©A. Kharuto, 2001

The Golden Ring of Russia

Plyes town on the Volga

The Plyes town is one of most beautiful small towns on the Volga river. The famous Russian painter Levitan traveled along the Volga river and picked out this place from hundreds and made it to his residence for many years. The Russian word "plyes" means a reach of a river. Maybe, this name denoted first a remarkable reach of Volga river, and then became the town's name.
The Plyes town lies between the great city of Kostroma and the small Kineshma town, both are very interesting historical places. The Plyes town was founded at 1410 by Moscow prince Vassily the Gloomy to prevent Tatars invasions to the cities of Moscow and Kostroma. This first fortress was in existence until 17th century; now one can walk between the remainders of ground swells. Later the Plyes town became a well-known trade place at the great water way from the South to the North of Russia.
The Plyes town occupies four hills on the right high Volga bank. A small river named Shohonka flows into Volga at the centre of the town. The area on its left bank around the former fortress and the Trinity church complex was named "Troitskaya sloboda" (Trinity outskirts). The other part of the town, former "River-bank outskirts", includes the trading square at the "Voscresenskaya" (Resurrection) church. The third former outskirts is the Fish- township, lying on the opposite side of Shohonka river. In this part of the town one can see the Levitan museum (at the Volga bank) and the "Varvarinskaya" church (named after Varvara, one of holy women of Russian Church.)
The Plyes town is surrounded by coniferous forests and therefore is denominated as "Russian Switzerland". Now the Plyes town it is a health resort with many sanatoriums and rest homes. The golden color of the church cupolas as well as of the surface of the Volga at sunrise produce another, poetic name of the town - "The Golden Plyes". Let's make a short walk along the Volga river and then to high river bank, up the four hills on which lies the Plyes town...

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