Natural monuments

Holy Spring "Twelve Fountains," Venyovsky District

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Sviridovo-2, Venyovsky District, Tula Region
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  • Description

    In the village of Sviridovo on Sviridovo Mountain, between the Venyovka River and the Osetrets River, a peasant Svirid who had 12 sons lived. When the youngest son in the family became his father's assistant, Svirid was elected a head. In 1380, Prince Dmitry Donskoy collected troops for the battle with Mamai. Every tenth man of the age 16 to 40 was taken from each village. In Sviridovo, there were 120 men for this. Argument lasted long; it was decided to draw lots. The lot fell to the sons of Svirid. They all died in battles. The grandfather Svirid went to the battlefield and found them all lying together. The father grieved, collected bodies, and brought them home to bury under a sacred oak on the bank of the Osetrets River dried up with grief. The next morning, twelve fountains gushed from under the mountain. And since then, people go to the spring for the bogatyr strength, and grateful descendants called the village Sviridovo. Nowadays, the spring is consecrated and improved, a bathhouse is built, and a memorial cross of the All Saints Chapel is erected. By the way, the stonecutter V.Talkov, brother of the singer Igor Talkov, has made this cross. Where the Sukhoi Osetrik makes a sharp turn, washing away the left bank and flooding the floodplain on the right, at the foot of a high cliff of karst deposits, clear icy keys are gushing out. This spring is called "Twelve Fountains." This spring has never dried for centuries! Water from it flows into the Volga Mother through the Venyovka, the Osyotr, and the Oka. The same way six centuries ago, Russians forces merged together to sweep away age-old Tatar oppression. In the village of Sviridovo, a blacksmith Svirid Filippovich lived and had twelve sons. His wife had died eight years ago, and since then he had raised his sons on his own but he had never taken a stepmother into the house. Now, the hard part was over: the youngest son, Ivan, reached eighteen, and the eldest, Philip, thirty-five. He was a good landlord, and his hut was not far off, and this hut was as good as his father's one. Andrew and Yakov are the first twins. They had recently reached thirty-two. Yefim was thirty, a peasant who marched to his own drummer, lived alone on a farm but was a hard worker and made all the good with his own hands. Nikiphor and Matvey settled in Serpukhov: one of them was a tanner and the other was employed as a clerk in a merchant's shop. Paul was a blacksmith, a profession long revered in Russia. He was respected and even loved for disinterestedness and kindness. Last autumn, Spiridon and Timofei got married. Earlier, Svirid Filippovich had himself managed the entire farm, taught his sons to work, but the years took their toll, and it had become difficult for him to keep up everywhere, in the field, and in the cattle barn, and in the house to maintain. When the second twin was born, the mother fell ill from a serious disease. For three months, it was not clear if she would get better. Finally, she recovered but became very emaciated, got tired often, and for the rest of her life, could no longer become the same, cheerful and joyful Lukeria, although she gifted her husband two more sons. Makar, despite his youth, already served in the armed force of the Moscow Prince. The youngest and the most beloved in the family was Ivan. He inherited his character from his mother: kind, attentive, and responsive. He also liked to dream but in spite of his nature, he wanted to follow in Makar's footsteps, to devote himself to the military art. Summer had passed, it was time to harvest. The bread came up fat, the eye rejoiced when looking at the fields, but the slanting Tatar eye coveted the Russian fields as well, a terrible force was advancing to Russia. The alarm sounded throughout Russia, women began to ring in cities and villages seeing off their sons and husbands. The Serpukhov Prince Vladimir Andreyevich, brother of the Moscow Prince, gathered militia on his lands. The call came to Zvoika: from the three surrounding villages of Zvoika, Sviridovo and Khruslovka, forty peasants armed with axes, spears, and oak shields, went to Venyov to join the princely army marching to Kolomna. One day after dinner, Svirid Filippovich quietly left the house and went to the outskirts. For the second night in a row, the sunset was blood red. The old lime trees in the churchyard cast black shadows in the slanting sunbeams. When he came to his wife's grave, he sat down by the cross. "Rest in peace, Lukerya. I'm sorry I don't visit often but you may see what a hectic time it is. Our little sons have gone, all of them. Even Ivan has gone and he only reached eighteen after all... In the morning of 8 September 1380, the Kulikovo Field was covered with thick fog. The troops stood at a distance of five versts but did not see each other. Nature seemed to give people a little more time to breathe the humid air of life. All the sons of Svirid Filippovich expressed a desire to fight in the advanced regiment, the rear guard in front of the main forces. The bloody slaughter continued all day long! Countless Russian soldiers gave their lives for the victory over the enemy. More than half of the Russian army did not return. Among them, 12 brothers fell death of the brave... "A week later, the winners returned home. Of the forty men who had left a month before, only seventeen had returned and even then, eight of them had been maimed. They were met by all the inhabitants of Zvoika, Sviridovo, and Khruslovka. A hunched, pale old man stood in front of them. This old man was Svirid Filippovich. He already knew what had happened but he hoped to recognize one of his sons in each warrior passing by. All 12 brothers were buried at the foot of a high cliff, and soon, the spring gushed not far from that place, and this spring had been still called "Twelve Fountains." And since then, people go to the spring for the bogatyr strength, and grateful descendants called the village Sviridovo. Nowadays, the spring is consecrated and improved, a bathhouse is built, and a memorial cross of the All Saints Chapel is erected.

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    Sviridovo-2, Venyovsky District, Tula Region
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