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Travel portal
Nizhny Novgorod region
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Vyksa

Vyksa is one of the region’s most modern and fashionable cities, one of the oldest centres of Russian metallurgy, and also celebrated among artists and connoisseurs of public art, as it is a city where modern art is literally everywhere you look. It is best to come here for at least a couple of days, because it is a fair trek, and there is more than enough to keep you occupied.

A FEW FACTS

The Batashev Brothers
The Batashev Brothers
The history of Vyksa is closely linked with metallurgical production, and specifically with the activities of the industrialist Batashev brothers. In 1754, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna ordered the closure of all factories within a radius of 200 kilometres around Moscow to prevent the destruction of the region’s forests, so the Batashevs came here, and over time set up 15 metallurgical enterprises, with a combined area of 327 000 hectares, on the banks of the RIver Vyksun.
A monocity
A monocity
Vyksa is a single-industry city, whose entire life is inextricably linked to its metallurgical plant. In 2019, Vyksa entered the top 10 best monocities in Russia. The OMK plant occupies a quarter of the area of Vyksa, it is a true city within a city! Today, 15 000 people work at the Vyksa OMK plant, or in other words, every fourth resident of the city.
A unicorn on the coat of arms
A unicorn on the coat of arms
The Vyksa coat of arms depicts a unicorn, an animal not frequently found in Russian heraldry. The mythical beast was transferred across to the coat of arms of the city from the ancestral coat of arms of the founders of the Vyksa factories, the Batashev brothers, and has come to symbolise the merits of this family in the development of local metallurgical production.
The Vyksa Festival
The Vyksa Festival
For over ten years now, since 2011, the Vyksa Festival has been held in the city (for the first 10 years it was called the Art-Ovrag, or Art Ravine). The festival is dedicated to modern culture and public art, with performers, musicians, artists and writers coming here every year, and a rich concert and performance programme.
Street art
Street art
Since the festival was first launched, over a hundred works of street art have appeared in Vyksa. To take just two examples, on the walls of a metallurgical plant itself you can see the work of Misha Most (the largest piece of graffiti in Europe, with an area of more than 10 000 square metres) as well as a large-scale mural by Eric Bulatov, the founder of sotsart. Elsewhere on the streets of Vyksa, among all the variety of street art that is on offer, we recommend that you seek out two works by the iconic street artist Pasha 183, who has been called the Russian Banksy.
Okroshka à la Vyksa
Okroshka à la Vyksa
Vyksa can also boast its own gastronomic specialty, Okroshka à la Vyksa. The difference from the classic version of this Russian dish is that the local recipe is based not on sausage or beef, but instead on sprats in tomato sauce, an extremely unusual and even unique combination!
Vyksa Park
Vyksa Park
One of the city’s major attractions is a 41-hectare park, laid out in the French style in homage to the parks of Versailles, Peterhof, and St Petersburg’s Summer Garden. An alley of linden trees runs along the length of the park, and leads to the Batashevs' residential palace.
Artificial lakes
Artificial lakes
Iron smelting consumes a lot of energy, which in those years was provided using water power. As a result, artificial lakes sprang up both in Vyksa itself and in the surrounding factory settlements, and now they are one of the city’s hallmarks. The lake system was devised and implemented by the peasant craftsmen, and is a seriously impressive feat of engineering!
The city’s Finno-Ugric name
The city’s Finno-Ugric name
Only relatively recently, in 1859, did the village acquire its current name Vyksa, which is derived from the Finno-Ugric word meaning "stream, current". Similar names, including Veksa, Vyksino, Vuoksa, are found in many regions previously inhabited by the Finno-Ugric peoples of the Volga region.
Railway wheels
Railway wheels
Vyksa produces the railway wheels that are found on pretty much every carriage, metro train and high-speed train in Russia. Interestingly enough, in spite of this, the city has no passenger railway station, and you can only get here by car or bus.

