Hidden Russia project
Large-scale and multifaceted project of Shevtsov family on revival of Plios. We have defined and realised in Plios the strategy of reanimation and development of the ancient small town.
For 25 years the project has revived more than 50 buildings in the historical centre of Plios and its surroundings.
The key areas of work are preservation of historical buildings and filling them with new life.
Preservation and restoration
Preservation and restoration of both monuments and ordinary buildings that do not have a protected status, but create the atmosphere of the streets of Plios.
Restoration of lost buildings
Restoration of special buildings of Plios, which were lost
Correction of foreign inclusions
Exterior decoration
Adaptation to modern use
Improvement of old houses, adapting them for modern year-round use.
Development of projects of traditional houses
Development and implementation of exemplary projects of traditional houses for reconstruction of dilapidated buildings in Plios and new construction outside the historical centre.
Development of projects of non-capital modular buildings
Development and realisation of projects of non-capital modular huts, flawlessly combining with existing historical buildings - this branch of our work has become an independent project «Izbing».
Creation of interiors
Creation of author's interiors and development of standard interior solutions, in which we combine love for tradition, beauty and convenience.
Project objectives
To create a sustainable mechanism for self-preservation of natural and cultural landscapes of Plios on the Volga River
To create a sustainable mechanism for preservation and reproduction of natural and cultural landscapes of Plios
To curb the clogging of Levitan landscapes with low-quality buildings
Raise the prestige of traditional Russian architecture
Raise the status of the log hut as a prestigious dwelling
Living Museum of Wooden Architecture

The collection of old houses of «Hidden Russia» on the central streets of Plios is a unique living Museum of Wooden Architecture and introduces visitors to the ideal of the Russian log house. In many exhibits - serving as houses-rooms of boutique hotel «Sobornaya Sloboda» — you can stay overnight!

The museum shows that even in the XXI century it is possible to live comfortably in a traditional log house, teaches how to repair it, take care of it, preserve its beauty.

Our principle of work with residential houses and public buildings is: «As if there were no revolution»

As if there were no resettlement and densification. As if their great-grandchildren live in the houses of the merchants who knew Levitan, who provide these houses with all modern conveniences, make them comfortable, but with respect for great-great-grandfathers and antiquity.

Respect for the ancient ideal, careful adaptation to modernity.

Examples of revitalisation and improvement of traditional buildings around the Levitan House-Museum
Restoration of a dilapidated architectural monument of the late 19th century
Decoration of a traditional log house of the 1920s, which had lost its original appearance as a result of illiterate renovation
Decorating a 1960s building
Examples of careful restoration and improvement of buildings important for the image of Plios on the embankment
«Art Nouveau House», or the Novozhilov House
«Gromov's House»
Outbuilding of the Moiseev estate (architectural monument, early 19th century)
«S.P. Kuvshinnikova's Coffeehouse.»
Bakakin's Grocery (end of the XIX century)
Examples of restoration of lost architectural sights of Plios and its surroundings
A copy of an 18th century barn from the neighbouring Milovka estate, badly dilapidated and lost at the beginning of the 21st century
Re-creation of the log shops of the Averins on the Trade Square, which disappeared during the war years in the middle of the XX century
Re-creation of Kalashnaya Street, which existed in Plios till the end of the XVIII century.
For 25 years the project has revived more than 50 buildings in the historical centre of Plios and its surroundings.
In parallel with the architectural revitalisation and the creation of hospitality infrastructure, we worked on the equally important task of preserving the intangible cultural heritage of Plios
Filling the historic buildings with life is at the same time the creation of a modern, high-level hospitality infrastructure

It is important that the new infrastructure complies with the principles of responsible tourism, i.e. it does not contradict the preservation of the traditional natural and cultural environment and supports the well-being of the local population (stimulating their employment and entrepreneurial activity).

We have converted the revitalised residential houses and public buildings into:

Promotion of local cuisine, development of gastronomic culture

Preservation and development of Plios, Volga and Russian cuisine, dishes according to traditional recipes, use of the best products of the region, work with talented chefs, organisation of metropolitan level catering establishments in Plios - we have always paid much attention to all this.

