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BARI, January 21, /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian legendary four-masted tallship Kruzenshtern making her voyage to the capital city of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games - the Russian Black Sea port of Sochi - called at the Adriatic port of Bari in Italy on Tuesday.
The ship, which has a record of two round-the-globe voyages and one trans-Atlantic expedition, has been on her Olympic voyage since late December. Her previous stopover was at Morocco’s Tangier.
Welcoming the Russian ship, Mayor of Bari Michele Emiliano said the Kruzenshtern’s visit to his town was “symbolic.” “It once again underlines the importance of ties between our city and Russia, which have a long history,” he told Itar-Tass.
Bari enjoys a high popularity among Russian Orthodox pilgrims, who come here to venerate hallows of Saint Nicholas kept at a basilica in Bari. There is a town church of the Russian Orthodox Church here.
The Kruzenshtern’s visit to Italy is a homecoming in a way - the four-masted barque was built in 1926 at Geestemnde in Bremerhaven, Germany and was given the Italian name of the Padua (after the Italian city). She was surrendered to the Soviet Union in 1946 as war reparation and renamed after the early 19th century Baltic German explorer in Russian service, Adam Johann Krusenstern (1770-1846). She is now a Russian Navy sail training ship. Of the four remaining Flying P-Liners, the former Padua is the only one still in use, mainly for training purposes, with her homeports in Kaliningrad (formerly Koenigsberg) and Murmansk. After the Sedov, another former German ship, she is the largest traditional sailing vessel still in operation.
The Kruzenshtern will stay in Bari till January 24. Until then, the crew and 120 students undergoing training onboard the ship will have time to rest. They plan to visit the St. Nicholas Basilica to worship the relics of the saint.
It is also planned that the ship will be open for visits by the city dwellers and Russian pilgrims staying in Bari.
The ship will end its Olympic voyage, the first one in 2014, in Sochi on February 25.