Kasli in the Chelyabinsk region and Kasli castings

The town of Kasli, its history and sights

Kasli is a small town in the Chelyabinsk region, widely known for the Kasli cast iron and the necklace of picturesque lakes. The population of the town is 16.7 thousand people. The name “Kasli” came from the lakes Bolshiye and Malye Kasli and in translation from Bashkir means “goose” (or in another version from the Bashkir word meaning “turfy”).

Kasli stele near Kirets lake

The history of Kasli

History of Kasli begins in 1747 – with the founding of an iron smelting and iron works by the merchant Y.R. Korobkov. But in 1751 the plant was sold to N.N. Demidov. Products of the plant were delivered to the center of the country from Sorokinskaya pier by barges on the spring river Ufa.

During the Peasants’ war at the beginning of 1774 the workers of the plant went over to the side of Pugachev. Almost two months later, government troops knocked out the Pugachevites from the Kaslinsky factory, but later (June 29, 1774) a detachment of rebellious Bashkirs completely burned Kaslinsky plant. Restored the enterprise only by the end of 1775.

Kasli, an old photo

In 1809 Pyotr Grigorievich Demidov sold the Kaslinsky factory to the merchant Lev Rastorguev. The same merchant whose chic mansion is standing in the center of Ekaterinburg. The factory began to actively develop.

In 1822-1823 large-scale disturbances at the Kyshtym plants once again broke out with the participation of about 8 thousand workers. The confrontation with the authorities lasted almost a year.

After the death of L.I. Rastorguev, the Kyshtym plants were transferred to his daughters M.L. Kharitonova and E.L. Zotova. The plant manager Grigory Zotov became famous for his cruelty, for which he was nicknamed the Kyshtym Beast (but it was under him that the plant seriously started iron casting). In 1837 Zotov and factory co-owner P.Ya. Kharitonov were exiled to Köksholm under the sentence of the court.

Wide popularity to Kaslya came in the middle of the XIX century due to the production of high quality artistic castings from iron. The success was due to the quality cast iron, excellent molding sand as well as good craftsmen. Kaslinskiy molding sands extracted near the plant were considered the best in the entire Urals and were not inferior to the best European ones. By the way, the next highest quality sands in the Urals were considered to be those of the Kamensky and Rezhevsky plants.

Kaslino castings received many awards at leading exhibitions. But the real triumph of Kasli was the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris. The outstanding cast iron pavilion received the highest award of the Grand Prix and the Grand Gold Medal. Now this cast-iron pavilion and many cast-iron sculptures can be seen in the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts (i.e. outside his native Chelyabinsk region). By the way, the Kaslino pavilion is the only architectural structure made of cast iron in the world that is in the museum collection.

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Kasli cast iron pavilion

Kaslinsky Cast-Iron Pavilion

Talented sculptors M.D. Kanayev, P.K. Klodt, N.R. and R.R. Bakhi, V.F. Torokin and others worked at the plant. Kaslino castings are highly valued among collectors. Kasli master foundry workers dedicated the story “The Cast Iron Grandmother” by writer Pavel Petrovich Bazhov.

In 1928, Kaslinsky plant for the first time in the country (!) started to produce meat grinders. And also from the unusual things at KMZ whaling harpoons were produced.

These days, the Kaslino Architectural and Artistic Casting Plant belongs to the Mechel Company from Moscow. According to local residents, the real professionals of their craft have moved to small private foundries, and the products of the plant are no longer what they used to be. There is also a plant “Radiy” (“Kasli Radio Plant”) in the city.

Old Kasli pictures are depicted on the photos of VL Metenkov and color photos of S.M. Prokudin-Gorsky, who visited Kasli plant in 1910.

And one more interesting fact. In 1898 in Kaslya writer Alya Rakhmanova was born. In 1925 her family was exiled from the USSR abroad. Autobiographical books by Ali Rakhmanova were published in a circulation of more than two million copies in 22 languages, but never in Russian. This writer is well known in the world, but is forgotten in the Urals.

