Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The field of battle

Last Saturday, The Professor and his family invited me outside the city on a day trip. We went to Borodino, a famous battleground (roughly equivalent to Gettysburg) from the War of 1812, which is the first of two Velikie Otechestvennye Voiny in Russia (the second is World War II).

The crown jewel of the diadem, made by Konstantin Ton (who also planned Christ the Savior), constructed in 1837. (Excitingly enough, the Soviet authorities dealt the same blow to this monument as they did to Christ the Savior, considering it part and parcel of Ton's masterwork - claiming it had no cultural or historical meaning, it was destroyed in the 1930s at the same time Christ the Savior itself was.) There are other obelisks and graves throughout the entire field, which is a huge territory that has been mostly preserved - parts of it are farmed, the rest protected as a landscape-cultural monument.

Nuns at the Spaso-Borodinsky monastyr' [Saved at Borodino Convent] minding a cow, sheep, and ewes on the field.

Nikol'skii sobor [Church of St. Nicolas] in Mozhaysk, built 1799-1812, unknown architect. There's an old saying from the times of Muscovy, zagnat' za Mozhaysk, which means, in its current and figurative sense, "to get someone the hell out of here." Mozhaysk was a frontier town before the union of all the regions, so the phrase historically means "to banish" or "to exile" - out of sight, out of mind.

Khram Rozhdestvo Presviatoi Bogoroditsy Luzhetskogo monastyria [Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos, Luzhetsky Monastery] I have no idea what Luzhetsky means, other than it appears to be a relatively popular last name. The church has The Professor's seal of approval as a Well-Preserved Monument™, which he gives out sparingly, so that's exciting.

I am also a well-preserved monument. It was sunny. (I was tempted to include just this picture for Luzhetsky fact, this seems like a funny prank to pull on Facebook. "My time in Moscow" - and the whole thing is pictures of me with indiscript monuments in the background. Mwahaha)

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