Morse code, Gorky's stories; self-run; crew and ghosts: what secrets does the Nizhny Novgorod prison keep?

Morse code, Gorky's stories; self-run; crew and ghosts: what secrets does the Nizhny Novgorod prison keep?

Caves and grottoes have always piqued the curiosity of tourists. These places attract attention not only for the unique flora and fauna, but also for the picturesque views inside. In addition, this is a great place for sketches (sketches), unusual photo sessions, and just to get new sensations. You can also get acquainted with the underworld in the Nizhny Novgorod region. The path to the hidden corners of our region does not take much time and is a good budget weekend route for tourism lovers.

Photo: Ekaterina Morozova. Ichalkovsky Bor

Ichalkovsky Bor

Location: Perevozsky district (about 1.5 km from the village of Ichalki on the Piana river) GPS coordinates: 55.37669, 44.38650

This place is remarkable not only for the variety of plants and animals living there, but also for the many caves, karst holes and grottoes. Geologists estimate that the rocks underlying this complex were formed 180 million years ago. Here tourists can visit caves with different names: Cold (Ice), Bezymyannaya (Malaya Cold), Student (Slope or Bottle), Teplaya, Oktyabrskaya, Tesnaya, Animal and Rozhdestvenskaya. In some of them there are small lakes with icy water, which give a zest to these places. The water in them is so clear that you might not notice where the shore ends. The deepest lake (1.5 meters) is located in the Tepla Cave. These reservoirs are connected by narrow bridges, the most notable of which are the Devil's Bridge and the Swan passages. Karst sinkholes resemble Gothic buildings from the inside due to vaulted ceilings and high vaults.

Balakhonikhinskaya cave

Location: Arzamas district, vicinity of the village of Balakhonikha GPS coordinates: 55. 38798, 43. 4092

In this cave, the vaults form hemispherical gypsum forms. In its central part there is a fork into several corridors, which are connected by underground galleries. Here you can see columns in the form of stalagmites and stalactites, which have a bluish-gray color due to their icing.

Photo: Ekaterina Morozova. Bornukovskaya cave

Bornukovskaya cave

Location: Buturlinsky district, outskirts of Bornukovo village GPS coordinates: 55. 89849, 44. 80784

Caves of the Nizhny Novgorod region

During the coronavirus pandemic, Russians travel more frequently within the country. And Nizhny Novgorod turned out to be one of the most popular travel destinations this winter. On the eve of the 800th anniversary of the city, the editorial staff of the Nizhegorodskaya Pravda website invites guests to go in search of new experiences with the informal guide Nizhny in Pocket.

Earlier, we have already talked about the main museums, bridges and industries, street art and monuments, extreme entertainment in Nizhny Novgorod and ways to relax on a trip with children. And today we will show the oldest prison in the city, whose prisoners at one time were Vladimir Korolenko, Maxim Gorky, Yakov Sverdlov, Felix Dzerzhinsky, Pyotr Zalomov, Nikolai Semashko, Alexander Piskunov, Platon Lebedev-Kerzhentsev.


Nizhny Novgorod prison is located on Freedom Square, formerly called Ostrozhnaya Square. The prison for 300 prisoners was built in 1823. Because of the corner towers, it resembled a medieval fortress, so the locals called it a castle, and the street next door was called Napolno-Zamkovaya (now Belinsky).

Over time, thanks to the outbuildings, the capacity of the prison has grown to a thousand convicts. Inside the buildings were chambers for men, women and children. Especially dangerous criminals were placed in single casemates. Later it turned out that the walls in them were scratched with Morse code - this is how isolated prisoners tried to communicate with each other, so as not to go crazy with loneliness. In addition, it was cold and damp in the solitary basement cells, so that after them the prisoners often developed pulmonary diseases and tuberculosis.

Also in the prison there was an administrative building, a punishment cell and a church, the paintings on the ceiling and walls of which were created by the convicts themselves. And in the courtyard there were outbuildings, a bathhouse, a hospital, a stable, a smithy. There was a gallows near one of the sheds on the territory of the prison. In the years of the Stolypin reaction alone, about 70 people were executed here.

Not surprisingly, some Nizhny Novgorod residents still believe that ghosts live in the local prison. The security personnel who are on duty here at night sometimes hear the sound of chains, see the shadows of the officers. And visitors even found traces of bare feet in the basement, where the punishment cells for dangerous criminals were once located.

It is curious that one of the prisoners of the Nizhny Novgorod prison, while serving his sentence for an unsuccessful fight against corruption, invented the first car and a speedometer. The illiterate Russian peasant Leonty Shamshurenkov, out of idleness, designed a model of the "self-run" crew. His cellmate sent a proposal to the Senate to build a wheelchair that “would move without a horse” and be controlled “through tools by two people standing on the same wheelchair, but it would run at least over a long distance and not only in a level location, but also to the mountain. where is not a very cool place. " After the craftsman in St. Petersburg realized his idea in life, he was awarded a prize and sent back to prison.

Later, Shamshurenkov presented to the Senate "self-run sledges that will ride without horses in winter, and for testing they can walk in the summer with need", as well as a "verstometer clock", which, according to the idea, " the rear axle and bells beep at every verst. "

Until 1914, criminals were brought to the Nizhny Novgorod prison, who were convicted by regional courts or who were on their way to Siberia. Then the prison was closed, as it did not meet the minimum conditions for such institutions. During the First World War, prisoners of war were kept in prison, and during the Great Patriotic War it was used as an evacuation hospital. Nizhny Novgorod residents could later learn about all this in the prison museum.


After the restoration in the 2000s, excursions for history lovers and quests for schoolchildren began to be held in the Nizhny Novgorod prison.

Popular posts
What Happens in Disabled Tourism

I think a little more time will pass and a VR device will allow people with disabilities to get a completely new unique experience that 3D virtual reality will provide. As I learned, in sko

  • 12-03-2021 . 25 minutes
No words, only emotions - transformation of tourism in Georgia

Features of rest in Georgia: on land and at sea, in summer and winter, how best to organize your trip, what to see, try and buy as a keepsake.

  • 12-03-2021 . 18 minutes