Our partner in Samara works in downtown just a step from the mythical river Volga that is nearly as wide as St-Laurent in Quebec. After Ukraine and its capital Kiev that looks like a major European capital, this time it was about going back to the source of the Russian hinterland, the one that doesn’t make any concessions. Beginning with Sergei the taxi driver whose mockery and black humor put me quickly in context.
Like the rest of Russia, the region’s growth seems to be temporarily affected by the ruble crisis; however, the growth is obvious. Huge shopping malls are situated along the principal highway running parallel to the Volga; this highway is a congested artery, as Sergei says. You need sometimes two hours to enter or leave the city. Almost everywhere I see signs of beauty shops glittering in the dark of the falling night; it’s a sure sign…
“Women in Samara are the most beautiful in Russia,”- Sergei assures with confidence. The reason is that the Russian Empress Catherine II was sending there in exile all the metropolitan Russian beauties who could compete with her.
When in Samara, you should learn to command respect because life is hard here as elsewhere; however, local women still keep the Russian feminine aspect that always deeply touches me.
“Man must behave as a man and know how to make decisions” – Yana and her friend would tell me with confidence as we are walking around the city struck by freezing cold.
I’m touched. These Russian women demand men to be strong, virile and able to make decisions.
This story is based on historical facts and my personal research in the field of psychology, sociology and, oddly enough, fine art - photography. And it all started with the fact that someone said: "The most beautiful girls live in Samara!"
Who was the author of this opinion, statement or definition - it does not matter. But, why it appeared, that's what I want to tell you about. Or rather, let's try to determine exactly, is this true, and who is responsible for this.
The city of Samara was founded in 1586 as a fortress, on the bend of the rivers of Samara and the Volga, to protect the eastern borders, from the raids of nomads. The city itself was a fortress, began to expand and became merchant, where food was being produced - grain, fish and livestock. Because, as the fortress was inhabited mainly by military men, then of course women did not have enough. Because of the beauty and its concept in those days, nobody was interested in beauty. Nearby, scattered settlements, mainly were from a small number of residents. In such settlements, as a rule, there were many kinship ties and the villages grew mainly from closely related tribal tribes. And according to the laws of nature, with related incest, there were, as a rule, people not particularly beautiful.
There are several interesting, and somewhere, even incredibly absurd and erroneous versions, when all this happened.
Years of life: December 18, 1709 / December 25, 1761 (January 5, 1762), St. Petersburg).
Years of government: 1741-1762
Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter I, had many whims, among which was a passion for beautiful clothes and for a breezy, full of entertainment lifestyle. Passion for dresses and to care for their beauty at the Empress bordered on mania. Since the accession to the throne, Elizabeth has not dressed one dress twice. Dancing to-drop and subject to a strong sweat due to premature fullness, the empress often changed her dress three times during one ball. In 1753, during a fire in one of her Moscow palaces, 4000 dresses burned, but after death in her wardrobes there were still 15,000 "robes", mostly "not worn," and in addition, two chests of silk stockings, one thousand pairs of shoes and more than a hundred pieces of French materials. Elizabeth was waiting for the arrival of French ships to Petersburg and ordered to immediately buy new items brought by them before they were seen by others. Three months after her arrival in Moscow for the coronation, she managed to wear costumes all over the world. Well, and as usual, such an obsession with beauty, and had a problem with her surroundings. Elizabeth was supposed to look prettier and more magnificent than anyone in the neighborhood. So, she exiled all the beautiful girls, away from her eyes, so as not to look on the background of their harmony and beauty of secondary, because she was a gorgeous lady. So she decided to exile all the sickly beauties to Samara. Thus, Samara was replenished with a large number of beauties, in fact, who also bred their own kind, ahead of all of Russia.
1 How many beautiful girls exiled Elizabeth to Samara?
- A hundred, two, three, thousands?
2 Where and who selected these most beautiful girls?
3 From which settlements they were sent?
4 On what grounds were they elected?
5 If all beautiful girls were sent to Samara, then, are many beautiful Samarans the descendants of those same exiles? !!
7 Who decided this exile in Samara?
9 Where did this "precise" historical fact come from, about this?
10 And so on ...
I feel comforted and reassured. What a delight to feel this support and this encouragement!
