"Kamenka, Russia"

by Michael Boss

Gouache on Rag Board

14’Δω X 18"

From the collection of Linda Tate, Cincinnati, Ohio

Catholic emigrants from Brandenburg, Germany and Bohemia founded Kamenka in 1764.  Originally called Bahr, the name was later changed to Kamenka.  The colony is on the hilly side (bergseite) of the Volga.  It is located inland and 73 miles downriver from Saratov. 

The church, St. Mary's Catholic Church, was built in 1907 in the neogothic style.  It had a choir loft and pipe organ that was built in South Tyrol.  Italian artists were hired to paint the frescoes in the church.  Unlike many of the Volga German churches, the Kamenka church survived the Stalinist era relatively intact, but has fallen into a sad state of disrepair over the last ten years or so.