Scientists have found out what Samara really looked like in the 18th century

Scientists have found out what Samara really looked like in the 18th century
Scientists have found out what Samara really looked like in the 18th century

The first historically accurate image of Samara is being investigated by scientists from the Samara University. Queen. The previously unexplored unique engraving and travel diary of the English traveler of the 18th century John Castle, who was in the Russian service, will reveal a lot about the history of the city and the region in that era, scientists are sure. An article dedicated to the traveler's heritage has been published in the international scientific journal "Quaestio Rossica".

The Englishman John Castle was invited as an artist to the Orenburg expedition, which in 1734-1744 annexed the territories in the South Urals, the Trans-Urals and Kazakhstan to Russia. The headquarters of the expedition was located in Samara, and, as scientists are sure, the drawing of the city left by the traveler surpasses in reliability the earlier and widely known images by Adam Olearius and Cornelius de Bruyne.

“For a long time, Castle's engraving was not used in any of the works on the history and architecture of our city. the city for several years. The analysis of this engraving will change the idea of ​​the appearance of Samara at that time ", - said the head of the study, professor of Samara University Yuri Smirnov.

The written and graphic evidence of this traveler contains unique information about the daily life of Russian cities bordering Central Asia in the 18th century. So, the location of the Samara fortifications on the engraving, according to historians, does not completely coincide with any of the known modern reconstructions, since they were made on the basis of verbal descriptions or sketches of dubious accuracy.

“Our city at that time was a border fortress, and in the perception of foreigners - the edge of the country: in his diary, Castle wrote:“I left the empire.”Records of foreigners about the events of those years are of particular historical value, an analysis of their written and artistic heritage will expand our knowledge about the life of the southeast of the country in that era, especially since John Castle's diaries are written in a lively and lively language, as they would say now - in a "blog" format, - said Yuri Smirnov.

Castle's engraving makes it possible to see the temples of Samara, none of which has survived to this day, for example, the stone church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, the wooden Trinity and Ascension churches, two monasteries: male and female. Other notable details in the drawing of the Englishman are the earthen rampart on the east side and the watchtower overlooking the city, named by the artist “Ein Wachthurm”.

The further task of the research team is to study in detail the history of the annexation and development of the border lands of the Trans-Volga region from 1734 to the formation of the Samara province in 1851. As noted by scientists, over these slightly more than 100 years, the undeveloped steppe has turned from the outskirts of the empire into a region with developed agriculture, industry and trade.

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