WHAT TO DO IN THE CITY

01
This beautiful park, laid out in the French-English style, and romantically named Lebediny Rai ("Swan Paradise''), was founded in the 18th century in the image of the parks of Versailles and Peterhof. Once there was a menagerie here, a theatre, and even a unique complex of greenhouses growing pineapples that were then delivered to the palace of Catherine the Great, but today you can still go for a walk here and maybe have a go on the rides in the amusement park. There are several ponds here, including Lebedinka Pond, where the famous swan couple Ruslan and Lyudmila live. Here you can also find a six–metre unicorn crafted by the Hungarian sculptor Gabor Miklos Soeke: this is in fact the symbol of Vyksa, because it is the unicorn that graces the city’s coat of arms. The park also boasts an amphitheatre and a rotunda with wooden decking, numerous works of art, and the Pavilion of the Future, a public space for lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and film screenings.
This beautiful park, laid out in the French-English style, and romantically named Lebediny Rai ("Swan Paradise''), was founded in the 18th century in the image of the parks of Versailles and Peterhof. Once there was a menagerie here, a theatre, and even a unique complex of greenhouses growing pineapples that were then delivered to the palace of Catherine the Great, but today you can still go for a walk here and maybe have a go on the rides in the amusement park. There are several ponds here, including Lebedinka Pond, where the famous swan couple Ruslan and Lyudmila live. Here you can also find a six–metre unicorn crafted by the Hungarian sculptor Gabor Miklos Soeke: this is in fact the symbol of Vyksa, because it is the unicorn that graces the city’s coat of arms. The park also boasts an amphitheatre and a rotunda with wooden decking, numerous works of art, and the Pavilion of the Future, a public space for lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and film screenings.
02
Visit the Batashev estate and the museum of the history of the Vyksa plant
The Batashev brothers were the founders of the local metallurgical plant, around which Vyksa grew. They discovered an ore deposit here, and then built as many as 9 factories. Vyksa was at that time, as indeed it still is, a leading centre of Russian metallurgy, whose products were known not only in Russia, but also abroad. The estate, which today is an 18th century architectural monument of federal significance, was built by the Batashev brothers, and today you can visit the Vyksa plant museum and learn about its founders, see the unique finds that were made during its restoration, and visit the recreated 18th and 19th century interiors.
03
Book yourself on an excursion to the Vyksa OMK plant
The Vyksa OMK plant is the largest Russian manufacturer of metal pipes and railway wheels, and one of the largest in the world: its territory is so vast that a regular bus service runs through it! If you want to see new technologies in action, and feel the buzz of a state-of-the-art enterprise in action, then sign yourself up for an excursion. If you find yourself in the grounds of the plant, do not miss the Shukhov water tower, which beguiles the eye with its hyperbolic shapes.
04
Marvel at the park of industrial street art
In the grounds of the plant, you simply cannot help but notice the park of industrial street art, the only such park in Russia to be located right on the territory of an operating enterprise. Here you will find the largest piece of graffiti in Russia and Europe, a work by the artist Misha Most, with an area of 10 000 square metres! Another true work of art is a giant fresco by the sotsart founder Eric Bulatov, who came specially from Paris to work in Vyksa.
05
Study the street art
As you walk around Vyksa, every now and then you will come across some cool street art, and there really is an awful lot of it here. This is all the result of the Vyksa Festival (previously known as the "Art Ravine"), which has been held here each year for more than ten years, gathering the best street artists, musicians, and writers to its cause. The festival’s programme is jam-packed, so if you want to be literally at the centre of cultural life, then you need to come to Vyksa in the summer.
06
Pay a visit to the Volna Cultural Centre
The Volna Cultural Centre, located on the banks of the Nizhny Prud (the “Lower Pond”), occupies a building constructed in the style of late Soviet postmodernism, and features a public space with an exhibition hall and an open workshop, as well as the Vyksa art residence, where you can meet the artists who spend their time exploring and drawing inspiration from the city.
07
Read modern books in Ex Libris
Ex Libris holds creative workshops, master classes, concerts, theme nights, and exhibitions. This is a new modern space, where you are welcome to drop by if you suddenly want to work in silence, or just sit down to read a book. The library here has over 70 000 cool and contemporary books.
08
Learn about the history of the Vyksa temples and monasteries
The main temple of Vyksa is the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ, located near the Batashev-Shepelev estate complex. It was built in 1773 on the initiative and financial support of the Batashev brothers, and their family tomb is located there. The architecture of the temple is based on the Russian classical style, although there are also some Baroque elements. The famous Iversky Convent was built here at the request of the Vyksa merchants. It was partially destroyed in 1927, and a recreation centre was subsequently built in Vyksa using bricks from the convent wall. The convent itself is currently being restored, and one of its churches, the Church of the Assumption, is operating today, and divine liturgies are still held here.
09
Seek out the artwork VSYO ETO NE SON ("All this is not a Dream")
Probably one of the city’s most famous works of art is Timofey Radi's installation "All this is not a Dream", which is located in a place popularly known as the Forest Plantation. Once this place was deemed to be one of the most dangerous parts of Vyksa, and working for the Radi of this "dark place" served as a kind of "antidote". The territory here was re-landscaped, and locals came to perceive this place in a completely different way, and even began to look at the city in a whole new light. The luminous inscription is at its best in the evening and nighttime.

WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO SEE

The Swan Paradise Park
Vyksa, 2 Akademika Koroleva St.

A French-English style park with numerous art objects, ponds with swans and public spaces.

The Pavilion of the Future
Vyksa, 2 Akademika Koroleva St.

A public space in the park for lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and film screenings. A work combining elements of architecture and public art from the Novoye (“New”) architectural bureau.

The Unicorn
Vyksa, 2 Akademika Koroleva St.

This figure of a six metre unicorn by the Hungarian sculptor Gabor Miklos Soeke is a symbol of Vyksa, in reference to the mythical beast which graces the city’s coat of arms.

Batashev Manor
Vyksa, 5 Lenin St.

An 18th century architectural monument of federal significance, built by the founders of the Vyksa metallurgical plant.

The Museum of the History of the Vyksa Metallurgical Plant
Vyksa, 5 Lenin St.

The Batashev estate museum, where you can learn more about its founders, examine the unique finds that were made during its restoration, and explore the renovated 18th and 19th century interiors.

Working hours
Mon-Sun 11:00-19:00
“All this is not a Dream”
Vyksa

Probably one of the most well-known works of art in the city is Timofey Radi's installation "All this is not a Dream", which is located in a place popularly known as the Forest Plantation.

The Vyksa Metallurgical Plant
Vyska, 45 Bratyev Batashevykh St.

The largest Russian manufacturer of metal pipes and railway wheels, and one of the largest in the world, where you can sign yourself up for an excursion.

The Industrial Street Art Park
Vyksa, 45 Bratyev Batashevykh St.

The only park of its kind in Russia, located right on the territory of an operating enterprise, and featuring the largest piece of graffiti in the country, by the artist Misha Most, as well as a fresco by sotsart founder Eric Bulatov.

Zhukovsky district street art
mkr. Zhukovsky

Numerous murals and other works of street art by famous street artists can be seen all over the city, but don’t miss the most "arty" district, Zhukovsky, where almost every house is decorated with works by contemporary artists.

The Embankment of the Verkhne-Vyksa Pond
Verkhneprudnaya St.

A new landscaped space, and a major recreation spot for locals, where you can rent out a boat or catamaran and take it easy out on the water.

The Volna Cultural Centre
Vyksa, 36 1st of May Str.

A public space with an exhibition hall, a functioning workshop, and the Vyksa art residence, where you can meet artists who spend their time exploring and drawing inspiration from the city.

The Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ
Vyksa, 1 Sovetskaya Square

Vyksa’s main temple, built in 1773 on the initiative and financial support of the Batashev brothers, and home to their family tomb.

The Iversky Convent
Vyksa, 58 Krasnoflotskaya St.

Built at the request of the Vyksa merchants, the convent was partially destroyed in 1927, and is currently being restored. One of its churches, the Church of the Assumption, is operating today, and divine liturgies are still held here.

The Ex Libris space
Vyksa, 7 Lenin St.

A modern place where you can attend masterclasses, workshops, concerts, or read modern books in its vast library.

"Pro.Elka"
Vyksa, Akademika Koroleva St.

A 17-metre high structure designed according to the principle of the Shabolovskaya Tower by engineer Vladimir Shukhov.

"Vyksun vverkh!"
Vyksa, 1 Verkhneprudnaya St.

This project, named after the Vyksun River, combines the functions of a bench, a podium, stage, and a place for contemplation, meetings, and reflection.

The "Art-rafts"
Vyksa, the beach at Maxim Gorky St.

Five curious floating sculptures created by famous architects and artists, which can be observed on the water of the Upper Vyksa Pond.

The First Panel House
Vyksa, 23 Krasnye Zori St.

The USSR’s first panel-construction house, built in 1958.

The Binary clock
Vyksa, 179A Lenin St.

A sculpture in the shape of a DNA double-helix with light segments that, when lit, show the exact time.

The Man Tower
Vyksa, Pushkin St., on the grounds of the Avangard stadium

An object built in the spirit of Vladimir Tatlin's futuristic experiments, symbolising man's connection with the sky.

A Random Act of Deconstructionism

This four-metre high tower is an arch in the spirit of Russian constructivism by the Scottish sculptor Rob Mulholland.

Vyksa Majolica
Vyksa, 16 Futbolnaya St.

A large panel on the facade of the Blizepesochinsky school, consisting of painted tiles created by local residents and visitors to the city.

Electromozaika
1st of May St.

This panel at the electrical substation, designed to charge the audience with the energy of creativity, was created from melted glass according to the sketches of the artist Katya Bochavar.

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