Distinctive flowery shawls with black or crimson backgrounds were first produced in the Pavlovsky Posad area, 70km east of Moscow, 200 years ago. Today's town still has wooden houses, churches and several 19th century factories. For anyone interested in industrial architecture, it's definitely worth visiting, and you can even buy a shawl from the factory shop. The railway line opened in 1862, giving the textile factories quicker access to their markets. Regular passenger trains still visit the town, but for the start of this walk it might be easier to catch the No. 386 bus from the bus station behind Partizanskaya metro station. Buses leave roughly every hour on the hour and cost 110 roubles. About an hour and a half out of Moscow, the bus crosses the Klyazma River on the way into Pavlovsky Posad. Looking left, you can see the red brick spire of the Intercession-St. Basil Convent, founded in 1885 by the Labzin textile merchant family.
Soon after, you pass the tall yellow belfry of the demolished St. Dmitry Cathedral, cross the smaller Vokhonka River and reach Ploshchad Revolutsii with its World War I memorial and statue of Lenin. Get off the bus here and head back over the bridge to have a look at the belfry. Across the road, next to the river, is a small 1870s chapel built to commemorate the war against Napoleon in 1812. There is a memorial to a local war hero, Gerasim Kurin, nearby. Walk past the chapel, along the river for a glimpse of the Filimonovo district of town. Four silk-weaving villages joined together in the mid-19th century to form Pavlovsky Posad. They still retain some of their rural character. Follow the river until you come to another bridge leading left, back across the Vokhonka towards the centre of town.
Take the first right turn after the bridge and follow this track to the end, between wooden houses. Turn left at the end and then right to reach the Historical Museum, just the other side of the railway. The museum (open Tue.-Sun., 10 am-5 pm, 120/60 roubles for foreigners/residents) is close to the earliest textile factories, visible across the road. The old wooden building has rooms dedicated to all aspects of the town's industries, textile printing, fire-hose manufacturing and woodcarving. It also celebrates the achievements of local figures, like war-hero Kurin, the actor Vyacheslav Tikhonov (who played Prince Bolkonsky in the Oscar-winning "War and Peace") and cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky. The exhibits include models of the town's most interesting buildings (including churches that no longer exist), shawl-printing wood blocks and a horse-drawn fire carriage.
Cross back over the railway, go straight ahead along Ulitsa Bolshaya Pokrovka and right turn just before the statue of Lenin into Ulitsa Kirova. This is one of Paslovsky Posad's main avenues, lined with stone merchants' houses. You could do worse than call into the Don Pizzarone café for refreshments. Walk past the park and turn left into Ulitsa Gertsena, where you will find the factory shop of the Pavloposadskaya Shawl Manufacturers at a fork in the road. This is a great place to pick up a souvenir with a big choice of shawls and kerchiefs in wool and silk.
The railway station is behind you at the other end of Ulitsa Gertsena. You may decide to head straight there, but if you'd like to explore one more of the town's attractive suburbs, take the left fork instead and turn right along Karpovskaya Ulitsa with its interesting 19th and early 20th century houses. The building with three metal turrets (which you may recognise from one of the museum's models) housed the early Bolshevik Printing Press in 1908. When the road stops, carry on along a track leading between a rubbish dump and an electricity sub-station (!), then right across a patch of waste ground with silver birch trees. The path, initially muddy and off-putting, soon improves and a pedestrian bridge carries you over the Klyazma River to the village of Gorodok.
The 19th century textile factory on the far side was built by Alexei and Ivan Kudin. The Kudin brothers were peasants who rose as master weavers through the silk mill hierarchy to found their own factory. Turn left along Gorodkovskaya Ulitsa and third right into Shkolnaya Ulitsa to see their old houses at Nos. 14 and 16. A right-left-right wiggle through the wooden houses from Shkolnaya Ulitsa will bring you to the attractive red and white Annunciation Church in the neo-Byzantine style. The Kudin brothers paid for this church in 1908; it has been beautifully restored and welcomes visitors. Behind the church are the simple graves of the Kudin family.
Head back towards the river through the little village streets. Pass the factory and go on round the edge of it to a road bridge back over the Klyazma. Cross over and carry straight on, taking the next turnings right, left and right again onto Ulitsa Privokzalnaya to reach the bus and train stations, opposite the market. If the bus times are not convenient, try the train, which costs 120 roubles, takes a reliable hour and a half (unlike the bus, which could get stuck in traffic) and takes you all the way in to Kursky Station in Moscow.
Landmark of the week
Belfry of the St. Dmitry Cathedral
This tall, triple-tiered bell tower is all that is left of the central Dmitriyevsky Cathedral, which was demolished in the 1950s. The surviving Empire style tower, built in 1839, has become a kind of town symbol. A small, red monument nearby marks the spot where Dmitry Donskoi first built a wooden chapel here in the 14th century.