Russian-American historical and cultural heritage
Российско-американское историческое и культурное наследие

Саутбери, Коннектикут

Одной из достопримечательностей штата Коннектикут является русская деревня Чураевка, расположенная на окраине города Саутбери, в графстве Нью-Хэвен. Этот поселок русских писателей, артистов и учёных основал в 1923 г. Илья Львович Толстой, сын Льва Толстого. Кроме писателей (Ильи Толстого, Георгия Гребенщикова и др.) здесь гостили композитор Сергей Рахманинов, артист Михаил Чехов, хореограф Михаил Фокин, живописец и философ Николай Рерих. В Чураевке жили член Государственной думы Иван Ушаков, морской биолог Виктор Лузанов и другие выдающиеся русские деятели — скульпторы, театральные декораторы, актёры, инженеры, врачи. Авиаконструктор Игорь Сикорский владел здесь землей и часто наведывался в Чураевку.

Главной достопримечательностью Чураевки является часовня преподобного Сергия Радонежского. Она была построена 1932-1933 гг. по проекту Николая Рериха— в память Храма Христа Спасителя в Москве, разрушенного большевиками.

В Чураевке есть три улицы с русскими названиями — Russian village Road, Kiev Drive и Tolstoy Lane. Дома построены так, как это принято в американской провинции, но многие владельцы старались придать им «русский вид».

Архитектор и скульптор В.Н.Успенский к тысячелетию крещения Руси воздвиг перед своим домом статую былинного богатыря Святогора, избавившего Русь от врагов. Она стала одной из достопримечательностей Чураевки.

Southbury, Connecticut

The Russian Village Historic District (Churaevka) is a small self-contained community located on a heavily wooded hill in the southwest corner of Southbury, Connecticut. It was established in 1923 by Ilya Tolstoy, the son of the renown Russian writer Lev Tolstoy, as a home for Russian writers, artists and scholars. Composer Sergey Rakhmaninov, actor Michael Chekhov, choreographer Michael Fokin, artist and philosoher Nikolay Rerih and many other celebrities lived or visited this location. Russian aerounatics engineer and inventor Igor Sikorsky was one of the landowners in Churaevka.

The centerpiece of the village is the St. Sergius Radonezhsky Chapel, a rubblestone building with a hipped roof surmounted by a gilded onion dome with a double Russian Orthodox cross. It was designed by Nicholas Roerich and built in 1932-33 in the memory of the Christ the Savior Cathedral destroyed by Bolsheviks.

There are three streets with Russian names in Churaevka: Russian village Road, Kiev Drive and Tolstoy Lane. Most of the original cottages are vernacular buildings of no particular architectural style, though some owners tried to give them a sort of Russian appearance. Thus this is an interesting combination of American stylistic features and subtle influences introduced by their Russian owner/builders, such as steeply pitched roofs, dormers, and door hoods.

In 1987 a statue of an ancient Russian hero, Sviatogor, was unveiled in a public ceremony commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the St. Sergius Chapel. Representing eight years of work by Walter Ouspensky, it is located next to his house overlooking the grounds of the chapel. The statue is a visible symbol of not only the special cultural heritage that produced Churaevka but also the determination to keep the village intact. Sviatogor was the most famous of a series of legendary giants in Russia from the tenth to the twelfth century who defended Mother Russia from the invading barbarian hordes. He served the Court of Prince Vladimir in Kiev who was responsible for establishing Christianity in Russia in 988 by recognizing the Eastern Catholic religion, later known as the Russian Orthodox Church. The millennium of this event was celebrated in Churaevka in 1988.