Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Volga Federal District Igor Komarov, Governor of Nizhny Novgorod Region Gleb Nikitin and Metropolitan of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Georgy (Danilov) accompanied the President.
During the visit to the Museum of the Russian Patriarchate, Vladimir Putin toured a display demonstrating the sites built or restored as part of the programme to develop the Arzamas-Diveyevo-Sarov pilgrimage and tourism cluster.
This large-scale project in the Nizhny Novgorod Region was launched in 2018 with the President’s support and blessing from the Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia Kirill. Arzamas is an ancient city. It has been designated as a federal historical settlement and a tourism centre. Diveyevo is a major Orthodox site and a traditional pilgrimage destination, while Sarov is both a research and a spiritual centre.
The programme to develop this tourism and pilgrimage cluster includes 126 initiatives for a total of over 34 billion rubles, and spanning almost all economic sectors, such as road construction and transport, utilities, urban development, preserving cultural heritage sites, environmental protection, culture, education, healthcare, and tourism infrastructure.
In Diveyevo, the upgraded embankment along the river Vichkinza became a major attraction for pilgrims along with the Holy Trinity St Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery. There have been improvements in terms of vehicle access to the village with the construction of new roads, a parking lot and a bus station. Arzamas turned its centre into a pedestrian zone, renovated the Cathedral Square with its nearby territories and streets, while the Arkady Gaidar Park and the Arboretum benefited from improvements too. In Sarov, the renovation effort is underway at 18th century cultural heritage sites along with the project to re-create historical buildings at the Monastery of the Holy Dormition – the Sarov Hermitage.