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Ancient Russian cities. Cultural heritage of Russia.

Tver, Oryol, Pskov, Nizhniy Novgorod, Veliky Novgorod, Vologda

Pskov Kremlin

Historically important Russian places.

The vast world is a marvelous book, and if you're not traveling, you read only one of its page. Vast wonderful Russia, by virtue of its huge size, even for its inhabitants remains largely wonderful terra incognito. More than thousand cities are located on the territory of Russian Federation. During more than 1000 years of Russia's history different cities emerged on its territory, others disappeared. The country now has over 1,000 major cities, with 11 having population of more than one million. The most populated cities are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Kazan and Yekaterinburg. They are important industrial and cultural centers. Ancient Russians cities like Murom, Vladimir, Yaroslavl, Veliky Novgorod, Tambov have always been famous for their beauty and glorious history. It is not only the military history of Russia but country's marvellous nature and picturesque sceneries of its even tiny places, magnificent architecture of its capitals and Golden Ring towns, the fame of its craftsmen and artists that adds to the magnificence of this great country. Vast wonderful Russia is mysterious and wonderful land, about which is composed many exciting stories and exciting legends. The exciting travel is that amazing effective remedy against the stress. We would like to introduce some of historically famous Russian cities to you.

Pskov

Located near the northwestern boarder of Russia Pskov is one of most ancient Russian cities with over 1100 years history. The foundation of the city dates back to 903 when Igor of Kiev married a local lady, St. Olga. Pskov stands on Velikaya River that drains into the Gulf of Finland. The original name of the place was "Pleskov" (the town of purling waters).

As Russia's major defensive outpost on its Western border, the city was involved in 123 wars between 1116 and 1709 — and has only been occupied twice, in 1918 and the 1940s. Its medieval citadel called either the Krom or the Kremlin includes nine-kilometer walls, 37 towers and 14 gates. The Kremlin is a home for 256-foot (78 m)-tall Trinity Cathedral, founded in 1138 and rebuilt in the 1690s. The cathedral reminds that Pskov was a frontier city, built for defense. Other ancient cathedrals adorn the Mirozhsky Monastery (completed by 1152), famous for its Byzantine frescoes is UNESCO world heritage site, St. John's (completed by 1243), and the Snetogorsky monastery (built in 1310 and stucco-painted in 1313). Pskov is exceedingly rich in tiny, squat, picturesque churches, dating mainly from the 15th and the 16th centuries. One of most famous sites in Pskov’s vicinity is Mikhailovskoe, a family home of Alexander Pushkin where he wrote some of the best known lines in Russian language.

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Church of St.Theodore Stratelates on the Brook

Veliky Novgorod (Great Novgorod)

Veliky Novgorod is an Ancient Capital and one of Russia's Oldest Cities that celebrated its 1150-year anniversary in 2011. It was first mentioned in chronicles of East Slavic History in 859, as a fortress and a key point on the trade route from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, linking Scandinavia with the Byzantine Empire. Veliky Novgorod is also referred to as a cradle of Russian democracy. "Lord Novgorod the Great' was its medieval title. It is where the prince Yaroslav the Wise promulgated the first written code of laws that made Veliky Novgorod independent of ruling Kiev. Veliky Novgorod was a Great Republic at the time of Kievan Rus which was also the center of the Ruling Principalities.

A modern city is an administrative center of Novgorod Oblast. It lies along the Volkhov River and has a population of 218 people. Tourism is the main industry that the city's economy benefits from. The wonderful landscape is always appreciated in Russia and was associated with amazing architectural structures. We can tell the impressive attention to beautiful nature, to the wonderful surrounding landscape on how they were choosing the excellent places for the founding of monasteries, churches and cities as a whole, so that between them and the nature was established complete harmony. There are 48 churches and monasteries in the city of Novgorod. Many are museums, and 11 are fully functional. The St Sophia Cathedral, built between 1045 and 1050, is probably the oldest structure still in use in Russia. It was built between 1045 and 1050 under the patronage of Vladimir Yaroslavich, the son of Yaroslav the Wise. The Novgorod Kremlin, traditionally known as the Detinets, also contains the oldest palace in Russia (the so-called Chamber of the Facets, 1433), which served as the main meeting hall of the archbishops; the oldest Russian bell tower (mid-15th cent.), and the oldest Russian clock tower (1673). Among later structures, the most remarkable are a royal palace (1771) and a bronze monument to the Millennium of Russia, representing the most important figures from the country's history (unveiled in 1862), a monument to the composer Rachmaninov, who was born in Novgorod. There is also a picturesque museum of wooden architecture.

