The Gospel of Piotr Mstislavets published in 1575 in Vilnya.

The exposition of the Vetka folk museum representing wood carving and gilding, methods of making icons which are rooted in the 17th century decoration of Moscow cathedrals, a unique legacy of Vetka’s Old Believers. These craftsmen preserved an ancient technology on setting each icon-case in a frame of clusters of grapes, apple trees’ flowers, roses and leaves.

gomel loev rechitsa yurovichi mozir turov red_coast chechersk vetka info

Vetka was founded in 1685 by Old Believers who had fled Russia. In the 17th-18th centuries the town was a center of Raskolniks. Vetka of those times assimilated and preserved traditions of the Moscow Russia. Even the central square of the town was then bearing the same name as that in Moscow – Red Square. It preserved the name until these days.

The tsar’s troops twice burned Vetka in 1735 and 1764 resettling its residents to the Eastern Russian provinces. In 1772 Vetka was annexed to the Russian Empire, in 1852 it became part of Gomel uezd.

In 1987 the population of the town was 7,200 while before the resettlements the town had about 40,000 residents. In the 18th century Vetka had its proper peculiarities of icon painting formed as well as a unique school of Vetka wood carving.

On November 1, 1987 a folk arts museum was opened there. Its exposition demonstrates historic and cultural peculiarities of the region. A unique collection of various items ranging between ancient icons, manuscripts and modern patterned towels attracts a great number of tourists. The museum was founded by Fyodor Grigorievich Shkliarov (1925-1988), a native of Vetka and a fervent promoter of the local culture. In the 1960-1970s he compiled a collection, which aroused great public interest. This very collection laid the foundation for the museum located in Red Square in a former merchant’s house.

Khalch is a village of the Vetka region of Gomel oblast, located on the bank of the River Sozh. The village is notable for a 19th-century manor house. Located on the high steep it is well observed from afar.

  Curious facts...

The Vetka museum has a unique book Anfologion, the first book of Kiev published in 1619.

A small and dirty lake in the center of the town was overgrowing with grass and was only needed during the Kupalye folk festival. But the lake was cleared, the grass was cut, benches installed and the carp bred. The fishermen are very glad now, as they do not have to go out of the town for fishing. However they can only fish pikes for free, for fishing carps and tenches they have to buy special tickets.

In the 16th century there were 6 printing plants on the territory of the Great Duchy of Lithuania which then were the principle bearers of the written language, while in the entire Russia there was just one publishing house.


Development, informational and technical support: BELTA, 2006