Never in history has our region enjoyed such a high-profile status as at the time of Peter the Great. The initiation of shipbuilding created perfect conditions for the rapid development of the region resulting in Voronezh obtaining and maintaining its status of a large agrarian, industrial and cultural center. To this day, each voronezher is aware and proud of the fact that he lives in the city that is the cradle of the Russian Navy.
Recent opening of the working replica of the first Russian Naval warship of the line «Goto Predestinatsia» («God’s Providence») confirmed the right of Voronezh to have this honorary title. The historic vessel had been designed by the Russian Tsar himself, and the work had been done under his direct guidance by the Russian shipwrights, without any foreign specialists. Therefore, it was this particular vessel that was selected to commemorate the very beginnings of the Russian ship-building school.
The preparation to recreate Peter’s sailer began at the direction of the Government of the Voronezh Region on September 15, 2009. Initially the specialists (shipbuilders, historians, archivists and museum employees) worked hard to recreate the ship design. An important milestone in its implementation was the meeting of the Maritime Collegium under the Russian Federation (RF) Government that took place in July, 2010. In the course of the meeting which was held on the Admiralty Square in Voronezh (where Peter the First had laid down the historic «Goto Predestinatsia»), a 25-kg noon bell (ship’s bell) of the future ship was bronze-cast. Wishing good luck to the ship, Mr. S. B. Ivanov, RF Government Deputy Chairman and Mr. A.v. Gordeev, Voronezh Region Governor, dropped a 1711 copper coin in the bell molten metal.
The implementation of the project began with laying down the steel hull of the «GotoPredestinatsia» on the slipway of the Pavlovsky ship-building and ship-repair yard in the Voronezh Region on June 15, 2011. In July, 2013 the present-day part of the ship with a diesel engine installed sailed up the Don river under its own power, passed through the locks of Voronezh river and came to an anchor at the Petrovskaya Naberezhnaya in the Voronezh water basin. A wooden superstructure of the ship was built there. Wooden ship-building specialists of the «Varyag» company in Petrozavodsk were in charge of creation of the ship historic sections. Karelian pine trees served as the primary material for building the ship. The ready-made, non-assembled components were transported by cargo trucks to Voronezh, where the specialists from Petrozavodsk assembled and installed them as required. Concurrent with this process, the historians and cultural workers were busy elaborating a model of ship interior arrangement. A substantial contribution to the preparation of the «Goto Predestinatsia» was made by Mr. v. V. Goncharov, a Member of the RF Commonwealth of Artists and a lecturer at the Voronezh Art School. On the basis of the concept he proposed and the advice by the scientists of the local history museum of the Voronezh Region the work was successfully completed by the «Markquart» design studio specialists under Mr. A.v. Ivanushin’s guidance. As a result of this diligent work the sailer was accurately recreated to become a functional museum.
The museum exhibits include the items of antique shipboard equipment, ship armament which was restored in great detail, with a complete set of cannons and service tools. The welfare items of ship officers and crew members are also on display. All this enables one to form a clear idea of the service and living conditions aboard the ship in the early 18thcentury.
The ceremony of the «Goto Predestinatsia» official opening was held on July 27, 2014. The selection of that date was far from accidental. First, the ceremony took place on the RF Navy Day; second, July 27 was associated with the historic victories of our seamen in the battles against the Swedes at Gangut (1714) and at Grengam (1720).
And now for the third successive year the stately appearance of «Goto Predestinatsia» has been adorning Voronezh to the joy of its citizens and visitors of the town — cradle of the Russian Navy.