What treasures for the NKVD searched the Soviet archaeologist Ignatius Stelletsky

History 19/02/20 What treasures for the NKVD searched the Soviet archaeologist Ignatius Stelletsky

This fact is little-known today, but soon after coming to power, the Bolsheviks began to actively explore the dungeons. They were interested in the treasures that, according to rumors and legends, was hidden in the catacombs.

the Treasures for the land of the Soviets

According to the official version, the purpose of this study was the possible practical use of underground structures: for example, it was proposed to build the quarry or the defense objects. But in fact, the new government was attracted by the information about treasures from underground caches. Almost everyone, especially a big city, went legends about the treasure. Their owners were the thieves, the Ministers of the Church, the Imperial officers, aristocrats, or merchants, after the revolution, fled abroad… it is Unknown how this information was reliable, but had to check: the government required funds for the maintenance of power structures and construction of a new socialist society.
to Provide underground works on search of the treasures entrusted, of course, security. They quickly went to one of the most experienced experts in the dungeon Ignatius stelletsky. Born in Ekaterinoslav province, he in 1905, he graduated from the Kiev Theological Academy, he then taught history and geography in Russian-Arab Seminary in Nazareth. Over the years, he visited Turkey, Syria, Egypt and became interested in archaeology. Upon returning to his homeland in 1907 he entered the Moscow archaeological Institute in 1910 and a diploma in archaeology. Being a lecturer of the archaeological Institute, he has headed the research society “Old Moscow”, and then a Commission to study the underground past.
Expedition led by stelletsky went to all parts of the Russian Empire – to study the underground tunnels, sinkholes, cave monasteries. In addition to the speleological researchrepresentations, they also conducted a search of minerals.

Cave of the mystery

In 1918 stelletsky again sent to his native Ukraine, where he was engaged in excavations Zverinetskih caves. The results of the excavations remains a mystery. Other tasks of the archaeologists was the study of the mgarsky monastery near Lubny, Murinskogo – under Chyhyryn, Kitaevskaya underground city near Kiev…
In Moscow Ignatius Yakovlevich returned in 1924. His next step was the opening of a cave city in the suburban Sanah on the Pakhra river. Scientist even settled in one of the caves, making it a Cabinet. Together with a group of students he tried to make a plan Sianowska caves, which are branched and multi-tiered system of underground tunnels.
Initially, the researchers believed that the cave in Sanah originated artificially during the reign of Ivan the terrible: allegedly a quarry where limestone was mined for the construction. However Stelletsky believed that the caves are of natural origin and that in ancient times there was a settlement, and the limestone began only in 40-ies of the XIX century.
In 1935, a large part of the inputs leading to Sianowska of the cave was eroded by the NKVD. The reason for the erosion is not entirely clear. Perhaps afraid of information leakage: one of the local caves for some necessities were used by employees of people’s Commissariat of defense. But there is another version: the representatives of the “authorities” didn’t want anyone to get to hidden treasures. In particular, it is known that enkavedeshniki repeatedly attracted I. Y. stelletsky to search for the underground gangster “caches”.
Also on the instructions “of Ausgerustete” the scientist was engaged in searches of the ancient gold mines and caves in the Caucasus. In addition, he was asked to draw up a detailed list of dungeons that could be used for defence purposes. Keep a note of this list filed Stellarcon in the early 30-ies in the Engineering Department of the red army.

In search of “Liberee”

But most of all Stellatsky is glorified as the finder of the famous library of Ivan the terrible – “Liberee”. Her quest, he devoted more than forty years of his life.
for the First time Stellectomy made it possible to explore the Kremlin dungeons in the early twentieth century. After the revolution he appealed to the GPU with a request to allow him to continue the underground work. Permission was granted, but only with certain conditions: the scientist was strictly forbidden, under any kind to announce the results of their research. Also at the end of each day he had to present to security personnel and their working record.
To help the researcher sent a team of builders. The fact is that when laying underground lines workers often came across old underground tunnels.
At the disposal of historians a Memorandum stelletsky to the MoEHE, the NKVD, in which he reports that he plans “to go through an underground passage from the Spassky tower to the St. Basil’s Cathedral, near which the descent into the big tunnel under the Red square, the tunnel is very mysterious purpose.” However, it is unknown even whether the place of this expedition, in principle.
But there is other information about the search Liberii. From sources that Stelletsky and his colleagues broke through a bricked-up wall in the Corner Arsenalnaya tower of the Kremlin and went into the hallway, where the upstairs had stairs, which goes into the secret tunnel with an Italian ceiling. After examining these findings, the Commission headed by Vinogradov and architects Shchusev, said that work must continue. However, in 1934 after the assassination of Kirov, the country began to tighten the screws and there was an order to stop work in the Kremlin. Subsequently discovered Stellarcon section of the tunnel was restored, and the well is in the Corner Arsenalnaya tower were completely concreted…
Although there is speculation that the archaeologists were still able to find Liberal, but the information about it and to this day remains classified as “Secret”.

Irina Shlionskaya

© Russian Seven

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