A veritable village museum, Gorelovka’s chief attraction are its gorgeously decorated houses decorated with blue lace and hand-painted shutters. The women of Gorelovka are no less splendidly attired, wearing colourful embroidered clothes that complement the decorated houses and the gorgeous embroidered tablecloths within.
While wandering the streets of this quaint village, you’ll get a sense of its complete harmony. From the beauty of its buildings and inhabitants to the white stork nesting atop electrical poles to the mountains that surround it, it is as if Gorelovka was composed by the imagination of an artist.
Gorelovka was called Budaghasheni until the 19th century, and had been a predominantly Armenian settlement until 1841. It was then that believers in a new religious movement were forcibly relocated here by Imperial Russia.
These migrants soon became accustomed to their surroundings, taking up cattle and poultry husbandry and introducing their own unique culture to the region. It was they who began to decorate their houses so colourfully, and they who chose the name Gorelovka for the village. They also planted mountain ash and birch trees in their yards to remind them of their homeland, and opened the orphanage that is today a museum.
The inhabitants of Gorelovka are Doukhobors and strictly follow the edicts of this religious movement. In 1978 there were 3,000 Doukhobors in Gorelovka, but the village is now slowly emptying as everyone tries to return to their historical homeland.