Attractions of Kasli

What can be seen in Kasly nowadays? In the development of the city are dominated by small wooden houses, among which you can find buildings a century old and more. Even such old buildings as the former house of the manager (XVIII century), hospital (XIX century) and monuments of industrial architecture of the XIX century are preserved today.

Kasli factory hospital was built allegedly designed by MP Malakhov between 1810 and 1827. This once beautiful building (an example of late classicism) is now in a dilapidated condition. Kasli hospital is an architectural monument of federal importance.

Kasli factory hospital

In Kaslya there is a Museum of Artistic Casting (Historical and Artistic Museum). Opened back in 1963 the museum is very small. The exhibits occupy just one small room. Even in Yekaterinburg (in the Museum of Fine Arts) the Kasliysk casting is more than in Kaslye.

Museum of artistic castings in Kasli

Address of the Kasli Art Casting Museum: Kasli, Sovetskaya ul. 38.

GPS coordinates of the museum: N 55º 53.693´, E 060º 45.228´.

Tel. (35149) 2-21-69.

Open Monday through Saturday from 09:00 to 17:00 (Sunday off).

Museum in Kasli

There is also a house-museum of sculptor A. Chirkin. Here you can see the talented sculptor’s house, a workshop, household items and furniture of the late 19th century, the sculptures themselves, etc. The museum is situated at 86, St. Memory Street, 1905. Tel. (35149) 2-24-07, 2-21-69.

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The most remarkable monument of architecture of Kasli – Church of Ascension. It was built in 1852 in eclectic Russian-Byzantine style by the project of architect E. H. Sartorius. For the first decades the church was not heated. Dutch furnaces were built only in 1904. In 1930 the church was closed. It housed a clubhouse, then stored grain. But in 1943, the church was returned to the Orthodox.

The church is the architectural dominant of the city. The height of the bell tower with a cross – 56 m. Unfortunately, it is not customary to let tourists to the bell tower, although it provides a great view of the city and the Cherry Mountains on the horizon. There are plenty of “all-seeing eyes” outside and inside the temple (in architectural forms and frescoes). Curiously, in some sources there is information about some underground passage under the church.

Nearby stands the unremarkable St. Nicholas church of 1861, which was previously used for divine services in the wintertime.

Church of the Ascension

The Ascension Church is located right near the bus station (Kommuny st., 64).

Another of Kasli’s “tricks” is the Winter Garden. It is often written that it is the only one in the Urals. I will not claim that this is true, but it is worth a visit. The Winter Garden was created in the early 1980s and has more than 150 types of plants. Here you can see palms, American liana, ficuses, cycads, Chinese nettle rami, monstera, coffee tree, pomegranates, figs, mandarin and many more. Local newlyweds come here for photo shoots.

The winter garden is located right inside the Zakharov Cultural Center (there used to be an inner courtyard here). When “Uraloved” visited the garden in 2014, there was an owl in it, for which mice were bred.

To arrange a visit to the Winter Garden in Kaslya you can call (351) 492-17-34. Address: Lenina ul. 16. GPS coordinates of the Winter Garden: N 55º 54.154´, E 060º 44.777´. Also in the building there is a small museum of old buildings.

The monument to Ivan Mihajlovich Zakharov, a kaslinsky worker, revolutionary and the first commissar of labour who was killed by the White Guard.

Winter garden and Zakharov monument

Among the most notable monuments of the city are the following:

  • Monument to fighters who fell for the revolution, sculptor K.A. Klodt (the same monuments are installed in Verkhny and Nizhny Ufaley, Zlatoust, Sysert, Lysva) and the monument on the mass grave next door with the inscription, which makes the soul freeze.

Common grave and monument to fighters who fell for the revolution

  • Monument to home front workers and soldiers of the Urals.

