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Culture and tourism

Kursk Regional Museum of Local History. On March 14 (according to the new style, March 27), 1903, the Kursk Historical, Archaeological and Artisanal Museum was established in memory of visiting the town of Kursk by Imperial Majesty Nikolai Aleksandrovich in 1902. The Kursk governor N.N. Gordeev was an initiator, an active participant in the creation of the museum and the donor of many museum items. The museum was created on donations of individuals, purchases of items at exhibitions and in antique shops of St. Petersburg and Moscow. The museum welcomed its first visitors in 1905. Currently, the exposition is located in two departments: nature and history. Over 350,000 museum items are kept in the museum and its branches. In the collection of the museum there are items of ancient Russian art, unique ethnographic samples, typological objects of noble and peasant life, antique porcelain, painting of the18th-20th centuries, samples of weapons, art metal, traditional folk costumes, Kursk carpets, samples of Soviet vexillology, personal files of famous and ordinary citizens of Kursk.

More than 33,000 items of numismatics, over 25,000 copies of rare books, about 110,000 original documents and photographs, almost 9,000 pieces of precious metals are in the exposition and storehouses of the museum and its branches. The regional museum of local lore and its 31 branches annually are visited by 300,000 people. The museum association includes 17 regional museums of local lore; 5 military-historical ones: «KP of Central Front», «KP of Voronezh Front»  historical-memorial museums, the military history museum «Young Defenders of the Motherland», the museum of partisan glory «Big Oak», the Ponyrovsky Historical and Memorial Museum of the Battle of Kursk ; 6 memorial museums: the museum «Manor of AA. Fet», the memorial museum of the composer G.V. Sviridov, house-museum of the writer and front-line soldier K.D.Vorobyov, the museum of N.V. Plevitskaya, memorial museums of N.N. Aseev and A.P. Gaidar, as well as the Literary Museum, the Museum «Historical and Cultural Center Korennaya Pustyn» and the Planetarium.

Kursk State Regional Museum of Archeology The Kursk State Regional Museum of Archeology was established on September 29, 1993 and became the first independent archeological museum in the territory of European Russia, the main purpose of which is comprehensive study and preservation of archaeological monuments and popularization of the historical heritage of the Kursk region. On the basis of the museum there is the permanent Gochevskaya ancient Russian archaeological expedition headed by the museum director G.Yu. Starodubtsev. The objects, found during the field research, replenish museum funds, now numbering about 140,995 items.

The most interesting finds are presented in the permanent exposition of the museum, dedicated to different periods of the history of the Kursk region from the Stone Age to the era of the late Middle Ages. Since 2012, the permanent exhibition «Gold of the Huns» has been working for visitors, which displays a complex of unique finds from the burial of the leader of the era of the Great Migration of Nations. In April 2006, KSRMA obtained a branch, a historical and ethnographic museum (Pryamitsyno settlement, Oktyabrsky district). The fund of the branch totals about 2,736 units of storage, some of which are exhibited in three halls of permanent exposition (historical and archaeological, ethnographic, modern history). The Kursk State Regional Museum of Archeology is conducting an active research work, which allows the museum to become one of the leading scientific centers of studying the distant past of the «nightingale» land. Its employees participate in the work of Russian and international conferences, symposia and congresses. The Museum held a number of thematic scientific conferences, in the work of which archaeologists and historians of research and training centers of various regions of Russia and Ukraine took part. As a result of the conferences, collections of scientific papers appeared, which aroused great interest among archaeologists and historians dealing with various aspects of the history of South-Eastern Europe. Educational activity is one of the main directions of the museum’s work. Tours, lectures, historical-cognitive games and mass events conducted by the museum are visited annually by about 46,000 people. Every year, the list of events that have become traditional is supplemented with new forms of work: folklore holidays museum quests, crossbow-shooting and interactive excursions are available for visitors.

