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103 Meridian East » Faces of Russia »  Myshkin: Small is Beautiful
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Faces of Russia


Myshkin is the smallest town of the Yaroslavl region. Legend has it that a prince, exhausted after hunting, layed down on the ground for a nap. He was fast asleep when a snake slithered up to him and was about to strike him but then a tiny mouse appeared and ran cross his face. The prince woke up and killed the snake. Grateful for his salvation, he built a chapel on that spot, from which the town of Myshkin appeared later. It was named after the prince's saviour ("mysh" is the Russian word for "mouse").

Pyotr A. Smirnoff: Sober-Headed Vodka Tycoon

Myshkin was famous for its merchant dynasties. Pyotr A. Smirnoff (1831-1898) was born to a serf family in a village near Myshkin. Later, he bought himself out of serfdom and became one of the richest manufacturers of his day. His luxurious mansion featured on vodka labels became the original trademark of Smirnoff vodka.


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