Monument to Toilers of the Home Front and Urals Warriors

  • Monument to fallen countrymen. It is symbolic that the hill, on which the almost five-meter high monument stands, includes the earth from the cities-heroes and burial places of the deceased Kaslinsk citizens. This is one of the most large-scale monuments on the subject of the Great Patriotic War in the Chelyabinsk region. During a trip to Kasli in March 2014, participants of the “Uraloved” project witnessed an unusual celestial phenomenon in this place.
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Monument to fallen countrymen and an unusual cloud

All monuments are cast from cast iron at the Kaslinsky plant.

But still the main attraction of Kasli, in my opinion, is the old city cemetery (N 55º53.297´; E 60º46.497´). It is the one that really distinguishes the town from others of its kind. The Kaslino necropolis is a real open-air museum, where many cast-iron tombstones are masterpieces of art. All in all, the memorial complex has about 80 monuments with Kaslinsky castings from different times and almost every grave has a cast-iron wreath on it. Great Kaslinsky sculptors and master founders are also buried here: Klodt, Kanayev, Bach, Chirkin, Torokov, father and son Gilevs.

Close to the composition with cast-iron busts of Bach, Klodt and Kanayev a huge stone with a beaten inscription: “My unforgettable husband, academician sculpture N.R. Bach, born in St. Petersburg on January 27, 1853, who died in Kaslyah January 18, 1885”.

Monument to the sculptor N.R. Bakh

And the most large-scale tombstone belongs to the master of cast iron S.M. Gilev, about three meters high. The huge sculpture stands on a massive granite slab.

Grave of S.M.Gilev

Nearby there is a grave of a talented master Vasily Fyodorovich Torokin – the hero of the story of Pavel Bazhov “The Cast-iron Grandmother”. On the side of the pedestal there is an inscription that has suffered from vandals: “Work is a lasting thing. A man will die, but his work remains”.

Grave of the master V.F. Torokin

The cast-iron tombstone of Aida Iovleva also stands out. Cast in 1949 by the master P. S. Anikin, the bust is similar to the portrait sculptures of the Classicism era.

Grave of Aida Iovleva

And here is a small video, shot by me in the Kaslino cemetery.

The town of Kasli is surrounded by picturesque lakes: Irtyash, Bolshiye Kasli, Malye Kasli, Kirety, Sungul. In the past Kasli was famous not only for casting, but also for fish.

We should also mention the unusual circles near the city, which can be seen on satellite images and at one time made a lot of noise. They look interesting, but the mystery of the circles is simple – they are the remnants of the testing and calibration site for the antennas of direction finders. Gradually the circles are overgrown, each year they are less and less visible.

Circles in Kasli

Quote about Kaslya in the nineteenth century.

“I went around several streets, but I still couldn’t get my bearings about this water: everywhere you go, there’s water everywhere. Nowadays the famous Kaslino factory is smoky and rumbling under the hill, famous for its iron castings, and closer there is a lord’s house and some strange building, a distillery or an office. On the other side of the hill on the bank also stands something like a lord’s house, which were built in the old days: low-lying, with large windows, with a garden, with outbuildings. The sun was at sunset, and there were little fishing boats, or chokeboats, standing around the lake, motionless dots. These were not real fishermen, but amateurs fishing. The real fishing is in the early morning hours. “

D.N. Mamin-Sibiryak “In the Trans-Ural.

Kasli. View of the Cherry Mountains

How to get to Kasli?

The city of Kasli is 137 kilometers from Chelyabinsk and 122 kilometers from Yekaterinburg. To get to Kasli by car, you need to take the Yekaterinburg – Chelyabinsk highway and near Tyubuk turn at the sign to Kasli. A little more – and you’re in Kasly. You can also get there by public transport. You can get here by buses from Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg.

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In addition to visiting the city, you can visit the attractions in its vicinity: the sanctuary at Lake Allaki, Kyshtym town, Cherry Mountains, Sugomak Mountain with a cave, Sliudorudnik.

Big trip to Kasli. Part 1. Kasli as they are. Museum of Artistic Casting. A cemetery as a work of art.