Kursk Regional Scientific Library named after N.N. Aseev was opened to readers on May 16, 1935. Its opening was greeted with a telegram of N.K. Krupskaya. During the war, library funds were partially evacuated to Sarapul, Udmurtia. A month after the liberation of the town of Kursk from the Nazis, on March 13, 1943, the library resumed its work. In March 1965, by a decree of the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR, the Kursk Regional Library was named after the famous poet, Nikolai Nikolaevich Aseev. The regional library, as the custodian of regional memory, is the largest fundholder of local lore and local publications, which make up the information and resource base for studying the history, socio-economic and cultural development of the region. The universal fund of documents on various carriers is more than 2.5 million units. The pride of the library is the rare books fund, which has more than 19 thousand copies and includes editions of the XVIII, XIX and XX centuries, which have scientific, historical, cultural, artistic and bibliographic value. These are publications on history, philosophy, natural sciences, fiction, encyclopaedic, reference books and periodicals, most of which were published in Russia before 1917. Among them are such publications as «Arithmetic» by AF. Magnitsky (1703), «The Russian merchant and the eminent Rylsky citizen Grigory Shelikhov’s wandering from Okhotsk on the Eastern Ocean to the American shores in 1783» (1791), the first and lifetime editions of works by outstanding scientists, writers, public figures, A. Pushkin, M. Yu. Lermontov, I. S. Turgenev, A. N. Benois, I. G. Ehrenburg, K. M. Simonov, D. I. Mendeleev and many others. Kursk Regional Scientific Library named after N.N. Aseev is a public cultural and information center with the status of the central library of the region with a wide range of opportunities and traditions that have developed over its long history. The library has 16 departments and 9 sectors serving different categories of users. Annually the library serves more than 30 thousand users, including, in the mode of remote access. The technologies of the main library and information processes are automated, access to the world information network of the Internet is made. Annually more than 950 thousand documents are issued from the library’s fund. The library actively creates its own electronic resources: electronic catalogs, bibliographic databases, multimedia publications. Today the library is the center of the cultural life of the local community, an open space for communication, a free exchange of opinions and ideas.

Kursk State Picture Gallery named after A.A. Deineka is one of the notable art museums in Russia. The funds of the gallery contain paintings, sculptures and drawings of Russian and foreign masters of the 16th-21st centuries, objects of folk and decorative and applied art of the XVIII-XX centuries. The picture gallery was opened to the public in 1935. The history of the collection dates back to 1903-1905. The first works of art were received as donations from private individuals, among whom Kursk Governor N.N. Gordeev, a well-known trustee of the museum. However, the true basis of the collection was formed in the years after the revolution. It was mainly made up of paintings from Kursk collections of Baryatinsky, Nelidov, Shvarts, Rebinder. The dedicated art department of the Provincial Museum became known as the Kursk Picture Gallery. The new museum was replenished with works transferred from Moscow and Leningrad and independent acquisitions. Since 1969 the gallery has been named after Alexander Deineka (1899-1969). The Kursk collection of A. Deineka’s works (about 1,000 units of storage) gives a complete picture of all the stages of the master’s work. Deineka’s works from the Kursk Picture Gallery were exhibited in Russia, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Finland, USA, Japan and Italy. Today, the gallery collection has 10,000 items of the main fund. Every year, its visitors are 42 thousand residents and guests of the town.

Kursk Regional House of Folk Art was organized on the basis of the department of amateur arts at the regional department of the arts in October 1937. For seven and a half decades the House has repeatedly changed its name, the essence of its work has always remained unchanged — the practical implementation of state policy in the field of the revival, preservation and development of traditional folk culture, amateur art and cultural and leisure activities. In 2007 the Kursk Regional House of Folk Art was recognized as the best House of Folk Art in the Russian Federation. For more than thirty years, the collective of the creative institution has been headed by the Honored Worker of Culture of Russia Tatyana Ivanovna Bykanova. Currently, the Regional House of Folk Art is a multifunctional association comprising five departments and four branches: the Glushkov Center for Arts and Crafts, the Pristenskiy Center for Folk Culture, the Samoryadovsky House of Crafts, the Sudzhan Crafts Center.

In September 2010, at the House of Folk Art, the exhibition hall «Kursk Handicrafts and Crafts» was opened, where a unique collection of traditional handicrafts (Sudzhan ceramics, kozhlyanskaya toy, Glushkov and Dronyaev pottery, samorjadovskoe weaving, etc.) and modern decorative applied art of the Kursk region was collected. Today in the region fruitfully work more than a hundred craftsmen. Twenty-five Kursk artisans were awarded the title of «People’s Master of Russia». At the Kursk Regional House of Folk Art there are five creative collectives: the folk ensemble «Laretz», the folk choir named after S. Chagovets, the veterans’ choir «Frontline friends», the ensemble of dance «Your success», the vocal-jazz group «Sixth Sense».

