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'On the Eve of the First World War, the single Siberian province of Irkutsk was larger than all of India'
W.Bruce Lincoln

Traditional tsar hunting with dogs to be revived in Altai

By Anna Liesowska
12 May 2015

Popular with the aristocracy and the royals in the 18th and 19th centuries, the lavish festivity will be held for tourists.

A hunt will be reconstructed in the 19th century style, with people wearing traditional clothing, with their Russian wolfhound dogs at their feet. Picture: Tsarskaya Psovaya Okhota

The old Russian tradition of tsar hunting is to be revived in the Altai region with tourists invited to take part in the long-forgotten pastime.

Popular with the aristocracy in the 18th and 19th centuries, after the reign of Empress Anna, Peter the Second and Empress Elizabeth, it involved hunting animals with dogs.

An integral part was the ceremonial procession of noble men and women and their servants and huntsmen, all dressed in beautiful clothes, with tents housing delicious food and musicians, giving it all a very theatrical feel.

Now the Altai tourist company Tsarskaya Psovaya Okhota (Tsar hunting with hounds) aims to bring the tradition back with a special one-off event on May 16. The re-enactment of the festival part of the hunt will be held for the purposes of tourists and will take place in the village of Chernovaya.

Tsar hunting

The family of tsar Alexander II on hunting with hounds in 1866. Picture: Mikhail Zichi

A hunt will be reconstructed in the 19th century style, with people wearing traditional clothing and riding on horseback, with their Russian wolfhound dogs at their feet.

Tourists will be able to see the hunting dogs up close, try on the costumes, sample Russian food and listen to traditional music, as well as watch an arm wrestling contest.

Later in the summer it is hoped to make the event a regular occurrence, with organisers stressing that it is family-friendly and there is no actual hunt and no animals are harmed.

Yulia Semenikhina, deputy director general of Tsarskaya Psovaya Okhota, said: 'There are also plans to organise a pottery workshop, blacksmith, handicraft fair and shooting gallery. 

Tsar hunt


Tsar hunt


Tsar hunt


Tsar hunt

An integral part was the ceremonial procession of noble men and women and their servants and huntsmen, all dressed in beautiful clothes, with tents housing delicious food and musicians, giving it all a very theatrical feel. Pictures: Tsarskaya Psovaya Okhota

'No weapons will be in such tours, there won't be any real hunting and there won’t even be any alcohol. I would recommend going there with your family and children. You will have a good time, I assure you.'

However, there are plans to have a real hunt for adults-only later in the year, perhaps in the autumn, involving wolfhounds seeking out hares and foxes.

The preliminary cost of the three-day tour to the real hunt is 41,000 roubles ($800) if you partly pre-pay before the end of May, or 48,000 roubles ($936) after that. This price includes accommodation, meals, and the hire of horses and dogs. 

Yulia said: 'The real hunt will be guided by professional hunters and participants have the chance to get the prey for real. We are not going to use substitute animals either and it will be as it is in a real hunt.

Tsar hunt


Tsar hunt


Tsar hunt


Tsar hunt

'Half of the event is a ceremonial turn-out, on horses, with dogs and in costumes. It is worth seeing and taking part.' Pictures: Tsarskaya Psovaya Okhota

'Even if you are not skilled in hunting, but have an interest in the Russian traditional hunt as it was for nobles, you should come anyway. We have good huntsman and you will have the chance to learn. Besides, half of the event is a ceremonial turn-out, on horses, with dogs and in costumes. It is worth seeing and taking part.'

It is unusual to see the idea of a revival of tsar hunting in Siberia because, firstly, Siberia did not have any of its own noble men and, secondly, because the Russian tsar family barely visited this region at all.

Comments (3)

Really very nice post you have shared, thanks for shared here with us.
online Indian dresses, India
17/09/2016 14:35
0
0
That is to attract British tourism now that it has been banned in England
Enrique, Spain
18/05/2015 01:34
0
0
That hunting parade maybe brings money to the country, but not fair to defensless rabbits and foxes. Find different entertainment to visitors.
M, Canada
15/05/2015 21:42
5
5
1

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