In general, I was bored on Friday and my head thought up a new adventure for my day off. A trip out of town. To Kasli.

A little excursion into history. Kasli is a small town in Chelyabinsk region, widely known for Kasli cast iron and a necklace of picturesque lakes. The population of the city is 16.7 thousand people. The name “Kasli” comes from the lakes Bolshiye and Malye Kasli, which in Bashkir means “goose lake”.

History of Kasli

History of Kasli dated from 1747 – the foundation of the iron smelting and iron works by the merchant Y.R. Korobkov. But in 1751 the plant was sold to N.N. Demidov. Products of the plant were delivered to the center of the country from Sorokinskaya pier by barges on the spring river Ufa.

During the Peasants’ war at the beginning of 1774 the workers of the plant sided with Pugachyov. Almost two months later, government troops knocked out the Pugachevites from the Kaslinsky factory, but later (June 29, 1774) a squad of rebellious Bashkirs completely burned Kaslinsky plant. Restored the plant only by the end of 1775.

In 1809 Pyotr Grigorievich Demidov sold the Kaslinsky factory to the merchant Lev Rastorguev. The same manor is standing in the center of Ekaterinburg. The factory began to actively develop.

In 1822-1823 large-scale disturbances at the Kyshtym plants once again broke out with the participation of about 8 thousand workers. The confrontation with the authorities lasted almost a year.

After the death of L.I. Rastorguev, the Kyshtym plants were transferred to his daughters M.L. Kharitonova and E.L. Zotova. The factory manager Grigory Zotov became famous for his cruelty, for which he was nicknamed the Kyshtym Beast (but it was under him that the factory started cast iron). In 1837 Zotov and the co-owner of the plants, P.Y. Kharitonov, were exiled to Köksholm by court sentence.

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Kaslya became widely known in the middle of the 19th century thanks to the production of high quality artistic castings from cast iron. The success is attributed to quality cast iron, excellent molding sand found nearby and not inferior to the best European ones, as well as good craftsmen.

Kaslino castings have received many awards at leading exhibitions. But the real triumph of Kasli was the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris. The outstanding cast iron pavilion received the highest award of the Grand Prix and the Grand Gold Medal. Now this cast-iron pavilion and many cast-iron sculptures can be seen in the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts (i.e. outside his native Chelyabinsk region).

Talented sculptors M.D. Kanayev, P.K. Klodt, N.R. and R.R. Bakhi, V.F. Torokin and others worked at the plant. Kaslino castings are highly valued among collectors. Kasli master foundry workers dedicated the story “The Cast Iron Grandmother” by writer Pavel Petrovich Bazhov.

In 1928 at Kaslinsky factory for the first time in the country (!) began to make meat grinders.

Today the Kaslino Architectural and Artistic Casting Plant belongs to the Mechel Company from Moscow. According to local residents, the real professionals of their craft moved to small private foundries, and the products of the plant are now so-so.

Old Kasli pictures are depicted in the photos of V.L. Metenkov and color photographs of S.M. Prokudin-Gorsky, who visited Kasli plant in 1910.

And here comes Saturday morning. 136 km of fascinating way was waiting for us.

On our way we were periodically met with rain. It’s a usual thing: when we are going in the direction of Yekaterinburg, it’s raining)))).

Nature in the state of autumn had both depressing and rapturous impression. Forests, fields, mountains. Oh, you are divine, the Ural nature.

And here 136 km flew by as an instant, and here they are, Kasli…

These places are great: the city is located between several lakes, surrounded by forests. And all of a sudden we get the feeling of a provincial town. Traffic is minimal, nobody is in a hurry anywhere, pre-revolutionary-era buildings can be found everywhere. The private sector prevails.

Since the trip was spontaneous, we could not properly prepare, and improvised on the spot, looking for sights.

The first major attraction was the Kaslino Museum of Artistic Casting.

The museum itself is tiny, but very interesting. Having paid 130 rubles for a ticket, we set about studying the exposition.

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