Administrative center: Tetyushi
Area: 1632.15 sq.km
When you approach the town of Tetyushi by boat, you can get an unforgettable view of the right bank of the Kuibyshev reservoir. The town itself, small and cozy, is obscured from view by the hill slopes, but the golden dome of Trinity Cathedral is perfectly visible.
From the dock, you can ascend a steep wooden staircase to Vshikha Hill and have a look at the vast expanses of the river and the town. The beneficial geographical location of Tetyushi, its mineral reserves and raw materials have long attracted people to these picturesque shores. Tetyushsky area is situated at the intersection of trade routes leading both east and west. The cultures of different peoples living here in peace and harmony have contributed to the growth of the town and to its unique look.
Interestingly, this rayon has the warmest climate in Tatarstan. Located on a high plateau along a major river in the south-east of the region, Tetyushi has warm winters and high humidity, which helps get earlier and more abundant harvests.
A road connects the town and rayon to the nearby railroad junction of Bua. Tetyushi has its both cargo docks and passenger port. This provides perfect conditions for the development of the regional economy, especially tourism.
Tetyushsky rayon is one of the richest in landmarks of archaeology. Remains of ancient cultures have been found within the town of Tetyushi itself. In the Bolgar period, an outpost was built here to guard the river crossing from the right bank of the Volga to Bolgar city. According to the local legend, a wooden watchtower was so high that it seemed to be reaching the sky. At its top was the patrol room, from where sentinels day and night watched the neighborhood, especially the river, and in case of danger, sent a signal to the other bank of the Volga. An old song tells the story of how the Mongols army assaulted and razed Bolgar, devastated the community and destroyed killed army. The three daughters of the Bolgar Khan turned into white swans to escape capture. They flew to the other side of the Volga, sat on the top of the guard tower and wept for a long time looking at the smoldering city. Their tears formed springs which run down the Tetyushi ravines into the Volga.
There are several versions of the origin of the name ‘Tetyuishi’. One of them links it to the medieval Bolgar town of Temtyuzi, which the Russian chronicles locate somewhere in the Middle Volga. Another suggests that a certain Tatar khan named Tetyush escaped the city of Bolgar and found shelter on the other bank.
A third derives the town name from the Bolgar words “ties tuye” (Hazelnut Hill) — there are indeed many hazelnuts in the vicinity. Yet another version suggests the Tatar “tau tash” (Stone Hill) or “tau tesh” (Tooth Hill) as the possible origin for the toponym. Tetyushi hill is indeed made of limestone and clays.
Sometime about 1571 (or, according to other sources, in 1555-1557) a Russian fort appeared on the site of Bolgar outpost. In 1636 Adam Olearius, a German scholar and diplomat, on his visit to Russia as Secretary to the Embassy of Holstein, sailed down the Volga past Tetyishi and left a description of the town.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Tetyushi was a small town under the control of Kazan. Its residents were servitors, fishermen and craftsmen. In the mid-17th century, after the Simbirsk Abatis Line had been completed, Tetyushi lost its military importance.
In 1781, Tetyushi became an uezd town of Kazan gubernia.
In the 19th and early 20th century, Tetyushi remained a small municipality, but an important economic center of the uezd and a large Volga port. Grain and fish trade were the staples of its economy.
In 1990, the town was accepted into the Union of the Historic Ccities of the Russian Federation.
NB At the beginning of the past century, Vladimir Germanovich Molostvov built a manor house near the town. He commissioned a cascade of artificial lakes on the high river bank and a beautiful park with birch, lime-tree and poplar alleys. A larch alley (which had 400 trees) led from the high road to the family estate. Molostvov personally oversaw the planting of the trees, promising a ruble in award for each surviving tree. On 5 September 1899, a carriage ran along the alley, bringing Vladimir’s beautiful bride, Elizaveta Vladimirovna Behr, to the estate of her husband-to-be.
Everything here reminds of the merchant past of the town: its well-kept streets, neatly whitewashed mansions are lovingly preserved as elements of the local tradition. In the past, the most important annual event was the Vozdvizhenskaya Fair, which was held in September, on the feast day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. For a whole week, Tetyushi opened its doors to merchants and artisans from neighboring uezds. The fair usually focused on grain trade in grain bread, with over thirty enterprises involved and the total turnover of up to two million rubles. In a good harvest, up to 115 thousand tons of grain were bought or sold at the Tetyushi fair. The town’s trade and cultural traditions were upheld by the famous merchant dynasties of the Middle Volga: the Krupinovs, Serebryakovs, Ashmarins, Polosukhins or Kolsanovs. Generation after generation, they have been investing in schools and hospitals, residential houses and libraries and even in the setting up and maintenance of town parks. A number of sturdy building, erected by these merchants over a century ago, are still in excellent condition. They have been recognized as monuments of history and culture and stand witness of their builders’ integrity and focus on their business and the needs of ordinary people.
