The Philosophy and Poetry of Stone

In 1995, in the village of Fershampenuaz, Nagaybak district, the Stone House-Museum was established to exhibit the private collection of Alexander Maximovich Matora. A mining engineer, a vigorous and proactive person, passionate about collecting and studying stones and minerals, he built one of the biggest collections in the region and even in Russia. Matora’s collection has minerals from Ural and Transbaikalia, Chukotka and Yakutia, the Kola Peninsula and Kazakhstan, the Crimea, and the North Caucasus. The collection is constantly growing.

Alexander Maksimovich Matora, the founder of the Stone House-Museum in the Chelyabinsk region, has recently published a book, which we are happy to present to you.

The author describes himself as follows: “My name is Alexander Maksimovich Matora, my biography is very short, in five words: born, graduated, married, the city of Magnitogorsk.

I grew in the city of Plast, but my life’s work was mostly influenced by living in the land of Nagaybak. On March 12, the Museum celebrated its 25th anniversary… My main achievement is the foundation of the museum, the second one is the publication of this book. This is the story of my life. Of everything. Starting from the ancestry. All my troubles, all that has happened in my life. But I believe, I’ve lived a happy life. The main result of my life is my friends, my soulmates, the so-called great-grandchildren of Bazhov. That’s what my book is about. Read my book The Philosophy and Poetry of Stone…”

Here are some excerpts from the book:


The stone just lies there all alone, uprooted from its place. No one knows where it was born.

When it rolled down from the mountain, it was burned by the frost and the sun. The wind beat it with sand grains. The rain showered it with raindrops as with little steel balls — boom, boom, boom, trying to tear off pieces and to turn it into a simple round cobblestone. And then there are also moss and lichen trying to drive a wedge inside the stone and tear it apart with their roots. It’s hard for a stone to survive in the wild! People turn it into rubble. But there is nothing on earth stronger than stone, that’s why the love for it is so special…”


Oh! Our spruce tree is always so beautiful! The trunk is reaching for the sun, the fluffy brunches are tilting down to the ground, attracting all the living creatures.

One second a hare hides under it, catching its breath, and the next, a roe deer scratches its neck on the trunk because it feels God’s grace coming from the tree. The spruce tree is green in the summer and emerald in the winter. Whether you decorate it or not, it still emanates holiday vibes, and the smell of its needles increases your blood oxygen levels. When and where did it soak up so much goodness?..”

“Five o’clock in the morning. The cat is sleeping on the doorstep and does not want to open its eyes. I step over it.

It’s so beautiful outside. The roses look gorgeous. The rocks glistening with morning dew seem to be smiling and greeting their owner.”