Part of Polenovo Museum-Reserve, Bekhovo, which has preserved echoes of the old Russian way of life and lands that inspired poets and landscape painters, was named one of the best villages for tourism in the framework of the UNWTO world competition. Among 174 applicants from 75 countries, 44 locations were recognized. Bekhovo became the only finalist from Russia and neighboring countries.
The villages were evaluated by an independent Advisory Board according to several criteria: the abundance of cultural and natural resources, their conservation and environmental sustainability, the development of tourism potential and infrastructure. The winners of the competition are included in the UNWTO’s list of the best tourism villages – an outstanding example in the development of rural tourism in all its aspects. All these villages will receive support and promotion from the World Tourism Organization.
Previously, Bekhovo was awarded the status of the most beautiful village in Russia. It is located on the banks of the Oka, in the place where the borders of three oblasts – Moscow, Kaluga and Tula – meet. At the bend of the river stands the Church of the Holy Trinity, which was designed by Vasily Polenov at the request of the peasants – as a link that spiritually unites different social classes. The artist's friends and students, among whom was Ilya Repin, helped to decorate the interior. From the church, a path leads to a spring with an equipped font. A manor house is located a kilometer away. The landscapes of these places more than once found a place in Polenov's paintings.
From Russia, the village of Vyatskoye, Yaroslavl Oblast, and the village of Visim, Sverdlovsk Oblast, also participated in the competition. The participants were actively supported by Rosturizm.
"Bekhovo is a place where you can feel the spirit of history and the original architecture of the ‘Russian style’ of the early 20th century. It opens up to another Russia, known to the world for Pushkin's lyrics, Chekhov's images, Tchaikovsky's music. This place has a unique atmosphere, that you need to experience to understand what Russia is," said the head of Rosturizm, Zarina Doguzova.