Tourist Cases

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The city in western Russia, the administrative, industrial and cultural center of the Smolensk region. This is one of the oldest cities in Russia (the first chronicle mention refers to the year 863). He bears the honorary title "Hero City" (since May 6, 1985).


The second oldest city of Belarus (974 year) after Polotsk. It appeared on the high banks of the Western Dvina and Vitba, which gave it a name, on the way "from the Varangians to the Greeks." According to the urban legend of the XVIII century, it was founded by the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Princess Olga.


City (since 903) in the North-West of Russia, the administrative center of the Pskov region and Pskov region. Forms a city district of Pskov. It is located on the Velikaya river at the confluence with Pskov. First mentioned in the Laurentian Codex under 903.


City in Vitebsk region of Belarus, the administrative center of Polotsk district. Located on both banks of the Western Dvina river, at the confluence of the river Polota. The oldest city in Belarus. First mentioned in the" Tale of bygone years " under the year 862.

Velikiy Novgorod

City in the North-West of Russia. The administrative center of the Novgorod region and the Novgorod region, which is not included, having the status of a city of regional importance and forming the city district of Veliky Novgorod with the only settlement in its composition.


City in the East of Belarus, the administrative center of Mogilev region and Mogilev region. Mogilev is the third most populous city in Belarus (after Minsk and Gomel). Located on the picturesque banks of the Dnieper, 645 km from its source.

Project Information

Since ancient times, the fate of Russia and Belarus are inextricably linked. Common historical events, cultural and spiritual community. How much do we know today about the history and culture of modern Russian and Belarusian cities that made up the North-Western part of Ancient Russia?

Our project is a new view of Smolensk students from five universities on the history and modernity of their native city and its neighbors – the ancient cities – Veliky Novgorod, Pskov, Polotsk, Vitebsk, Mogilev. Each city is a real pearl, and together it is a pearl necklace of Holy Russia.

It is amazing that traveling to such close and seemingly familiar cities is so exciting that we decided to talk about it.

We present our stories and photos, videos and travel routes. We invite you to join the project!


Latest actual photos


The final video of the team of the project “Pearl Necklace of Holy Russia” was released. The video is dedicated to the pilot tour, which took place from October 21 to October 27.
The project team "Pearl Necklace of Holy Russia" created A video about Veliky Novgorod, which completes a series of videos about the cities of Holy Russia. Time to collect the pearls!

Project team

Supervisor and curators

Archpriest Valery Ryabokon

Project Supervisor

Maria Zhukova

Project curator

Maxim Kail

Project scientific consultant

Irina Romanova

Profile curator from Smolensk state University

Larisa Pavlova

Profile curator from Smolensk state University

Elena Mertens

Profile curator from Smolensk state Institute of arts

Marina Kulikova

Profile curator from the branch of "NRU "MPEI" in Smolensk

Priest Dimitry Gamilovsky

Profile curator from the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary

Anna Alferova

Profile curator from Smolensk state medical University

Sergey Fadeenkov

Profile curator for the Republic of Belarus

Denis Artemenko

Photo-videographer of the project

Natalya Evmenova

Project manager

Catherine Dmitrakova

Project support journalist

Yaroslav Fedulov

Project website administrator


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Orthodox Parish of the Church in honor of the Holy new Martyrs of the Russian Smolensk diocese

Department of the diocese of Smolensk on the relationship of the Church with society and the media