Verkhoturye — spiritual capital of the Urals


RTG TV host Stanislav Salnikov walked along the route pilgrims have been following since the 18th century to reach their holy destination. They come to the Urals to visit the area’s historic monasteries and in hopes of being healed by the churches’ holy relics and miracle-working icons.

The history of the oldest city in the Urals, Verkhoturya, is deeply connected to the area’s patron saint – Saint Simeon. After having arrived to the bank of the Tura River from central Russia, he settled in the village of Merkushino at the age of 20. At that time he was known for his quiet disposition and righteous way of life, but he would come to be famous for much more. Half a century after his death, what theologians consider to be a miracle took place; Saint Simeon’s coffin rose up from out of the earth and a spring of holy water bubbled up in its place. It was at this time that the saint’s incorruptible relics were recovered. They are now kept in the oldest monastery in the Urals – the Saint Nikolayevsky Monastery. To this day the village of Verkhoturya is one of the most important spiritual centres for orthodox believers. RTG TV host Stanislav Salnikov walked along the route pilgrims have been following since the 18th century to reach their holy destination. They come to the Urals to visit the area’s historic monasteries and in hopes of being healed by the churches’ holy relics and miracle-working icons.