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Murom ( ; Finnishmarker: Muromi, Old Norse: Moramar) is a historic city in Vladimir Oblast, Russiamarker, which sprawls majestically along the left bank of Oka River, about 300 km east of Moscowmarker. Population: 126,901 (2002 Census).

History

In the 9th century, the city marked the easternmost settlement of the Eastern Slavs in the land of Finno-Ugric people called Muromi, muroma. The Russian Primary Chronicle mentions it as early as 862. It is thus one of the oldest cities in Russia. It was in c.900 an important trading post from Volga Bolgaria to the Baltic Seamarker and inhabited by Mordvin Muromis.

Between 1010 and 1393, it was a capital of a separate principality, whose rulers included Saint Gleb, assassinated in 1015 and canonized in 1071, Saint Prince Konstantin the Blessed, and Saints Peter and Theuronia, subjects of an opera by Rimsky-Korsakov. It was the home town of the most celebrated East Slavic epic hero, Ilya Muromets. The town has a statue which shows Ilya holding the hilt of his sword in the left hand and a cross in the right.

Among other famous natives are the father of colour photography, Sergey Prokudin-Gorskiy (1863), and the father of television, Vladimir Zworykin (1889).

On June 30th 1961, Murom was the site of a spontaneous protest and riot against the police and Soviet authorities, following the death in police custody of a senior factory foreman named Kostikov.

Sights

Three historic abbeys grace the city centre.
Despite ravages of the Bolshevik rule, Murom still retains many marks of antiquity. The Saviour monastery, one of the most ancient in Russia, was first chronicled in 1096, when Oleg of Chernigov besieged it and killed Vladimir Monomakh's son Izyaslav, who is buried there. In 1552, the monastery was visited by Ivan the Terrible who commissioned a stone cathedral, which was followed by other churches.
The main church of the Trinity convent (1642-43).


The Trinity convent, where the relics of Sts Peter and Theuronia are displayed, features a fine cathedral (1642-43), Kazan church (1652), a bell-tower (1652), a wooden church of St Sergius, and stone walls. It is rivalled by the Annunciation Monastery, founded in the reign of Ivan the Terrible to house the relics of local princes and containing a cathedral from 1664. Two last-mentioned cathedrals, being probably the works of the same masters, have much in common with the Resurrection Church (1658) in the downtown. Quite different is the tent-like church of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, built in 1565 on the bank of the Oka to commemorate the Russian conquest of Kazan.

Some 25 km south-east of Murom, on the eastern (Nizhny Novgorod Oblast) side of the Oka River, Savasleykamarker airfield is located. During the Cold War it was a key Soviet Anti-Air Defense base.

References


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