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  • Sunrise: 03:43AM
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  • The current local time in Elektrostal is 25 minutes ahead of apparent solar time.

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  • Location: Moscow Oblast, Russia
  • Latitude: 55.79. Longitude: 38.46
  • Population: 144,000

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DCU researcher contributes to new interactive app offering historical tours of Venice

A new smartphone app will offer users character driven narrative tours of the floating city, including one following the captain of Venice’s ‘vice squad’ written by Dr Celeste McNamara from the School of History and Geography.

The tour, titled ‘Venice Unmasked’, presents a fictionalised account of a real 18th criminal investigation led by Capitano Zuanne Biancafior, a real historical figure. Users follow the clues with Capitano Biancafior, from the church of the Carmelites to Piazza San Marco, and discover a city struggling to contain a libertine culture of gambling, seduction, and Carnival excess. The content of the tour is grounded in research conducted by Dr McNamara.

Dr Celeste McNamara said:

“In ‘Venice Unmasked’ you get to join a captain of the 'vice squad' to track down a so-called libertine who's been haunting the city's churches - supposedly safe places - in order to sexually harass women. What I wanted to do over a number of sites was explore Venice in this era, bring to the surface its deep contradictions and tensions, and show how the government handled the apparently timeless problem of predatory men who seemed to believe they could act with impunity.”

‘Venice Unmasked’ is one of three first-person stories drawn from key moments across the 16 th -to-18 th centuries. Each offers the user the chance to experience the lived history of the narrator. In ‘Boatmakers, Bridges, and Battles’, users follow a young shipbuilding apprentice from the Arsenale. In ‘City of Refuge’, users are introduced to the migrant communities of the Castello district in the 16th Century.

The app also offers an alternative to Google Maps for users looking to navigate Venice in a more historically immersive way. It superimposes a map created by 18th-century cartographer Ludovico Ughi onto present day Venice, creating an interactive resource that can be used to navigate the city.

The smartphone app – which can be downloaded for free – is the latest in the acclaimed HistoryCity series, led by historians in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies at the University of Exeter. For this project, they have collaborated closely with counterparts at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and the Venice Centre for Digital and Public Humanities.

HistoryCity is a publicly funded project. Apps include Hidden: Valencia, Florence, Exeter, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Deventer, Trento, Tours, and Landshut. Upcoming releases this year include a new trail for Hidden Trento, set in 1943, that addresses the Second World War and Fascism in Italy. All apps are free from the App Store and Google Play.

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Savvino-storozhevsky monastery and museum.

Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery and Museum

Zvenigorod's most famous sight is the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, which was founded in 1398 by the monk Savva from the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, at the invitation and with the support of Prince Yury Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod. Savva was later canonised as St Sabbas (Savva) of Storozhev. The monastery late flourished under the reign of Tsar Alexis, who chose the monastery as his family church and often went on pilgrimage there and made lots of donations to it. Most of the monastery’s buildings date from this time. The monastery is heavily fortified with thick walls and six towers, the most impressive of which is the Krasny Tower which also serves as the eastern entrance. The monastery was closed in 1918 and only reopened in 1995. In 1998 Patriarch Alexius II took part in a service to return the relics of St Sabbas to the monastery. Today the monastery has the status of a stauropegic monastery, which is second in status to a lavra. In addition to being a working monastery, it also holds the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum.

Belfry and Neighbouring Churches

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Located near the main entrance is the monastery's belfry which is perhaps the calling card of the monastery due to its uniqueness. It was built in the 1650s and the St Sergius of Radonezh’s Church was opened on the middle tier in the mid-17th century, although it was originally dedicated to the Trinity. The belfry's 35-tonne Great Bladgovestny Bell fell in 1941 and was only restored and returned in 2003. Attached to the belfry is a large refectory and the Transfiguration Church, both of which were built on the orders of Tsar Alexis in the 1650s.  

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To the left of the belfry is another, smaller, refectory which is attached to the Trinity Gate-Church, which was also constructed in the 1650s on the orders of Tsar Alexis who made it his own family church. The church is elaborately decorated with colourful trims and underneath the archway is a beautiful 19th century fresco.

Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral

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The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is the oldest building in the monastery and among the oldest buildings in the Moscow Region. It was built between 1404 and 1405 during the lifetime of St Sabbas and using the funds of Prince Yury of Zvenigorod. The white-stone cathedral is a standard four-pillar design with a single golden dome. After the death of St Sabbas he was interred in the cathedral and a new altar dedicated to him was added.

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Under the reign of Tsar Alexis the cathedral was decorated with frescoes by Stepan Ryazanets, some of which remain today. Tsar Alexis also presented the cathedral with a five-tier iconostasis, the top row of icons have been preserved.

Tsaritsa's Chambers

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The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is located between the Tsaritsa's Chambers of the left and the Palace of Tsar Alexis on the right. The Tsaritsa's Chambers were built in the mid-17th century for the wife of Tsar Alexey - Tsaritsa Maria Ilinichna Miloskavskaya. The design of the building is influenced by the ancient Russian architectural style. Is prettier than the Tsar's chambers opposite, being red in colour with elaborately decorated window frames and entrance.

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At present the Tsaritsa's Chambers houses the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum. Among its displays is an accurate recreation of the interior of a noble lady's chambers including furniture, decorations and a decorated tiled oven, and an exhibition on the history of Zvenigorod and the monastery.

Palace of Tsar Alexis

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The Palace of Tsar Alexis was built in the 1650s and is now one of the best surviving examples of non-religious architecture of that era. It was built especially for Tsar Alexis who often visited the monastery on religious pilgrimages. Its most striking feature is its pretty row of nine chimney spouts which resemble towers.

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The Unique Burial of a Child of Early Scythian Time at the Cemetery of Saryg-Bulun (Tuva)

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Pages:  379-406

In 1988, the Tuvan Archaeological Expedition (led by M. E. Kilunovskaya and V. A. Semenov) discovered a unique burial of the early Iron Age at Saryg-Bulun in Central Tuva. There are two burial mounds of the Aldy-Bel culture dated by 7th century BC. Within the barrows, which adjoined one another, forming a figure-of-eight, there were discovered 7 burials, from which a representative collection of artifacts was recovered. Burial 5 was the most unique, it was found in a coffin made of a larch trunk, with a tightly closed lid. Due to the preservative properties of larch and lack of air access, the coffin contained a well-preserved mummy of a child with an accompanying set of grave goods. The interred individual retained the skin on his face and had a leather headdress painted with red pigment and a coat, sewn from jerboa fur. The coat was belted with a leather belt with bronze ornaments and buckles. Besides that, a leather quiver with arrows with the shafts decorated with painted ornaments, fully preserved battle pick and a bow were buried in the coffin. Unexpectedly, the full-genomic analysis, showed that the individual was female. This fact opens a new aspect in the study of the social history of the Scythian society and perhaps brings us back to the myth of the Amazons, discussed by Herodotus. Of course, this discovery is unique in its preservation for the Scythian culture of Tuva and requires careful study and conservation.

Keywords: Tuva, Early Iron Age, early Scythian period, Aldy-Bel culture, barrow, burial in the coffin, mummy, full genome sequencing, aDNA

Information about authors: Marina Kilunovskaya (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, Saint Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation E-mail: [email protected] Vladimir Semenov (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, Saint Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation E-mail: [email protected] Varvara Busova  (Moscow, Russian Federation).  (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, Saint Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected] Kharis Mustafin  (Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Technical Sciences. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.  Institutsky Lane, 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected] Irina Alborova  (Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Biological Sciences. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.  Institutsky Lane, 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected] Alina Matzvai  (Moscow, Russian Federation). Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.  Institutsky Lane, 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected]

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    Dr Celeste McNamara has contributed a route to an app offering character driven guided historical tours of Venice, developed by the University of Exeter's HistoryCity project A new smartphone app will offer users character driven narrative tours of the floating city, including one following the captain of Venice's 'vice squad' written by Dr Celeste McNamara from the School of History ...

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  21. Elektrostal

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