Kremlin in Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod (aka Nizhny)

With over a million population Nizhny Novgorod is the fifth largest city in Russia. It is the economic and cultural center of the vast Volga-Vyatka economic region, and also the administrative center of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and Volga Federal District.

Nizhny was founded as ancient Slavonic settlement in 1221 and was a strategic site on the great Volga route from the Baltic to Central Asia—with links to the Vladimir-Moscow region and to the Ural Mountains and Siberia. After the city's incorporation into the principality of Moscow it became a Russian stronghold against the Volga Tatars. The city enjoyed commercial prosperity in the 19th century and hosed the lasgerst and most important annual fair in Russia, continued until the Russian Revolution of 1917. After the revolution the town was named after the well-known writer Maksim Gorky. Its original name was restored in 1991.

Lives of many famous people in Russia are connected with Nizhny. A merchant Kuzma Minin became national hero for his role in defending the country against the Polish invasion in the early-17th century. The city square was named after him. Russian inventor Ivan Kulibin, mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky, literary critic, revolutionary democrat Nikolay Dobrolyubov, poet, novelist and playwright Anatoly Marienhof, supermodel Natalia Vodianova – all were born in Nizhny. Andrei Sakharov was exiled there during 1980-1986. The city is home to the Gorky Automobile Plant (Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod; GAZ), one of the largest in Russia. After the collapse of the USSR the city preserved its industrial profile. The engineering industry is the leading industry of its economy. Nizhny Novgorod is am important river port and railway knot and one of the centers of the IT Industry in Russia.

The dominating feature of the city skyline is the grand Kremlin (1500–1511), with its red-brick towers. After Bolshevik devastation, the only ancient edifice left within the Kremlin walls is the tent-like Archangel Cathedral (1624–31), first built in stone in the 13th century.

Tver, Russia

Tver

Tver is the administrative center of Tver Oblast, lying at the confluence of the upper Volga and Tvertsa rivers). The city was known as Kalinin from 1931 to 1990, named after the Soviet revolutionary. In 1991 the original name was returned to the town. The first mention of Tver dates from 1134–35, when it was a minor settlement of Novgorodian traders. In the 13th century it transformed into one of the richest and most populous Russian states Tver principality, hardly accessible for Tatar raids. In 14th and 15th centuries it was an important crafts centre as a part of Moscow principality.

The city survived a great fire in the 18th century and was in Neoclassical style under Catherine the Great. The Travel Palace of the Empress and the Ascension church remind if that epoch and are interesting Tver landmarks now. The only ancient monument left in the city suburbs is White Trinity Church (1564). Many historical buildings and churches were ruined before and during WWII which left Tver in ashes.

Oryol aka Orel

Oryol was founded in 1566 by Ivan IV as a fortress of the Muscovite State against Tatar attacks. In the mid-18th century Oryol became one of the major centers of grain production.

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Oryol was the scene of heavy fighting during World War. It was liberated from the Wehrmacht occupation on 5 August 1943, after the Battle of Kursk. Nowadays Oryol is the administrative center of Oryol Oblast and a center of agricultural trade with the population of 317 thousand people. Many of the streets of Oryol are named after writers and poets who were born or lived there, among them Ivan Turgenev, Leonid Andreyev, Ivan Bunin, and Nikolay Leskov.

Vologda

Vologda

The city of Vologda lies along the Vologda River north-northeast of Moscow. It is listed among historical towns of Russia with 224 buildings recognized as cultural heritage monuments. Foundation of Vologda is associated with the construction of the monastery close to the the Vologda river. During the reign of Tsar Ivan the Terrible Vologda was trade centre for goods transported between Moscow and Central Russia. The tsar wanted to make his new capital similar to Moscow. This was the time Saint Sophia Cathedral, one of today’s Vologda landmarks was built. Under the Romanovs the city became the center of timber and butter industry. Vologda butter is considered one of the city’s landmarks since then along with Vologda lace and flax.

Modern Vologda is a major junction and transshipment centre. It is the administrative centre of Vologda oblast. It is also one of the best preserved big cities of Russia combining traditional wooden architecture and stone monuments including Vologda Kremlin, the Spaso-Prilutsky monastery, the Ensemble of the Vladimir churches, the Konstantin and Elena church, the St. John the Baptist Church in Roshchenie with its frescoes and others.

Around the marvelous world, thousands of people devote their time and energy restlessly searching for extraordinary treasures buried in the ground or hidden at the bottom of the seas and oceans. But in fact, the wonderful history and marvelous towns are the real unique treasures.

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