Volga River, Shestakovo, Russia


Artists Gennady Troshkov, Marina Maslova, Andrei Andreshnikov with photography by Mel Theobald and Robert Weitz.

One of several small villages which once lined the perimeter of the Uglichskoya Sea, Shestakovo was a way-station with a tavern on the road to the cabled barge connecting it to Kalyazin, an ancient Orthodox monestery on the opposite bank of the Volga River. In 1939, Stalin presided over the opening of a Uglichski Power Station and Lock which broadened the sea by raising its water level and creating the Uglich Reservoir. This forced the residents of Shestakovo to raze their homes and relocate them on higher ground. With the opening of the dam, the massive flow of the Volga River provided the region with one of Russia’s earliest hydroelectric turbo generators
Today, the remnants of several dozen 200 year old log construction homes have been abandoned by their ancestral families and are gradually being renovated as “dachas” and second homes by Moscow artists. Located about 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Moscow, the Volga is a vast open waterway with barges, freighters and tourist liners breaking the otherwise tranquil landscape.
The Volga is the longest river in Europe, 2,293 miles in length, it has over 200 tributaries comprised of 151,000 rivers and streams. Originating in the Valday Hills region northwest of Moscow, the Volga empties into the Caspian Sea.