"Katharinenstadt, Russia"

by Michael Boss

Oil on Linen

24ĺ─¨ X 40ĺ─¨

From the collection of Linda Tate, Cincinnati, Ohio

Situated 30-plus miles upriver from Saratov, Katharinenstadt was founded in the year 1766 by Lutherans, Reformed, and Roman Catholics.  Early on, the Lutherans and Catholics shared invited ministers, while the Reformed members stayed with their own clergy. 
Katharinenstadtĺ─˘s geography left it rather lacking in usable farm ground and one of the main saleable crops was tobacco.  Unfortunately, it did not bring the higher revenue, as grain would have. 

Although the population was considered farmers, many tradespeople lived and served the local community, ina addition to selling their goods at the Volga docks.  Like Norka, Katharinenstadt was also considered one of the most successful of all the colonies. 

Today, Katharinenstadt, Russia is known as Marx or Marxstadt.  The big Lutheran Church (mid-distance in the painting) still survives, but not in its former glory.  The Catholic Church was torn down and a garden to Karl Marx exists there yet to this day.