The Grand Ducal Church in Yelets is crowned by a crystal cross of amazing beauty and elegance.
IT’S AN OPPORTUNITY NO WRITER OR BOOK LOVER CAN AFFORD TO MISS: THE CHANCE TO VISIT PLACES WHERE SOME OF THE GREATEST FIGURES OF RUSSIAN CULTURE AND SCIENCE ONCE LIVED AND WORKED.
08:24 am. The group arriving from Moscow by train will be met in Yelets. Beautiful Yelets, which has preserved its authentic history and culture, is the most ancient town of the Lipetsk Region. Walking along its narrow streets, it seems as if time in Yelets has stood still. It was here that Ivan Bunin spent his youth, while Alexander Bakulin, a writer of fables, was born here, as well as the essayist Dmitry Bulgakov and the spiritual writer Luka Yefremov.
09:00 am. Breakfast in Staryi Gorod Restaurant.
10:00 am. Sightseeing tour of Yelets. We will walk around the historical center of the town and visit the Ivan Bunin Literary and Memorial Museum, where you will be offered tea with homemade pastries. The museum is located in the house where the future Nobel Prize recipient lived for more than three years while he was a student at the Yelets preparatory school for boys. Another sightseeing highlight is the Museum of Folk Crafts, where you will see how lace is woven and take part in a master class.
02:00 am. Lunch in Staryi Gorod restaurant.
03:00 pm. On the way to Lipetsk, we stop in the town of Zadonsk and visit Zadonsk Nativity Virgin Monastery, which includes a cathedral, five churches, a well chapel, a refectory church, a gate chapel, and a bell tower. Stored at the monastery are the incorrupt relics of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, and sacred waters still spring up in the well chapel.
05:00 pm. An evening walk around Lipetsk. You will discover little-known historical facts about the life of the city and its residents, visiting the best-known sights, including the Chapel of Ss. Peter and Paul, the old mineral spa, the canons in Nizhnyi Park, the Nativity of Christ Cathedral, the Gubin Estate — the former stately home of General Gubin, the estate of Princess Volkonskaya, Verkhnyi Park and the Ancient Church of the Assumption.
06:30 pm. Hotel check-in, dinner.
10:00 am. Leave for Leo Tolstoy Village. The village is known throughout the world as the place where, in 1910, the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy spent the last seven days of his life.
12:00 pm. A tour of the Leo Tolstoy Cultural and Educational Center and the literary and memorial museum dedicated to the writer. The room where the great novelist’s heart stopped beating is preserved as it was that day.
01:00 pm. A tour of the museum and its exhibits, including clocks and a steam train.
02:00 pm. Lunch in Khutorok restaurant.
Beautiful Yelets is the oldest town of the Lipetsk Region. Walking along its narrow streets, it seems as if time in Yelets has stood still.
03:00 pm. Visit to the Nikolai Sysoev Picture Gallery. Works by the Russian realist painters Nikolay Sysoev and his wife Nina Skorubskaya are displayed at the gallery. The gallery’s collection also includes works by other well-known Russian painters of the second half of the 20th century.
03:30 pm. Visit to the Center for Cultural Development, taking part in a master class in belt-weaving or in Rangoli — the art of creating colorful ornaments out of flowers, rice and rice flour.
04:30 pm. A grand tea party will conclude the literary tour! The travelers will be treated to rare teas with a wide variety of sweets — just the way Leo Tolstoy liked to take his tea! The great writer had a weakness for desserts, and was unfailingly served berry jam and other delicious treats with his evening tea.
05:00 pm. Leave for Lipetsk railway station.
07:47 pm. Train departs for Moscow (arrives at 5:35 a.m.).