About the author:
Marina I. Shcherbakova, DSc in Philology, Professor, Director of Research, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6705-8707
This study was carried out at IWL RAS with a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project No 20-012- 00098А).
The article is devoted to the little-known travel notes about Abkhazia by Andrey N. Murav’yov, an outstanding Russian spiritual writer, the pioneer of the genre of literary pilgrimage travels, the discoverer of Christian and Orthodox shrines in Russia and abroad for his compatriots and contemporaries. Travel essay “Abkhazia. Pitsunda”, included as a separate chapter in the book “Georgia and Armenia”, was created under the impression of the author’s trip in the spring of 1847 to the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. It presents genre sketches of the city life of Sukhumi, descriptions of the luxurious southern nature, it gives excursions into the history of the region, and it characterises the features of the economic state. The main part of Andrey Murav’yov’s Black Sea memories concerns Pitsunda. As a deep connoisseur of the history of Christianity, Andrey Murav’yov traced its ancient roots in the land of Abkhazia, where the apostles Simon the Canaanean, Andrew the First- Called, St. John Chrysostom. In detailed descriptions of the ancient churches, the writer recorded their condition; despite the artistic form of the story, they have the value of a reliable historical document that helps to reconstruct many of the losses that occurred under the influence of time.