Изображение древних строителей

Ode to an unknown mason

In a white apron, a bricklayer, a bricklayer.

What are you building? – Houses.

Every day, without interruption and rest, masons lay out the walls of estates, houses, palaces, fences, fences, build aqueducts and roads. We need a house for people, a house of prayer, a house for living, fun and celebration… Mankind has great demands. This is how they work, working under the hot sun, under the falling rain, and despite the piercing wind, apprentices, masters and professionals in their field. Quickly, quickly and confidently they do their job, tapping with a trowel or trowel, beating the rhythm of the future wall. Not for glory, not for money – for myself and for the soul. Because the one who is looking for money will not hunch back from morning until late in the evening in any weather. Whoever seeks glory chooses a different path for himself. There is a monument to the unknown soldier in the world. A monument and a monument to that unknown mason is his creations – at home. Beautiful and majestic – the best monument to the master. Crooked and clumsy – monuments in the same way. A monument to a covenant and an incompetent, negligent master.

Human memory is short: the guard at the eternal flame is changing, monuments and monuments are being erased from the face of the earth. But hundreds of thousands and even millions of cubic meters of brickwork cannot be erased and changed in our life. They stand like that for many years, decades, and in some cases more than a hundred years – as a memory and reproach to unknown masters.

Glory going forward, along unknown paths, through the centuries it has overcome them. The names of the first stone craftsmen in Russia, Fedor Savelyev and Pavel Sidorovich Potekhin, remained so. They became famous not for a simple stone craft, but for great zeal, business ingenuity and a sharp mind. He allowed them to start with errand boys, then become original engineers, architects and urban planners. Their names remained forever in the memory of their descendants. By deed they proved their right to the honor and respect of anyone who could admire their creations.

The construction, unique at the beginning of the seventeenth century – the Smolensk fortress wall – to this day plunges one into awe and makes one admire. By the way, the construction of such a structure, of course, required great perseverance, not only from the masters who built it, but also the grandiose efforts of the whole country were needed. And the responsibility of the master was from that more valuable. That master worked not for fear, as they say, but for conscience. He worked in cold and heat, did not sleep at night, died at a construction site. I had to solve very complex engineering problems – but I was not trained in overseas academies. It is impossible to say what grew out of the Ryazan and Pskov schools. He has long surpassed his mentors. And technical literacy from birth, scope and grasp.

Potekhin Pavel was a master serf, an artel worker on the construction of a temple, and he grew up in a blacksmith’s family. The will of the lord is the law. The master gave the order to put the brisk little one in the back room – to bring bricks and lime, so be it. The native village of Kadnitsa near the Potekhins changed its owner three times. Under Count Sheremetyev, a small boy spent his childhood. It was then that he mastered the basics of building science, an inquisitive lad. With his younger brother, he received knowledge from artel workers. Anything happened, and “educational” cuffs sometimes got. Yes, the guy was painfully grippy, he took root in the artel, but she was not simple. Prince Pozharsky Dmitry Mikhailovich himself was the patron of the masters of those. And there’s nothing to say, they didn’t let him down. Various noble families vied with each other to invite craftsmen. The Cherkasskys, Odoevskys, Sheremetevs called the artel to their lands. They transferred family orders among themselves for the arrangement of hereditary lands. Nikolskaya Church on the estate of the Odoevskys, Nokolsko-Uryupinskoye village in the Moscow region. The Kazan Church in the Markov estate, the Church of the Archangel Michael in the Makaryevsky monastery, the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior in the village of Pavlovskoe-on-Oka – this is a completely incomplete list of the works of the artel, which was headed by master Potekhin. He came to the artel as an apprentice and very quickly became a master. When the mentor Ivanov Kirill died, he became the head of the builders. Seven years later, the artel grew to almost a hundred people. Blacksmiths, masons, carpenters were there, wood carvers, icon painters, gilders. In action brigade contract on the face. And soon an order comes from Prince Cherkassky for the construction of a family courtyard in the Kremlin. The memory of Potekhin remained – the four-story chambers of Cherkassky “on the cellars”, office buildings and a couple of churches – the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God in the name of both Gleb and Boris.

The last work of that master was a monastery complex in the estate of the Nizhny Novgorod prince Cherkassky. Potekhin Pavel began the work with great zeal, but his health and advanced age failed him, he did not finish this work. He was dismissed from work and sent to his native village, and the handsome monastery was completed under the strict guidance of his students Perfiliev Fedor, Ignatiev Kuzma.

With great reverence, contemporaries said about the masters of those. The fact that the name of the rootless serfs is written in full, both the first name and the patronymic, tells us a lot. In that era in Russia, only well-born nobles were allowed to wear patronymics, and calling a serf a patronymic was a great favor. Fate was also merciful to the masters – it gave them the opportunity to create. To posterity too – to admire the creations rewarded them with the opportunity.