Verkhoture was one of the greatest sites of pre-revolutionary pilgrimage, with a huge monastery church built in the early twentieth century.
At the mid-point of a 150-kilometre pilgrimage, pilgrims are blessed with holy water from the spring where an icon of St Nicholas was found.
Pausing for a few several hours in Gorokhovo, pilgrims have time to rest. Most will lie down in the grass or under the trees around the holy spring, but some lucky pilgrims take shelter in a wooden house built for those restoring the local church.
Bathing in holy springs has become an important element of contemporary Orthodox pilgrimage. This man is dressing after completely submerging himself three times in the cold pool inside this bathing hut. Kremenki spring is made holy by its association with the Mother of God, who is believed to wash her face daily in the waters before walking eight kilometres to Diveevo convent and circumnavigating the convent grounds.
Entering the site of an uninhabited village on day 3 of a gruelling, annual six-day pilgrimage in Kirov region, pilgrims pray for the dead in the restored church and process down to a holy spring for a water blessing service.