They look smiling at each other and tell me mischievously: “Nothing is better for us, Russian women than feeling weak and protected by a strong man.”
All of this is surprising and unexpected. Yet I don’t see any weakness of character in these beautiful girls who are full of confidence and completely assume themselves as women. They are discussing among themselves in a universe that is theirs.
“It’s a women’s discussion,” – Alena explains me. “You don’t need to understand it because you are a man.”
Everything is so simple and transparent. Samara is a city of men and women, on the Volga riverside, at the heart of Russia. I let myself be carried away, I don’t feel being judged, I’m safe.
During the reign of Catherine II (Empress from 28.06.1762 to 06.11.1796), there was a capture of Samara and its release from the Pugachev uprising. It was in 1775. This was the first major success of the troops of Catherine the Great. The reign of Catherine II, one of the most significant in Russian history, and its positive sides had a great influence on subsequent events, including the scientific and cultural development of the country. After that, the Russian state carried out reforms, which produced a strong rise in urban development and Samara in particular.
Catherine II approved the arms of Samara in 1780. It was: ... "a wild goat, white, standing on the grass in a blue field." Before that, it was the emblem of the regiment stationed in Samara. Thus, Catherine the Great was firmly entrenched in the history of Samara, although she herself never was.
Catherine the Great, being a lady very capricious, lascivious and showing interest in all sorts of passions and entertainments, including sexual ones, took her favorites and servants in the form of maids. As you know, ladies and gentlemen who surrounded such a magnificent person were elected to the company personally by Catherine II, on the basis of sympathy, beauty and mannerisms. After all, only the empress could afford to have everything only the best, including her surroundings.
But, where did the beautiful girls come from in Samara?
Many, even in our time, do not have exact information, saying something like this: "The Empress carried with her a huge number of very beautiful, young maids who led a depraved, sexual way of life, giving her majesty of pleasure and entertainment ... Thus, Catherine II, having created a huge company of such girls, has arrived to Samara and has left them here, for some obscure reason ... "
Well, and as it follows from any incredible, fictional story, these girls immediately started to marry, for local men. Thus, "diluting" its beauty of the blood is not particularly beautiful local people, leaving behind a myriad of beautiful children, namely, girls. "
Analyzing this topic, you need to imagine several conclusions and ask many questions. Many questions and answers I'll write to you. Many questions and answers will appear to you.
1 How many beautiful girls Catherine II took with her, and left them in Samara?
One dozen - is not able to breed like this to the whole province, even with all desire.
A hundred, two, three? Catherine could with her carry so many servants and keep her, and to the same to allow herself to leave everyone in Samara? Maybe at the court someone was from the libertines, but that on such a scale - do not even believe it!
2 Where, how and by whom were selected these most beautiful "thoroughbred" girls?
3 Where do they come from, what faith and what kind of tribe?
4 By what signs, beauty, or by other talents, they were elected?
5 From where did Catherine gain so many beautiful, dissolute maidens?
In Russia there has always been a highly moral people who respected the family and the law of God. And participation in adultery and debauchery was a mortal sin! Virginity was an example for imitation of many marrying girls. The virginity and virginity of the girl was the key to family life. Remember about the tar, which dirty the gate of the courtyard, where there was a whore. Such a family often moved to another area, knowing that their daughter had dishonored the whole family and would never marry again!
6 If in Samara, all the abandoned girls were prostitutes of the court, then, so many beautiful Samarcane descendants of those same prostitutes, and bear such a yoke? !!
7 How could Catherine leave the girls in Samara, if she herself was not even in Samara?
8 Who has come up with this dubious mission of "cultivating beauty"?
9 Are the Samara men ready to take in themselves the wives of slutty girls to continue their kind and not be considered a people "cuckolds" and so on?
10 Where did this "precise" historical fact come from?
11 And so on ...
Doing an analysis of all the questions presented, one can draw only one conclusion that this "legend" is fictitious and has no basis. It is immoral and has no historical truth and meaning.