Gus-Khrustalny District

The Gus-Khrustalny district is located in the southwestern part of the Vladimir region. The population of the district is 38, 762 people (2018). The administrative center is the city of Gus-Khrustalny (not included in the district) with a population of 54,533 people (2018). Since June 10, 1929 the decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee established the Gus district as part of the Vladimir district of the Ivanovo Industrial Region, where enterprises of the glass and textile industry were concentrated. The structure of the Vladimir region, formed in August 1944, included the city of Gus-Khrustalny as a city of regional subordination and the Gus-Khrustalny district. In May 2005, the district as a municipality was transformed into the Gus-Khrustalny municipal district.

The Gus-Khrustalny district occupies the north-eastern, Vladimir part of the Meshchera lowland with its unique landscapes. The territory is covered mainly by coniferous and mixed forests, large areas of swamps. Here is the Meshchera National Park, formed to protect and preserve the rare species of animals and plants included in the Red Book.

The industrial development of these territories is connected with the direct activity of the Maltsovs merchants, who were forced by decree of the Senate in 1747 to transfer glass production outside the capital region. The presence of quartz sand and energy resources in the form of peat and forest, necessary for the smelting of glass, determined the fate of the impenetrable Meshchera region as the center of the country's glass industry. The working village that arose around the crystal plant laid the foundation for the future city of Gus-Khrustalny. By 1813, four glass factories were already operating in the city. Advanced technologies that enriched the artistic image of crystal were constantly introduced at crystal industries. In the 19th century, the Maltsov’s Crystal Plant has already carried out large orders of the imperial court, has been honored with the highest awards at all-Russian and world exhibitions. Masterpieces of the best crystal craftsmen were gathered at the factory. A significant part of this collection is presented today in the Crystal Museum named after the Maltsovs, which is located in the former St. George’s Cathedral.

Subsequent generations of the Maltsovs contributed to the further construction and development of the city. Today Gus-Khrustalny is also famous for historical and architectural monuments. An artwork and mosaic of the famous V.M. Vasnetsov are preserved in St. George's Cathedral, built at the very end of the 19th century by the architect L.N. Benoit.

Today, the specialization of glass and crystal production is maintained in the city of Gus-Khrustalny and in the Gus-Khrustalny district, enterprises in various areas of the glass industry are being modernized. The "Gusar" plant, specializing in the production of pipe fittings for the oil and gas industry, has taken a stable position in the economy of Gus-Khrustalny since the beginning of the 2000s.

The areas of decorative and applied art and crafts, developing in the Gus-Khrustalny district, are: the manufacture of glass art, carved furniture (master R.E. Malinsky),  blacksmithing (master E.I. Borisov ), withy weaving, doormat weaving (master S.I. Blinova), embroidery, patchwork, beadwork.

Crafts and trades
Gutny craft
Gus Crystal Plant named after Maltsov carefully preserves the secrets of Maltsov’s carving with polishing.
Blacksmith craft
Today, blacksmithing craftsmen are rare. But nevertheless, forges that are engaged in manual forging are preserved.
Wood carving
Argunovo carving. Morden masters of wood carving.
Wood painting
Vladimir patterns is an original painting, when the paint is applied not with a brush, but with a foam rubber swab or just an artist’s finger, forming a light cloud.
Embroidery in the technique of " white satin-stitch ", "Vladimir seam".
Weaving of withy
In Vladimir land withy was an available material: willow thickets were abundant on the banks of the Klyazma, the Oka, etc.