Lipetsk Oblast is an ancient home of nature reserves and crafts. It is home to Lipetskiye Mineralny Vody, one of the oldest resorts built in 1805; Galichya Gora, one of the smallest nature reserves in the world; the Borki palace built in the style of a small castle; Monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (Zadonsk), and the wonderful Yeletskiye lace is also made here.
Lipetsk Oblast is mostly famous for its arts and crafts; the Romanov clay toys, lacquer miniatures and decorative paintings on metal are still made here. The craft museum in Yelets contains a workshop where Yelets piano accordions are made and repaired. The region is also home to the Yelets lace school, famous since the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It is made by hand on bobbins.
But Yelets is not only famous for its lace and accordions: The philosopher Vasily Rozanov was a teacher in the town's classical male gymnasium and the writer Mikhail Prishvin studied in the same school. The Russian writer Ivan Bunin was also a pupil here for a while. Ivan left in fourth grade and returned to his parental estate in Ozerki, which is also in contemporary Lipetsk Oblast. The Antonovka Apples Festival associated with the writer's life and work is held every year in September in the historic center of Yelets. The creative sites Dvoryansky Sad, Rumyantsev Photo Studio, Orlovskaya Street and the Apple Market — all operate during the festival. A number of competitions are held: the Living Word, the Best 19th-20th Century Costume, From Grandma's Chest and the Flower Market. Throughout the day, visitors and participants are given baked apples, fresh Antonovka apples and apple pies.
The region is home to the tiny Galichya Gora nature reserve. Here you can find plants that are uncommon in this region but common for the Caucasus, Altai and Alps, for example mountain fern. The reserve's six areas are distributed around the region not far from rivers.
Lipetsk also has its own saint: Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh and Yelets. There are many local holy sites associated with him: he wrote one of his most important works, a Spiritual Treasure Gathered from the World, in the Saint Tikhon Transfiguration Convent, which was a monastery before the revolution. The village of Tyunino in Zadonsky district, according to legend, was his favorite place to rest; it is said that the saint cleared the spring and built a well. A relic of Tikhon of Zadonsk is kept in Saint Tikhon Transfiguration Monastery which attracts pilgrims from all over the world.
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