Hit an anvil with a hammer

Tatarstan (Republic)

Russia Beyond
Russia Beyond
If your home is not yet decorated with a “horseshoe for good luck”, you simply must visit the town of Sviyazhsk, where some of the best blacksmiths in the country have been working for centuries!

The blacksmith was always the most respected person in the village. you can’t shoe a horse or equip yourself for battle. No wonder these mighty workers were sometimes credited with magical abilities. In some cultures, the blacksmith was endowed with the same power as the shaman: it was believed that he was able to predict the future and even heal wounds.

In Rus’ (Old Russia), there was a belief that a blacksmith could forge two destinies together, so a couple of newlyweds usually had a family heirloom made for them in their presence - a horseshoe. Such a gift was supposed to give the marriage bonds the strength of iron and the heat of the blacksmith’s fire.

How do you hit an anvil with a hammer?

🛳 Go to Sviyazhsk! During the warm season, a ferry runs from Kazan to the miracle island. Such a mini-cruise up the Volga river will cost only 127 rubles and take about 3 hours. If you are not a fan of traveling by water there are other options: for example, go by bus from the ‘Yuzhny’ bus station or by train from the ‘Kazan-1’ train station.

🔨 You can find a blacksmith at Lazy Torzhok (the name of a reconstruction of the Russian fair) or in the ‘Horse yard’ ethnographic complex. His master class will cost you 250-300 rubles and you can take the produced horseshoe with you as a souvenir. If you still have some energy left after waving a heavy hammer, try archery or ride a horse around the island.

🏨 If you plan to stay on the island for a few days, we recommend to book a hotel a few weeks ahead of your visit. It is better to call and check the availability directly.

ℹ️ Most museums are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so if your heart yearns for cultural activities, plan your trip with their opening times in mind.

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