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Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Staritsa

Staritsa, founded in 1297, is a small town with a population of about 8,000 people located in the Tver region, 65 km south-west of Tver. There are several churches and estates in the town and its surroundings.

One of the most interesting churches is the complex of the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – unique in its appearance. Staritsa on Google Maps. Photos by: Dmitriy Gazin.

This church, standing on the left bank of the Volga River, is also known as the Church of Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, the patroness of trade.

The history of this name, Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, is related to paganism. In ancient Rus there was such Slavic goddess as Makosh, the only woman among other deities.

She was one of the most important pagan images – the goddess of harvest, land and rain, the patroness of women. With the baptism of Rus her image passed to Paraskeva Pyatnitsa.

All the churches dedicated to her were built near rivers, or other water bodies, as Paraskeva, like Makosh, was considered the patroness of water and rain.

Today, this church, built in 1750-1825, is one of the main sights of Staritsa.

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