Moscow, May 25, 2015
On June 1, a walking trip will start from the Moscow’s Red Square to Solovki Monastery, reports Interfax.
“We need to pave this way as a “prayerful” route for pilgrims. This route is also significant for advocates of healthy life-style,” said a member of the walking trip, traveler Dmitry Sagalakov on Monday at a press conference in Moscow. The trip’s route will repeat the famous Great Russian North Way, which is over 1000 years old. The length of the tour will be 1.5 thousand kilometers (c. 932 miles).
“While on Solovki, I learned of the existence of this route. A great multitude of people (there were no airplanes in those days) walked it in order to change their lives,” said the traveler.
About 40 people will set off in Moscow and will walk through seven Russian regions. During their journey they will be joined by other participants from among the local inhabitants.
The Great Russian North Way is an ancient route stretching from Moscow to the Solovki Islands. It is known from its history that this route existed as early as before the Baptism of Russia, was a trade and political artery between Moscow and the Northern Sea Route, and was of huge importance as a spiritual path.
Solovki Monastery was founded in 1436 by monks Zosima. Monks Herman and Sabbatius from St. Cyril of White Lake (Belozero) Monastery originally lived on the island from 1429 to 1436, and are also considered founders of the monastery. From 1926-1939 the Solovki Monastery and the islands were used by the Soviet regime as a cruel and notorious concentration camp—the first in the Gulag system. The monastery in the later Soviet period was converted into a museum and national park, and then partially returned to the Church after the fall of Communism. Today it is once again a flourishing monastery.