- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
179

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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TROITSKIY MONASTIR, AND TO THE SOUTH
179
When, therefore, the Government buildings were burnt by
robbers some years ago, it was thought that the oppor
tunity ought to be utilized of moving to a more suitable
place ; and the choice fell upon the village here, by the
well-known old monastery, where the great tributary,
the Lower Tunguska, falls into the Yenisei.
But not all the citizens approved of the choice, or
cared to be so near the clergy, I understand ; for all
the land about has been owned by the monastery from
of old, including the islands in the river, where there is
plenty of grass and good pasture. For the right of
grazing and cutting hay the people have to pay a tax
to the monastery, which places them in a position of
dependence ; even if this brings them a little nearer
to the clergy and doubtless also to heaven, most of them
would, nevertheless, prefer to be free ; and, therefore,
there were some who would rather have nioved to the
village on the south, with the attractive nåme of
Miroyédikha (i.e. the myrrh-eaters), which stands on
a firm, rocky soil, and where a good little harbour might
be made, from what I heard.
It is strange how things have turned out. Turu
khansk was founded when Mangaséya was tåken and
burnt by the Yuraks in 1662 ; and it then became the
most important town in this part of the north, with
over 600 inhabitants and an important fair. Its im
portance decreased after 1822, when it ceased to be a
town and became a village. Then it was destroyed by
the 20 robbers, and now thé centre of administration
has been moved here, and new houses are being built.
How long will it remain here ?
It seems, on the whole, that there has been a great
decline all over the northern part of this country. In
1727 there are said to have been 1500 Russians living
along the lower course of the Yenisei, and according

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