The Old Believer`s Graveyard near the village Shueretskoje

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The author – I.I. Makovetsky.

Tomb chapels take a special place among the monuments on the coastline of the White Sea. These masterpieces of people’s art, which were widespread in the northern pogosts till XIX century, are disappearing now. A few samples do not give full idea of all the advantages of these small constructions. That’s why an old-belief near the village of Shueretskoe is of a special interest to scientists.

Numerous crosses and chapels, which are placed on the streets and the bridges of Novgorod, are mentioned in the records of XV and XVI centuries. Some of the crosses, for example, "Wonderful cross" (XVI century) near Volkhovsky bridge and "Worship cross" on one of the streets, are perfect samples of wood engraving. "In 1594 Dutch mentioned that they saw lots of crosses on Mezenskoe polar coastline, one of which was decorated with Russian letters", - tells the researcher of the North A. Morozov.

In the late XIX century a famous historian of Russian architecture V. Dali paid his attention to the chapels. In "Zodchy" magazine in 1875 he published a drawing of a chapel, which he had found in Kostromskaja province. On his opinion, such chapels belong to the most ancient period of our history. Some samples of the chapels were found by N. Sobolev, who pointed to their important role in the development of Russian wood engraving. However, there were not enough materials, so the explorers couldn’t cover the variety of architectural forms of these chapels.

Similar chapels can be seen very rarely. They are very various in their forms and decoration. Most of the chapels have the decoration in the form of beads, strings, fillets and other drawings, which can be seen on the most ancient monuments and on the national houses of Zaonezhje. The carved chapels are divided into two types: round ones with all their sides polished, and flat ones. The round chapels are the most ancient. They were made up to the middle of XIX century. The flat chapels appeared later.

The round chapels are also the most artistic one. They consist of three parts. The foundation is in the ground. Then there is a trunk of the column, which is always beautifully decorated, and finally an icon case, which is the upper part of the column.

The flat columns are decorated and finished in a different way. They have a decoration only in their front. The composition structure of the column is almost the same as the round column: foundation, the central part and an icon case. However, all the elements are decorated differently. The foundation is not deep in the ground and is decorated with a row of vertical grooves. Sometimes there can be a painting on the foundation. The central part is of an oval shape and has two beautiful ringlets in its upper part. It is decorated mainly with the carved letters: surname, name and the date of death.

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