by Vera PARAFONOVA, journalist
The town of Nikolsk, of the Penza Region, reminds us of many small Russian settlements located far off from big roads. Yet every visitor to the place dreams of going there again. The matter is not so much in its natural beauty, as in its rich historical heritage, kept in one of its cultural centers-Glass and Crystal Museum with 13.5 thousand exhibits. The uniqueness of the museum is in the completeness of its collection, displaying works of talented masters and professional artists of the 18th-21st centuries, made in Nikolsko-Bakhmetev shops of the crystal plant (later on "Krasny Gigant"), catering to the court, the nobility, rich merchants, churches and monasteries, and also to the Persian market.
"NIKOLSKOYE, DITTO PESTROVO"
Over 300 years ago at the Zasursky camping-ground (today a district of the Penza Region) among impassable forests on the right bank of the Vyrgan river on the lands, granted in 1668 by Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich "for praiseworthy service and heroism during the Russo-Polish war of 1654-1667" to Ivan Bakhmetev, a solicitor, arose the village of Nikolskoye. Thirteen years later on the left bank there emerged a small village of Pestrovo, that got its name after the owner of the lands, a nobleman Kalistrat Pestrov. In 1761, both settlements passed into the hands of their single owner--Bakhmetev's son, retired second-major Alexei Ivanovich, and were named "Nikolskoye, ditto Pestrovo", later on simply Nikolo-Pestrovka. This name had existed for approximately 200 years until it was renamed into the town of Nikolsk in 1954.
Empress Yekaterina IPs order on August 3, 1764, laid foundation to the construction of the plant and allowed Bakhmetev "to acquire... crystal and glass factories in his own summer-cottages, located 700 versts from Moscow."
THE FIRST ORDER FOR THE COURT
After receiving Her Majesty's permission, Bakhmetev without a moment's delay started construction ... Читать далее