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Russian Idiom: The Orphan of Kazan
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Ryazan is a typical Orthodox city

Рязань (Ryazan), the name slightly echoes with the name of another Russian city, Kazan. But despite the similarity of the pronunciation, эти два названия ничем не связаны друг с другом (the two names are in no way related to each other).

Moreover, there are great differences between the two cities. For example, if Казань можно считать центром российского ислама (Kazan can be considered the centre of Russian Islam), тогда как Рязань – православный город (whereas Ryazan is a typical Orthodox city). On the other hand, both cities can pride themselves on their ancient Kremlin with majestic cathedrals and beautiful churches.

There are several etymological versions of the origin of the word Ryazan. According to the most common one, “Ryazan” is the short form of the past participle “резанный” (to cut). But there is also another version stating that the name derives from the ancient word “трясина” (bog, swamp). However, although modern Ryazan is situated on the confluence of the Oka River and the Trubezh river, there are no swamps in this area.

The city of Pereslavl-Ryazan began to grow around the Kremlin. Pereslavl-Ryazan was the original name of the city which got its shorten name only in 1778. Когда-то имя Рязань носила столица Рязанского княжества (once Ryazan was the capital of the Ryazan principality) in the 12th -13th centuries, and has been devastated and burnt to ashes by the Mongol-Tartar in 1237. Nowadays, the ancient settlement of “Old Ryazan” is located 50 km from “New Ryazan”.

The Kremlin, which is the main attraction of Ryazan, was founded in 1095 at the confluence of the rivers Trubezh and Lybed on a high promontory. The Kremlin that can be seen nowadays was for the most parts built in the 17th century. Next to it, Успенский собор (the Assumption Cathedral) remained the largest surviving building of the 17th century in Russia and is now on the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Other interesting attractions in Ryazan are Архиепископские пала (the Archbishop's House), двухшатровая церковь святого Духа (the Church of the Holy Spirit), Консисторский и Певческий корпуса (the Consistorial and Choral housing) as well as церковь Богоявления ( the Church of the Epiphany) located on the territory of Спасо-Преображенского монастыря (the Holy Transfiguration Monastery) not far from the Kremlin.

However, not only the Kremlin and its surrounding are worth a visit. There are many churches and several monasteries and places connected with the life and activity of various historical figures: Николай II (Nicholas II), М.Е. Салтыков-Щедрин (Saltykov-Shchedrin) who was the former vice-governor of the city in 1858-1860, архитектор М.Ф. Казакова (architect Kazakov) and many others.

Евгения Плещунова

Ryazan the name slightly echoes with the name of another Russian city, Kazan. But despite the similarity of the pronunciation the two names are in no way related to each other.