 Folk groups and masters of decorative and applied art were represented at festivals and forums both in Russia and abroad: Interregional festival of clay playing toys «Play, Play My Toy» (Tula); Interregional youth contest of crafts «To the heights of skill» (Lipetsk region); XVI International folk festival «Troitsky dances in Oryol Polesye» (Orel region); IV Interregional festival of nationality and historical reconstruction «Malanya» (Belgorod region); IV Interregional Cossack culture festival «Cossack circle» (Belgorod region) and Inter-regional (military) stage of the All-Russian folklore ensemble «Cossack circle» (Yaroslavl); International Festival of Folklore and Crafts «Twelve Keys» and III Festival of Pottery and Clay Toy «Tales of Grandfather Filimon» (Tula Region); Interregional Festival of Slavic Art «Russian Field» (Moscow); Interregional Festival of Folk Artists «Sloboda Masterovaya» (Belgorod Region); International Festival «Cossack village of Moscow» (Moscow); All-Russian festival-competition of rural folk groups «Native Places» (Smolensk); Interregional festival of the people’s Cossack culture «Cossacks getting together» (Orel town); Interregional festival «With rifle and harmony» (Lipetsk region). Specialists of the Regional House of Folk Art develop and implement cultural programs and creative inserts of many major events, such as: Kursk Korenskaya Fair, All-Russian competitions and festivals named after Nadezhda Plevitskaya, celebrating solemn and memorable dates of Russia, including dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Kursk (2018).

Kurskoblkinovideofond (Kursk regional cinema and video fund). Revival of the sphere of cinema service in Kursk and the region, after the decline of the 1990, began in 2002. Thanks to the policy of the new leadership of the region, the committee on culture of the Kursk region, the film screening was restored in all 28 districts of the region, the network of municipal cinemas, including Kursk ones, was preserved, the number of viewers served by municipal cinemas has increased by 4 times (from 150.0 thousand in 2002 up to 720.4 thousand in 2017). Since 2011, the Culture Committee of the Kursk region has been implementing a program of modernization the cinema network. Currently, the structure of the sphere of cinematographic services for the population of Kursk and the region includesa film distribution organization (regional budgetary cultural institution Kurskoblkinovideofond) and a municipal cinema network consisting of 223 urban and rural cinemas operating on modern digital equipment. Annually, significant funds are allocated from the regional budget for the purchase of new films and videos. In 2017, «Kurskoblkinovideofond» purchased 32 new domestic films, and currently in the funds of the institution are stored and operated about two thousand copies and about two thousand video copies of feature films. Thanks to this in 2017, more than 3 thousand premieres of feature films were held at the cinemas of the region;  7.8 thousand films (film programs) were demonstrated in total. In 2016, in the Year of Russian cinema, the main emphasis was placed on the modernization of existing and opening of new cinemas. The main results: 93% of cinema installations are equipped with modern multimedia complexes, attendance of film shows increased by 8.8%, and the share of domestic cinema in municipal film screening was more than 70%, which is almost more than three times the national average.  According to the results of the participation of municipal cinema institutions in the cinema competition held by the Foundation, 13 cinemas (in the cities of Oboyan, Dmitriev, Kurchatov, Kursk, Glushkovsky, Gorshechensky, Medvensky, Lgovsky, Pristensky, Rylsky, Timsky, Sudzhansky and Fatezhsky districts) received 5 million rubles to modernize cinema halls and re-equip modern digital projection equipment. 5 of them are already in operation, the rest will open until the end of 2018.  In recent years, in the municipal cinemas of Kursk and the region, the following  large-scale film events were organized and successfully passed: the creative project Open Screen, the Cinema in the Theater project, the Golden Vityaz Film Forum, the Stalker International Film Festival, the Profession Journalist film festival, the film festival «The Big Kursk premiere»; the 100th anniversary of the Russian film industry and the centennial anniversary of the national animation was celebrated, the 100th anniversary of the birth of the outstanding Soviet director-animator, our fellow countryman, B.P. Dezhkin, various projects and the following events of the thematic year of Russian cinema were realized, such as «New cinema in the library», «Cinema in the museum», film screenings as part of the International student festival «All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography debut», a festival-competition of amateur short films My Kursk Region; regional film festivals «50 best domestic films», the festival of modern Russian animation named after Boris Dezhkin, a cycle of film festivals «Cinema from the Kursk region» about the contribution of famous Kursk inhabitants to the development of cinematography, «Melodies coming off the screen», a series of programs «Music in Cinema» in the All-Russian action «Night of Cinema». In 2018, in front of the Kursk State Philharmonic, a bust to an outstanding animator director, our countryman, Boris Petrovich Dezhkin, was opened. These events were visited by the greatest masters of the Russian screen Marlen Hutsiev, Larisa Golubkina, Vasily Lanovoy, Larisa Luzhina, Alexander Mikhailov, Yuri Nazarov, Inna Makarova, Alexey Petrenko, Nikolay Burlyaev, Igor Starygin, Natalya Krachkovskaya, Valery Garkalin, Yevgeny Doga, Vadim Abdrashitov, Lyudmila Ivanova, Leonid Nosyrev, Vladimir Tarasov, Harry Bardin, Nikolai Lebedev, Alexander Mindadze, Svetlana Druzhinina, Anatoly Mukasey and many others.

