Talk about the French island-fortress Mont-Saint-Michel and not to mention that we have no less amazing and picturesque islands-cities would be extremely unfair and nonpatariotic. Therefore, today I will tell you about the Grad Island of Sviyazk, especially since among scientists a lot is referred to about his similarity with the island of Mont-Saint-Michel.
Although I do not know how much such comparisons are legitimate, in my opinion, every patriotism has an objective limit. First, the Sviyazhsk is much younger than the fortress of Mont-Saint-Michel, almost 600 years old. Sviyazhsk-Grad was founded in 1551 by Ivan Grozny in the place where the Sviyaga River flows into the Volga. Nowadays Sviyazhsk is the cultural and historical landmark of Tatarstan. Every year, hundreds of tourists and pilgrims come here, but no millions like Mont-Saint-Michel.
Again, the monastery of Benedictins on Mon-Saint-Michel was built by almost three centuries, and the Sviyazhsk was assembled for a month from the details of the combined in Uglich and the fused on the Volga specifically for the construction of the Russian troops base when taking Kazan in 1552. At the time, the fortress of Sviyazhsk was impressive – more than the Kremlin of Moscow, Pskov or Novgorod.
What Sviyazhsk is really relative to the island of Mont-Saint-Michel, so this is that the Assumption men’s monastery is located here (the Male Monastery of the Benedictians is located on the island of Mon-Saint-Michel), which later turned into a correctional colony.
In general, Soviet times were heavy for Sviyazhsk, as for many religious structures. In 1918, "Red Terror" buried here, for some time the wall of the monastery was a labor colony for children, then a prison for political and war criminals, and even later a psychiatric hospital was equipped here.
The monastery still did not fully recover from shocks. Restorations were not done long ago and majestic temples are in decline. External appearance even more or less in order, but the inner leaves much to be desired. Another difference with Mont-Saint-Mishel. Since 2010, a large-scale program for the revival of the Sviyazhsk began, so we hope that soon we will have their own Mont-Saint-Michel.
Since 1998, Sviyazh, since 1998, stands in the application for making the island to the UNESCO World Heritage List, though this application is still never confirmed (unlike the same mon-Saint-Michel). Maybe the Renaissance program will help UNESCO see, finally, the beauty and value of this place.