Visit to Schilling, 20 May 2001

This page was begun 21 June 2001 -- rak.  All pictures are thumbnails.  Click on them to enlarge them for better viewing.

This is the first view one gets sch1stview.JPG (40275 bytes)  of Schilling as you proceed east towards the Volga from the main north-south highway.  In the picture, the village is off to the right up against the Volga.  The light-colored material in the front is gravel. People had told us that the access road to Schilling was really bad -- dirt and mud.  However, a new paved road to Schilling from the main road has just been completed, so there was much new grading to each side as the road cuts down to the village from higher ground further inland.

The first actual part of Schilling you come to, on the right of the access road,  is the cemetery which as you can see here schcemetery.JPG (100289 bytes)  overlooks both the village and the Volga.  Apparently no Germans returned to Schilling since all Germans were deported in 1941, so although the cemetery is quite large, on a quick walk through neither I nor Elena, my translator, noticed any German graves.

There had been two Lutheran churches, no longer used as such, in the village, but the larger, newer one burned down last year.  Only part of its foundation was visible.  The older church still exists.  schchurch2.JPG (117462 bytes)  schchurch1.JPG (168678 bytes)  As you can see from these two views, it is quite sizeable.  The second picture is the narrow end of the building which is in the shadow on the right of the first picture.  The next picture was taken to the immediate right of the second church picture.  schneighbor.JPG (115252 bytes)  It is a German-built house next down the street from the church.  The Russian lady in front of it lives there and told us about the two churches.  She also pointed out the rather large brick parish house just down the street where the last Lutheran priest lived.  She said the church is now used for club and other civic sorts of meetings.  As you can see the interior is spacious.  I suspect the altar used to be where the stage is now.  schchurch3.JPG (79261 bytes)  This Russian neighbor lady referred us to an older Russian woman who told us that there, in fact, was one half-German woman still living in the village and she directed us to her. 

Here she is with her "cousin" from the US.  schcousinmaul.JPG (120068 bytes)  We surely are related but we may never now how exactly.  Her mother was a Maul -- a very common German Schilling name -- and could scarcely escape being related to a Schilling Kraus.  Her mother had married a Russian man and so did not have to be sent away to slave labor.  She still lives in the family home which was neat but very rustic.  We sat and talked in her kitchen which is the little building sun reflecting off the yellowish roof in the picture.  The rest of her house is in the larger building to the right, most of which you cannot see.  She had a propane like small stove top and an old-fashioned oven stove made of clay and mortar -- the type one could sleep on top of if one needed to keep warm.  She was most excited to talk, was bowled over to think she might have relatives in the US, but knew nothing of her mother's people.

Her home may be one of the best pieces of Schilling property since it directly abuts two of Schilling prime assets.  Just a little down the hill in front of us as we stood to have our picture taken was the Schilling spring.  schspring.JPG (169578 bytes)  She said it was the best water on the Volga.  I can attest that while we were waiting to talk to her, I saw two loads of plastic and glass spring water bottles being filled presumably to be taken off to some larger place for sale!  She also says that the inlet which schvolgaview1.JPG (107028 bytes)  you can see from her property is one of the most famous spots on the Volga.  Earlier in the spring it is filled with flowers and blooming trees.  Evidently every important artist and photographer has come at least once to capture it. 

Our cousin lives at near the northern edge of the villages.  So just before leaving the village, I went to the southern edge to see what the view of the Volga was like there.  schvolgaview2.JPG (48905 bytes)  The Volga truly is like an ocean, with large and small islands, huge ships, gigantic barges, and small boats.

To get a bit of Schilling history, click on it.  To go to visit other villages, click here.