Kursk State Drama Theater named after A.S. Pushkin, founded in 1792, is one of the oldest theaters in Russia. From 1911 to 1936 the theater had been named after M.Schepkin, and in 1937 (the year of the 100th anniversary of the death of A.S. Pushkin) it was named after the great poet. In 2017, the drama theater turned 225 years old. People’s Artist of the Russian Federation, Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, Chevalier of the Order of Honor, laureate of the RSFSR State Prize of Stanislavsky, laureate of the National Theater Award «Golden Mask» — Yu.V. Bure-Nebelsen supervises the creative team of the theater. The repertoire of the theater is based on the works of Russian and foreign classics, on the plays of contemporary authors. The Kursk State Drama Theater named after AS Pushkin occupies one of the leading places in terms of the number of spectators in performances among Russian cities with a population of less than 500 thousand people. The troupe of the theater is actively replenished with young actors.

Kursk State Puppet Theater realizes a variety of dramaturgy, having a bright directorial and acting potential of access to cultural values. In 1944, the theater began work as part of a creative team of five actors, and in 1965, the theater received a lease of the building of the former gymnasium, the building where it operates to this day. In September 1994, V.F. Bugaev, who in 2003 was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, became chief theater director. The theater constantly uses new forms of work with the audience, strives to be modern and regularly presents its art at regional and international festivals.

The Kursk State Philharmonic Society was founded in 1936 and in 2018 the concert organization opened the 83rd concert season. The philharmonic has an eventful history of concert life. On its stage were Svyatoslav Richter, Irina Arkhipova, Lyudmila Zykina, Alexander Vedernikov, David Oistrakh, Victor Gridin, Ivan Surzhikov, the best performers and famous bands of the country. The Philharmonic has created and is actively working: a symphony orchestra, an orchestra of folk instruments named after V.Gridin, an orchestra of wind instruments named after I.Kalman, a pop-brass orchestra of the big band “Melloton”, the ensembles “New Art”, “Russian mosaic”, “Russian style”,“Rossi”,“Baroque”, the ensemble“ The Nightingale of Russia ”, the ensemble of modern dance“Jump”. The participants of the dance ensemble “The Nightingale of Russia” in 2017 became winners of the 9th International Makhmud Esambayev Dance Competition in the Group Dance nomination held in Grozny (Chechen Republic).

In 2016, the Memorial Concert and Exposition Sviridov Art Center was opened at the address 4 Sonina Street, and on December 28, 2017 in the same building of the “Nobility Assembly” the grand opening of the second concert venue of the philharmonic society took place, where concerts in the hall named after “Sviridovsky” take place. Since 2016, the Philharmonic has joined the project of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation “All-Russian Virtual Concert Hall”, thanks to which Kursk students have the opportunity to attend the online broadcasts of concerts of the Moscow Philharmonic Society. The Philharmonic Society implements projects, among which are “Stars of the 60s”, “Retro Stars”, “Music for All”, “Legends of Variety”, Music Festivals named after G.V. Sviridov and V.F.Gridin. As part of the annual All-Russian action “Night of the Arts”, various musical programs are held at all concert venues of the Philharmonic Society.

Tourism potential

Travel around the Kursk region can be a bright and unforgettable event for the guests of our region. The region has significant tourism potential, which makes it possible to single out tourism as one of the priority directions for the development of investment activity. There are a large number of tourist facilities in the region, which, due to the developed transport infrastructure, are easily accessible for tourists. The main types of tourism are business, cultural, educational, religious, event.

Tourism infrastructure in the Kursk region consists of the following main subjects:

  • 85 tourist enterprises (tour operators and travel agents), including 4 tour operators;
  • 135 collective accommodation facilities with a capacity of 9,832 places,
  • 9 medical and health institutions;
  • 22 children’s health camps;
  • 22 recreation centers;
  • more than 1,300 catering enterprises;
  • 1 tourist information center;
  • more than 9 thousand people are involved in the tourism industry of the region (employees of tourist enterprises, collective accommodation facilities, sanatorium-resort organizations).