As the years passed and eras changed, new names have been added to the glorious history of the town and the rayon. Among them are the world-famous first Tatar scientist, Professor of chemistry G.H. Kamay, artist M.V. Kupriyanov (one of the Kukryniksy), world and Europe champion, two-time Olympic medalist in weightlifting A.N. Vorobyov, multiple world champion, Meritorious Master of Sports in sheet shooting S.A. Dyomina, Meritorious Doctor of RSFSR AM Bogolyubov. Famous Chuvash poet Mikhail Kuz’min-Sespel, Russian revolutionary Vera N. Figner, opera singer N.N. Figner, writer T. Petterki, poet M. Muzaffaria, film director S.S. Govorukhin, poet V.I. Panayev, artists V.M. Zavyortkin and I.E. Gugorov, honored agronomist and long-time minister of agriculture minister of Tatarstan F.H. Minushev, winner of the VDNKh (USSR Exhibition of Economic Achievements) gold medal in agriculture S.S. Nilov and dozens of other famous people have also left an indelible mark on the history of Tetyushi.
12,500 of its residents left their homes for the battlefronts of World War II, and 8,000 never returned. But their memories and dreams survive in the modern town.
Residents of Tetyushi are proud of their fellows who have made impressive achievements in culture and sports. A graduate of the S.S. Yarullin Tetyushi Youth School of Olympic reserve in sheet shooting, Svetlana Dyomina, became multiple World and Europe champion and an Olympic silver medalist.
The staple of the rayon’s economy has always been agriculture. Tetyushsky rayon is home to over forty agricultural enterprises of various ownership. The extraction of mineral reserves is focused on Maximovsky light clays (used in brickmaking) and phosphate mining in Syundyukovsky open pit. The Vasilyevsky quarry has industry-level reserves of limestone. Some quantities of oil have been discovered in the northern part of the rayon. Tetyushi is known for natural mineral water springs, similar in composition to those of the famous Truskavets.
Visitors will enjoy walking tours of the Shchuchyi Gory (Pike Hills) park and around beautiful Lake Labay. The collections of Tetyushi museum, one of the oldest local museums in the Republic of Tatarstan, located at the historic mansion on merchant Serebryakov, are very rich and interesting. But the most unique place to visit in the area is the fully preserved Molostvovy estate, located on the premises of the Dolgaya Polyana (Long Glade) State Natural Reserve.
The original owner and builder of the estate, graduate of the Corps of Pages of the St. Petersburg Military Academy, first served in the Bolgar regiment of the Royal Guards, then took a tour of the East and returned to the Volga where he served as an honorary magistrate and (for 12 years) Marshal of the Nobility of Kazan gubernia. He was the initiator of a surveying party which discovered the Syukeyevo oil deposit in 1911. In 1913, Molostvov was appointed the director of the Kazan Branch of the London-based company Kazan Oil-fields Limited. This was one of the first foreign companies with an office in Kazan. With the help of another employee, engineer A.F. Frentzel, PhD, the company drilled three more oilwells, discovering more deposits in the process. The enterprise was looking forward to commercial success, which was thwarted by the outbreak of World War I and the ensuing revolution.
At the beginning of the past century, Vladimir Germanovich built a manor house near the town. He commissioned a cascade of artificial lakes on the high river bank and a beautiful park with birch, lime-tree and poplar alleys. A larch alley (which had 400 trees) led from the high road to the family estate. Molostvov personally oversaw the planting of the trees, promising a ruble in award for each surviving tree. On 5 September 1899, a carriage ran along the alley, bringing Vladimir’s beautiful bride, Elizaveta Vladimirovna Behr, to the estate of her husband-to-be. A subtle and romantic-minded person, Elizaveta had been educated in France and Italy and was friends with Nadezhda Krupskaya (Lenin’s wife) and Leo Tolstoy. Elizaveta was elected a member of the Russian Geographical Society and the Society of Archaeology, History and Ethnography at the University of Kazan. Even in the turmoil of the revolution she never ceased her scientific research, having collected a large herbarium and a library of 8,000 volumes. After the tragic death of her husband in 1918, the noblewoman chose not to leave her estate and did everything to preserve it. She took up the job of a teacher at the village school, ran the household and was even elected the leader of the local collective farm! When all the neighboring manor houses were burnt down, arsonists never even approached Dolgaya Polyana (Long Glade). The local farmers procured a writ of protection for Elizaveta "for her special service to the revolution." They say that on a quiet night local residents sometimes see an image of a lady in a ball gown staring into the distance from the balcony of the manor house ...