Ilya of Murom (full name of the epic – Ilya of Murom the sun of Ivan.) – one of the main characters of Kiev Rus epic, hero, embodying the national ideal of the hero-warrior, popular defender. Muromets is the subject of many ancient song-legends like “The healing of Ilya Muromets” and “Nightingale the Robber”.
Ilya Muromets is, like Lancelot, a legendary figure who was the greatest knight of the court and most represented the values it stood for. Legends about Muromets might have been created during the difficult period when Russia was under the Tatar yoke and ancient cities had to fight for their independence.
It is believed that the birthplace of Ilya of Murom – Karacharovo village under Murom. In another version of this village called Murovsk in the modern Chernigoff region. At the moment both these cities consider themselves to be the birthplace of Ilya of Murom. For a number of versions, the hero was a real prototype – a historical person who lived around 1188, although the Russian chronicles do not mention his name. Also some consider him to be a monk named Ilya Pechorsky. Ilya is beatified as a minor Saint of Orthodox Church. His relics are preserved in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra.