Russia’s Gem: Novgorod

Novgorod ©driftings/flickr

Novgorod ©driftings/flickr

Novgorod is a town that is so beautiful with solid old churches, kremlin full of historic treasures and gorgeous tree-lined streets. There lives laid-back and friendly locals and one of its beauty is its access to the scenic countryside. Basically, Novgorod means ‘new town’ and ironically, it has been around since the 9th century!

Varangian Norsemen

Over the past 600 years, it has been Russia‘s most pioneering artistic and political centre. If you want to begin explore Russian’s history, you should really start from here. It is the place where the first permanent settlement of the Varangian Norsemen and they were the ones who established the embryonic Russian state.

Lord Novgorod the Great

Much later, it was regarded as ‘Lord Novgorod the Great’. During this time, it has become Russia’s biggest. It became an independent quasi-democracy, so you can see their princes hired and fired by citizens. It was spared by the Mongol Tatars. It was attacked instead by Russian such as Ivan III of Moscow in 1477 and Ivan the Terrible. Sixty thousands were slaughtered in a savage pogrom – a violent riot and mob attack.

Important Sights of Novgorod

The Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin is the grandest and most majestic medieval fortress, so obviously you must check it. To mention a few, the Nizhny Novgorod Fair is an great architectural tourist attraction other than its historical values. Church of Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God (Stroganov Church) is a beautiful religious buidling. Perchersky Ascension Monastry, Kashirin House or the writer, Maxim Gorky Childhood Museum. If you like fine arts, Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum (Nizhny Novgorod Art Gallery) is where you can see the world-famous works of Russian and foreign artists. Chkalov Staircase, Pokrovka or Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street and the Upper Volga River Embankment are the other marvellous views are a must to be added to your itinerary.

The Volga River and its Tributaries

Novgorod ©franzisco/flickr

Novgorod ©franzisco/flickr

This is the longest river in Europe. Its many tributaries including Kama, Oka, Vetluga and Sura rivers are the four most important. Kama has Kosa, Vishera, Sylva, Chusovaya, Belaya, Ik, Izh, Zay, Vyatka and Myosha Rivers as the largest tributaries. It starts in Udmurtia and then through Tatarstan where it meets the Volga. While Oka is a river in the central of Russia and being the largest right tributary of Volga. Vetluga is rather in the Kirov Oblast and left of Volga. Sura flows through Penza Oblast, Mordovia and is a right tributary.

Leave a Reply