Mologa, a town gone underwater

In 1930s 4550 square metres of land around the Rybinsk hydroelectric power plant was flooded as a result of its construction. And the town of Mologa has gone under water.
Rybinsk (217 miles north of Moscow) and the surrounding area form one of the most beautiful locales in Central Russia. Rybinsk is a beautiful, old-world city on the Volga, with glorious traditions and a rich history. The city is an archaeological monument to the 11th–16th centuries: the Transfiguration Cathedral attained fame as the “Beauty of the Volga Region”; the “old” and “new” corn markets symbolize the glorious growth of the Rybinsk merchant class; and the Chapel of St. Nicholas has been recently restored.
In 1930s, around 49,000 square feet of land around Rybinsk’s hydroelectric power plant was flooded as a result of construction of the Rybinsk Reservoir. More than 700 villages, three monasteries, over 40 churches, former nobles’ estates and nature preserves were all destroyed.
Mologa was one of these towns near Rybinsk, formerly situated at the confluence of the Mologa and Volga rivers. Now the town is submerged under the waters of the Rybinsk Reservoir.
Nikolai Novotelnov was born in Mologa and lived there for 15 years. He was one of the 5,000 people suddenly forced to leave Mologa in order to allow the authorities to build the Rybinsk Reservoir, as sanctioned by the government.
Those who had the chance to do so took down their houses bit by bit, transported them on the water and rebuilt them further down along the river. Nikolai Novotelnov, for example, moved to Rybinsk with his wife.
In 1936, Mologa’s villagers gathered in the city’s riding stables and were read the government decree sanctioning the construction of the Rybinsk river basin.
Nikolai Novotelnov shows the layout of Mologa. His family lived in house number 21.
Old Mologa’s streets. Villagers moved out of Mologa over a period of four years.
An example of the transportation system used to move houses from Mologa to Rybinsk.
Mologa is remembered not only in Yaroslavl Region, but throughout the whole of Russia. Anatoly Klopov, director of the Mologa Museum in Rybinsk, is the one who preserves the history of the lost town.

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