY TOLSTOY. THE INDOMITABLE PARTISANS OF THE BRYANSK REGION, MEANWHILE, WON A PERMANENT PLACE OF HONOUR IN RUSSIAN MILITARY HISTORY WITH THEIR FEATS IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
TEXT: NADEZHDA GAPONOVA
Here you can follow the partisans’ forest paths and immerse yourself in the history of World War II while visiting such historical landmarks as the Partisans’ Field, Khatsun, the Camp of the Vinogradov Partisan Brigade at Krugloye Lake, and Seshinsky Museum of the International Resistance Movement. Visitors to these memorial sites will be able to see a staged partisan skirmish, try a portion of kasha (meaty porridge) cooked over the campfire, receive a shelkovka (a letter hand-written on a piece of cloth) as a gift, and visit an exhibition of military equipment.
Particular attention is paid in the Bryansk Region to the restoration of Orthodox landmarks. Visiting Svensky Monastery, founded by Roman Mikhailovich, Prince of Bryansk, in 1288, you will learn the story of the miraculous recovery of the prince’s sight after he prayed before the Pechersk Icon of the Theotokos, originally brought from Kyiv. Tsar Peter the Great used to sit here in the shadow of a huge oak tree that still stands on the monastery hill.
Bryansk Trinity Cathedral symbolizes a return to spiritual roots, as the cathedral was built with donations from the residents of Bryansk and other Russian regions. It houses the relics of St. Oleg of Bryansk.
The beauty of Bryansk Region features in the verse and prose of many local sons who have left their mark on international culture. The village of Ovstug in Zhukovsky District is home to the ancestral estate of the Tyutchev family, a star in the constellation of Russian stately homes of the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, it houses a museum honouring the great Russian philosopher, poet, and writer Fyodor Tyutchev. Ovstug is one of the most beautiful spots in Bryansk Region, charming its many visitors with the outstanding beauty of its landscapes. In a pavilion on an island in the middle of the lake, you can spend a few unforgettable moments watching the swans swim around you. On the first Saturday in June every year, Ovstug hosts an All-Russian Poetry Festival.
Another ancestral estate — that of the poet, playwright, and novelist Alexey Tolstoy — is located in the village of Krasny Rog in Pocherpsky District. In the renovated main house, built by Tolstoy’s ancestor Count Razumovsky, you can see the preserved personal effects of the writer. Alexey Tolstoy and his wife and muse Sofia are buried at the old wooden Assumption Church.
Today in Bryansk Region, great efforts are committed to the preservation of folk art and crafts, and to the promotion of the famous local brands, Dyatkovsky Crystal and Karachayevo Toys. The Dyatkovsky Crystal Museum displays the best examples of crystal glassware dating back three hundred years, and you can also tour the Church of the Burning Bush, featuring the world’s only crystal iconostasis and other unique crystal church decorations. There is also a shop where you can buy handmade crystal glassware.
Welcome to Bryansk Region!
How to get there
From Moscow to Bryansk there is a high-speed train that runs three times a day. Travel time 4 hours. You can also fly to Bryansk from St. Petersburg and from Moscow.
Where to stay
Bryansk offers a wide selection of hotels for all tastes and budgets. The most popular include Tsentralnaya, Bryansk, Desna, Gostinny Dom, Vladimir Plaza, and Megapolis.
What to eat
The area boasts numerous venues offering unique cuisine. The best cafes and restaurants include Razdolye, Chester, Myaso Yest, Art Hall, Green City, Pontile (Italian cuisine), and Augustin, a beer restaurant.
What to buy
Local confectionery made by the craftsmen of Bryankonfi (Bryansk Confectionery Factory) and the famous Starodubsky Cheese made by Umalat factory in Sevsk are guaranteed to delight. Copies of the locally venerated icons of the Svensk Mother of God, Ss. Oleg and Polikarp of Bryansk, and Alexander Peresvet make for a particularly special gift.