A few facts:

  1. In 2005 in the building of Plios Yacht Club we opened the first good restaurant in Plios. Now we serve the best dishes of Plios cuisine in its successors - restaurants «Traktir Krutoyar» and «1888». And in Zarechye in our building every season for several years already opens restaurant Ikra of the large Moscow restaurant group WRF, working in a fashionable format chef's table.
  2. Coffeehouse of Sofia Petrovna Kuvshinnikoy and Diner «Rybnyi Ugol» created by us have become legendary Plios establishments, obligatory for visiting by guests of the city.
  3. We prepare all sweets and pastries ourselves in our own Confectionery Shop, headed by confectioner Tatiana Yurievna Chernova, cousin of Alexey Shevtsov. Many of the treats are traditional Pliosian, based on the recipes of Tatiana and Alexei's grandmother: the famous cottage cheese kuleika, sorrel pie, and pickle pie.
  4. In 2017, Alexey Shevtsov invented a special-shaped pie (pirozhok) filled with smoked bream, a Plios specialist, - a corner. Corners immediately became a hit, and at the end of 2023 we sold half a millionth corner in our diner! In 2024, angles represented the Ivanovo region at VDNKh as its main gastronomic speciality. Work continues on a whole line of fillings - not only with fish, but also with meat and sweet ones. In 2022, the shape of the patty was patented and in 2024, the name of the patty was patented. The project "Ugol" has gone beyond the limits of «Hidden Russia»
  5. We smoke Plios bream and other Volga fish according to traditional technology in our own smokehouses, and we bake ugol in our own bakery on Trade Square.
We have also created and developed
Calendar of events of Plios
With a number of events, in which prominent cultural figures take part (festivals, plein airs, exhibitions, concerts, lectures, performances, round tables).
Routes to explore Plios and surroundings
Giving a system of coordinates and semantic reference points for deep immersion into the territory.
Maps and Guides
«Pliosky Wursts» and «Along Plios by Boat»
The first city newspaper «Plesky Vestnik»
On the pages of which the rare pre-revolutionary novel about Plios by G.T. Severtsev-Polilov "Razvivateli" was reprinted for the first time.
Vocabulary of the local vernacular
Pamphlet «Learning to speak Plioski»
Art and science calendars
«Pliosskiye orchids» and «Pliosskiye platbands»
Local souvenirs
Securing the identity of the territory in the system of protected brands
Concept and territorial scheme of complex development of the territory according to the rules of responsible tourism
Formulated in A. V. Shevtsov's brochure «The Republic of Plios», 2010.

The project «Hidden Russia» has contributed a lot to the fact that Plios has once again become a fashionable holiday destination, preserving the charm of an old Russian town and one of the most picturesque small towns in Russia.

One of the most important tasks of the project is to serve as an example for other enthusiasts and investors. We are happy to share our valuable experience accumulated over a quarter of a century of project implementation. Our strategy of small town reanimation and development can and should be repeated.

Video presentation of the project
Thanks to the project «Hidden Russia» a kind of museum complex is being created in Plios, solving the problems of preservation of tangible and intangible heritage by the community of residents.
Our partners
  • Community of local residents

    Enthusiasts and connoisseurs of Plios. Professional architects, historians, Levitanologists, botanists helped us in the work on the project
  • A community of architecturally responsible dacha dwellers and homeowners

    Formed by us in the process. We aspire to replenish the city community with new inhabitants interested in restoration and settling of traditional dwellings, in revival and settlement of Russian province.
  • Guests of Plios

    Guests of hotels, museums, restaurants and shops of «Hidden Russia» help to further development of the project and thus contribute to preservation of historical appearance and unique atmosphere of Plios.
  • Our employees

    Many of whom were born and live in Plios, neighbouring Privolzhsk and regional centre Ivanovo. There are those who work for us and contribute to the success of the project from the very beginning!
Press about us
Facts about the project
  • 1
    The project «Hidden Russia» was born in 1999, when the construction of the House with a cross mezzanine began. In those years regional newspapers wrote about Plios: «the Volga pearl is dying».
  • 2
    In the first years of work of the project in parallel with restoration of dilapidated ancient houses the programme of resettlement of a part of inhabitants of lower Plios from dilapidated and emergency housing (without attraction of budgetary means) was carried out.
  • 3
    In 2019, Alexey Shevtsov became a laureate of the National Prize «Cultural Heritage» for his long-term activity in the preservation and development of the historical town of Plios and the implementation of the project «Hidden Russia»
  • 4
    The Shevtsov family is a member of the Association of Owners of Historic Estates.
Other projects of the Shevtsov family,

Born in Plios

Izbing ®
A new kind of glamping developed by Alexey Shevtsov in Plios. It is a glamping adapted for historical settlements, small towns, villages and hamlets, which visually resembles an organic element of traditional Russian buildings, such as a hut.
Open the site
Plessky Ugol is a unique half-open pierogi with smoked bream fillet. Invented in 2017 by Alexey Shevtsov, this pie has sold over 500,000 pieces and has become a real gastronomic landmark of Plios.
Угол Плёс
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