The Kennan Institute and the Moscow publishing house "Tri Kvadrata" are pleased to announce the appearance of Usolye: Architectural Heritage in Photographs, volume XIII in the "Discovering Russia" series, established by the Kennan Institute in 2005. This book is devoted to the rich architectural heritage of the Usolye region (in Perm Territory) and is published with the support of the Usolye Regional Administration, as well as the "Stroganov Chambers" Museum. The text and photographs are by William Craft Brumfield, a leading western specialist on the history of Russian architecture, Professor of Slavic Studies at Tulane University (New Orleans), and honorary Fellow of two Russian national academies: the Academy of the Arts and the Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences.

The volume begins with the author's text, in Russian and in English, on the history and architecture of the Usolye region, situated on the right bank of the Kama River. The author gives particular attention to the development of the Stroganov dynasty from the mid-sixteenth century. During the seventeenth century Usolye became the center of the Stroganov's vast Urals operations, based primarily on salt production. By the nineteenth century Usolye salt production was divided among other major families, such as the Golitsyns and the Lazarevs, who built their own neoclassical houses in the town. The architectural heritage of historic Usolye was severely threatened by the creation of the Kama River reservoir in the early 1950s.

This text section (48 pages) is amply illustrated by color photographs of architectural landmarks beginning with the Stroganov Chambers and the large Transfiguration Cathedral, both built in Usolye in the 1730s. In addition to other Usolye monuments, this section includes the settlements of Pyskor, Oryol and Taman, as well as smaller sites in the Usolye region.

The text section is followed by a more detailed photographic survey of the region's main settlements listed above. Included are parish churches (in various states of preservation), neoclassical houses in Usolye and many examples of wooden houses througout the region. Of special note is a selection of color photographs from the unique Church of Praise of the Mother of God, located in the village of Oryol.

The photographs throughout the book were taken by the author primarily in June 2011, with a few additional photographs from an earlier trip to Usolye in August 2000. Also included are two archival photographs of the Usolye salt works at the beginning of the 20th century. 

This publication continues the Discovering Russia series of books dedicated to the historic regions of Russia and their architecture. The series, containing Brumfield's books on the areas of Torzhok, Totma, Irkutsk, Tobolsk, Solikamsk, Cherdyn, Kargopol, Chita, Buriatiia, Solovki, Kolomna, Suzdal and Torzhok, is intended for those interested in architecture, history, photography and regional studies. Closely related to Usolye is the book on Solikamsk.

Total length: 111 pages.

ISBN:  978-5-94607-144-4

Publisher's address:

Izdatel'stvo "Tri Kvadrata"
ul. Usievicha 9
Moscow, Russia 125319