Memorial on the site of the doom of Yu.A. Gagarin and V.S. Seryogin

Kirzhach district, village of Novosyolovo
56.04650536, 39.02704157

On March 27, 1968, during the training flight, two Heroes of the Soviet Union perished – the world's first cosmonaut Yu.A. Gagarin and test pilot V.S. Seryogin. Their plane crashed near the village of Novosyolovo, 18 km from the town of Kirzhach in the Vladimir region. On the site of their doom, a memorial was opened on October 17, 1975.   The monument is a 16-meter stele in the shape of a wing of an airplane, made of red granite. Portraits of Yu. Gagarin and V. Seryogin are carved on the front side of the stele. At the base, the stele is girdled with a ring of black labradarite. Inside the ring there is a five-edged plate with a memorable inscription.

The memorial was built according to the project of a group of sculptors and architects, headed by Professor N.N. Ullas. Sculptor M.M. Bolkhovitinov and chief architect of the Vladimir region A.P. Akimov worked together with him.

Not far from the memorial there is a guest house with a museum room, where some personal belongings of Gagarin and Seryogin are kept, which were donated to the museum by their relatives and cosmonauts. The museum room also includes photographs, books and children's drawings on space themes.  Near the house there is a MiG-15 airplane – an exact copy of the one on which Yu.A. Gagarin and V.S. Seryogin made their last flight. 

Annually, on March 27 a rally of memory "Interrupted flight" is held on the territory of the memorial. The Kirzhach regional museum of local history and art regularly holds public readings  devoted to the memory of Yu.A. Gagarin (Gagarin readings), in which representatives of the public and education, adults and children take part.

Two hundred meters from the site of the doom of Yu. Gagarin and V. Seryogin is the St. Andrew's Church (1825). It was this church, still half ruined in 1968, that served as a landmark for finding the place where the airplane crashed. Now the St. Andrew's Church is restored with the direct participation of cosmonauts, led by A.A. Leonov, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, the Soviet cosmonaut No. 11, who first went into outer space. Part of the murals inside the temple is made according to the sketch of A.A. Leonov himself. Under the dome, next to Christ and Andrew the First-Called, a parade of planets and a spaceship are depicted, on the walls – patron saints of the first cosmonauts. On the restored bell tower there are 9 bells – by the number of cosmonauts who perished in the history of space flights, and each bell carries the name of one of them. The bells "Yuri Gagarin", "Vladimir Komarov" and others – like the souls of the heroes who have died prematurely.    This unique orthodox-cosmic temple in the village of Novosyolovo connects space as a scientific breakthrough and challenge thrown by a man the unknown cosmos, and space as part of the divine universe.

Author: V. Korolkova