Historical and cultural potential is of paramount importance in positioning the region in the tourism market, determining its competitive advantages. Today, the region has a total of more than 4,500 monuments of archeology, architecture, history and monumental art, which are evidence of various periods of the history of the Kursk region, of which 878 objects of regional significance and 114 federal values are under state protection. An important topic for the development of tourism in the Kursk region is the military-historical direction. In 2017, the Kursk Bulge brand was included in the list of the most popular tourist brands in Russia (a study of the Information Communications Center Rating and the Leisure in Russia magazine). The tour route along the North face of the Kursk Bulge has been actively developed over the past 3 years, thanks to new show facilities. Three memorial complexes were erected with the involvement of federal and investor funds. The memorial to the Heroes of the Northern Fase of the Kursk Bulge in the village of Ponyri immortalized the names of 34 Heroes of the Soviet Union who fought here. At the strategic points of the Northern Fron, heights of 275 and 269 meters, the monuments “Teplovskie Heights” and “Poklonnaya Height 269” were erected. On the route there are more than 30 tourist display objects: military historical objects, museums, monuments dedicated to the Battle of Kursk, located in the territory of Ponyrovsky, Zolotukhinsky, Fatezhsky districts. The north face of the Kursk Bulge is part of the large inter-regional program “Kursk Bulge — Great Victory”. It unites existing routes along the North and South Furs of the Kursk Bulge. The length of the route is 485 km, it runs through the territory of the Kursk and Belgorod region. Pilgrim tourism is currently an important component of the tourist potential of the region. Thousands of pilgrims come to Kursk to bow to Russian shrines. The domes of 282 active churches and 7 monasteries rise above the Kursk land. Religious buildings of other religions have been preserved: the Lutheran Church, the Catholic Church, the Assumption Old Believer Christian Church. You can touch the history of the life of St. Seraphim of Sarov  visiting the Sergiev-Kazan Cathedral, a masterpiece of architecture of the Rastrelli era, as well as the Resurrection-Elias Church. The spiritual center of Russia is the Korennaya Pustyn monastery, based on the site of the finding of the icon of the Mother of God “The Sign”. The buildings of the XVIII-XIX centuries have been preserved: the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin (1860), the Church of the Life-Giving Spring (1711), the Kazan Church, hotels, cell housings, the Church of Iokim and Anna (1864) in Dolgoe village 2 km from the monastery. In addition to the pilgrimage center, Korennaya Pustyn has been the venue for the Kursk Korenskaya Fair from 1618, one of the largest in terms of trade in Russia. Since 2000, the international fair has been gathering thousands of participants from all regions of Russia and CIS and foreign countries. This is the most anticipated annual event for residents and guests of the Kursk region. For many pilgrims and tourists, the fair is interesting because it combines spiritual and secular traditions. 10 km from the Root Hermitage on the steep bank of the River Tuskar in the village of 1st Vorob’evka is located the estate of the poet A.A. Fet. In 2016, the reconstruction was completed, the manor museum is open to visitors. Since 1986, every year in the beginning of July lovers of elegant literature from all corners of Russia have been gathering in the manor for the Fetov readings. Every year thousands of tourists visit Rylsk, an open-air town-museum, a historic town-reserve, unique in that its oldest part has preserved its original look through the centuries. You would call it Wonder Town for its originality. Signs of distant antiquity are preserved here: Peter I House, Shemyaka’s House, Church of the Ascension of the Lord, Pokrovsky Cathedral. Rylsk is the birthplace of Alaska explorer Grigori Shelikhov, the discoverer of Russian America. There are 12 main tourist excursion routes in the region. In 2018, the two-day tour “The Nightingale of Russia” was developed, within which it is planned to visit the sights related to the life of the famous “Kursk nightingales”, the performer of Russian folk songs and romances N.V. Plevitskaya, composer and pianist G.V. Sviridov and poet A.A. Fet. Rural tourism is actively developing in the region. Guest reception in the region is carried out by recreation centers with the provision of rooms to stay overnight and additional services. Weekend programs have been developed in every municipal district. In 2018, the project “Gastronomic Map of the Nightingale Region” was launched. The originality of the gastronomic traditions of the Kursk region is represented by a variety of dishes. The map contains a description of the dishes, information about their history and the address database of cafes and restaurants where these dishes can be tasted. An important component for the development of tourism are mass events. A regional calendar of events, which includes more than 60 various activities, is formed annually. In the Kursk region, the Tourist Information Center as well as the tourist information portal of the Kursk Region Gokursk.ru, which allows guests and residents of the region to receive online information on tourist services in the Kursk Region, operates on the basis of  RBI “Regional Tourism Center”.

Welcome to the hospitable Kursk region, Nightingale Area of Russia!