Tsarina’s spring

Tsarina’s spring
City / settlement Tolvuja

The Tsarina’s spring is to the right (on the way to Medvezhjegorsk) from the road, on 35th kilometer, before the village of Tolvuya. The location of the spring can be found by a low fence, which is fifty meters away from the road. A very interesting story is connected with the spring and the Tolvuya village located near it.

Boris Godunov, who came to power in 1598, and not a member of Rurik's dynasty, feared for his power and tried to make leave all possible candidates for the throne. Boyar Fedor Romanov seemed to be one of the most dangerous candidates for the imperial crown, because he was a native brother of Anastasia Romanova, one of the wives of Ivan the Terrible. Fedor was banished to Antoniev Sviskiy monastery (150 kms away from Arkhangelsk) and there he was admitted to the veil under the name of Filaret. His son Mikhail - in the future the first king of the dynasty of the Romanovs - and his small sister were banished to the White - lake.

His wife Ksenia was admitted to the veil under the name of Marfa by force and was banished to Tolvuiskiy pogost in Zaonezhje. The legends tell «... The tower-chamber of Marfa was behind the peasants' houses of the pogost and to the northeast from the church. Judging by the sizes of the foundation, her chamber was not large.

The tower-chamber was standing on an elevated place, and there was a view of Onego lake from the windows. The 30-year old Marfa was ill, but her food was very meagre.
Mr. Ozerpvetskiy, who was travelling around the lake in the end of XVIII century describes what he had seen: "There are about 1300 people on the pogost, they have enough tillage and haymaking, and are able to live without purchasing the bread. Vice-versa have lack of forest, which makes them to use the timber very economical. In winter they carry salt from the shores of the White Sea to the cities of Povenets and Olonets. In autumn they are fishing".

The enoch Marfa was ill with epilepsy". Being sympathetic to her, local people showed her a curative spring, which was close to the pogost. In the village of Tolvuya Marfa was called "Tsarina".

Nowadays the spring, from which she took water, is called "Tsar's spring" and its water has a real sedative effect. According to the legends the spring is slowly running dry and gives less curative water year after year. In the beginning of the XVII century there were three wooden churches on the pogost: George's church, Trinity Church and Nicholas' church. On the place of George's church a stone church, which is preserved till today, was built in 1869.

On the place of the Trinity church, which burned down in 1893, a chapel commemorating the 300th anniversary of the Romanovs dynasty was built. The church records tell that to the north of the churches there was a tower-chamber of Marfa. It is necessary to tell that she didn't forgot kind local people: after her son ascended the throne, the peasants, who helped her, were rewarded with villages. In the village of Chelmuzhi there is a wooden church of St. Peter and Paul, who is a contemporary of these events for it was built in 1605.

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