“Three Saints” Holy Spring

Not far from Goreloye village there is a unique natural monument – “Three Saints” water source. It is one of the most famous and oldest holy springs of Tambov land. It includes two strong streams of water gushing from beneath of the terrace of the right bank of the Tsna river. The springs are located 3-4 meters above the river level.     

The rumor about the wondeful qualities of the Goreloye water has long ago stepped outside of the village. Tiny amounts of moniral salts, selenium and silver are containd in the waters. But it is not advised to drink loads of it because, according to the chemical tests, it contains dangerous compounds of thallium though in small amounts. Due to their disinfecting effect the water from the spring doesn’t only remain fresh for a long time but has antiseptic properties itself.        

“Three Saints” spring has been considered holy since the 17th century. The villagers have been passing the legends about this unique place and the spring water from generation to generation. One legend says that it was found and equipped by a hermit monk whose name was lost. The name “Three Saints” comes from the olden days and today no one remembers how it was invented.  

Another legend tells about a family who lived in a hut near three oak trees (hence another name of the spring – “By three oaks”) on the steep bank of the Tsna river. The family had been spending all their time praying. People from Goreloye and other villages had been visiting the hut to be healed. They prayed together with the hermits, drank the water and washed themselves in it. The locals say that Emperor Nicholas II himself visited the spring at the beginning of the 20th century during his stay in Tambov province in 1903.   

For more than two centuries people had been attending the spring seeking for help. But hard times began after the revolution. The mass pilgrimages to the spring caused negative reaction from the Soviet authorities who started another large-scale antireligious campaign immediately. The blockhouse was removed from the well and the spring was covered up with ground.

Today, people from all over Tambov and Russia come here to drink and collect the holy water from the spring. There is an icon-case arranged near the spring. It is possible to travel to Goreloye spring either from Goreloye village, across the water meadow and by the river crossing or through the territory of the forestry in the direction from Tatanovo village to Orekhovo.  

Goreloye village, Tambov district, Tambov region
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