is an ancient town which still remains the memory of the past centuries.
Having kept its look it is a living part of the past resembling about
itself by the domes of the churches, stone merchant buildings, but
not names. Sometimes it seems that the doors of the ancient private
residence will open in a minute and the all-powerful master of the
Region Grigoriy Stroganov will appear…
During more than four centuries the Stroganov’s family led the defining
role in the city’s fortune.The history of the city begins
from 1606 when Nikita Grigoryevich Stroganov organized here a new salt
business which got the name of New Usolye. Brines of the New Usolye
differed by the high concentration bringring a lot of profit. That’s
why the number of salt production units constantly grew and New Usolye
turned into a trade settlement.
The ready salt was delivered by the river to Nizhniy Novgorod, Rybinsk,
Yaroslavl there was transported into storehouses and from there “permyanka”
(Perm salt) spread to Russia and was sold abroad. By the end of XIX
century with the beginning of open extraction of the salt from the
lakes in the south of Russia, with the development of the railway
transportation, Usolye lost its past economical importance.
XX century prepared for Usolye serious checkouts. The city did not
practically stay in its former state: in 1954 because of the foundation
of the Kama hydro-electric station it was replaced on the mountain
Kamen. Only the buildings of the old center remained unsubmerged, which
were placed on the height. They have been keeping by our time the memory
of the rich Stroganov’s patrimony, former capital of the Russian salt-
complex (remained buildings) is more than 40 memorials of culture,
civil and industrial architecture. Usolye architecture may be a bright
example of not uniform buildings which is characteristic by the end
of XVIII - first part of XIX century when the classical buildings adjoined
with the ones existing before.
During the period of government of Peter I, a wonderful
ensemble of Saint Transfiguration cathedral was started to be built
at the bank. An interesting fact is that at that time there was a
prohibition to build stone buildings because the stone was needed for
Saint-Petersburg building but the Stroganovs evaded it. At that time
appears the saying which was pretentious but well-taken: “Usolye city
is Saint-Petersburg brother”.
Among the buildings of that time there are two ones which were marked
by the famous architect Voronikhin who was born in Usolye and was
the honored master of the Kazan cathedral. The private residence
of princes Golitzyn and Nickolas church are the bright examples
of classicism. As Usolye is named the museum at the open air, you
should not pass the chapel of Saint Urbus, Pokrovskaya chapel, Stroganov’s
Hall, bureau of the salt factories of the Stroganovs, Lazarev’s House,
cathedral’s bell tower and trade rows.
Having visited Usolye region, where the past speaks with us today,
you will get a great charge of old Russia.