Participants in the «Reconnaissance and Diving Team» Konstantin Bogdanov and staff of the Interregional Public Organization «The Third Rome» summed up the intermediate results of the project «The Flooded Shrines of the Mologa Territory.» With the grant support of the Russian Geographical Society, the specialists are studying the architectural heritage of cities and villages that are caught on the bottom of the Rybinsk Reservoir. The aim of the project is to preserve their appearance in the photo and video, and also to popularize research diving.
In 1941-1947 for the creation of the Rybinsk Reservoir, the territories of the Mologa District of the Yaroslavl Region were flooded. More than 135 thousand people left their homes, under the water there were ancient monasteries, temples and manors. In particular, the city of Mologa and such monuments as the Epiphany Church in the village of Leontievsky, temples in the village of Vetrino, the monastery of the South Dorofeyev Desert, the Borisogleb and Ilovn manor of the Musin-Pushkin family (among the representatives of the family, the collector of antiquities Alexei Musin-Pushkin, who discovered the «Lay of Igor's Host»), a brick factory in the village of Osmerytsia.
Before the beginning of the underwater expedition, the researchers collected documentary materials: photographs, copies of documents, descriptions, maps and drawings from the Rybinsk Museum-Reserve and the archive of the Yaroslavl Region, then the divers began to sonar (search for objects using sound signals) and diving.
In the winter of 2017 in the former Ilovna manor, divers found well-preserved staircases and fences, the foundation of the manor house and the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord, created a three-dimensional model of structures. In addition, a fragment of the bell with the image of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker was found under the water.
From July to September 2017, the participants traveled to the reservoir six times. Work was often hampered by rain and wind; far from the shore, high waves rose, a large amount of bottom sediment rose. In such conditions, it was difficult to discern the flooded structures. However, despite the bad weather, the submariners surveyed the places where the villages of Vetrino, Leontief and Borisogleb. In the latter, the remains of the foundations of the manor, the temple and the quay were found, presumably. In the village of Vetrino, fragments of destroyed buildings, churches and fences were discovered.
The expedition participants presented the results of the research at the exhibitions in the Yaroslavl region: in the water sports center «Vetrino» in the village of Breitovo and at the international tourist forum Visit Russia.
The next stage of the expedition will start this winter. The collected material will form the basis of a documentary film, photo album and mobile application, which will allow you to see the Mologa region in three-dimensional space.