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Oka Park in Murom photo

The Oka Park is exactly on the hill where the Murom Kremlin used to be located. One of its sides faced the Oka river, deep ravines were on the other two sides, and the fourth side faced the Kozye Boloto (Goat Marsh). 

The Murom Kremlin was founded in 862 by colonists of Prince Rurik. It was placed in a very advantageous place, therefore it was of strategic importance for the defense of Slavic lands from attacks from the east. Gleb Vladimirovich was the first prince to rule over Murom. It is believed that he founded the Transfiguration Monastery, one of the very first monasteries in Russia.

The fortifications of the Murom Kremlin were made of wood, so they were repeatedly burned down, in 1293 by the Mongol-Tatar troops of Khan Baty, and then in internecine wars. In 16 century it was in Murom that Tsar Ivan the Terrible gathered troops to march on Kazan, and after capturing Kazan he gave an order to build four stone churches in the city.

After the capture of Kazan the borders of Russia were pushed far to the east, and so the wooden fortifications of the Kremlin lost their defensive significance. Under Catherine the Great they were finally dismantled, and the Oka Park was created instead of them. 

The Nativity Cathedral built by the order of Ivan the Terrible was in the middle of the Oka Park, but, unfortunately, in Soviet times it was blown up. Now a large Statue of Ilya Muromets, which has become a symbol of the city, is on the steep bank of the Oka.