Veliky Novgorod — the father of Russian cities
The famous Russian city Veliky Novgorod is situated by the Volkhov River, not far from Lake Ilmen. It is the birthplace of Russian democracy, the first Russian republic and the new state — Russia. For the first time it was mentioned in the chronicle in 859.
The centre of international trade and handicrafts.Veliky Novgorod has been always playing a crucial role in the trade of the country. It had joined the Hanseatic trade league even before Peter I made a decision to “cut a window to Europe”. Local craftsmen succeeded in different spheres. They used stones as a construction material in order to pave streets. They also provided the city with the plumbing and sanitary system that was very similar to modern ones. By the way, Veliky Novgorod got plumbed earlier than Paris, London and other capitals.
Veliky Novgorod — the museum of Ancient Rus’. You can hardly find any other Russian city that can boast such a large number of ancient churches and temples, as well as outstanding cultural sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Veliky Novgorod was not affected by the Mongolian and Turkish invasion. The finest samples of architecture and painting are concentrated in this city. It is one of the largest centres of Russian civilization. Novgorod Kremlin built of red bricks was the first fortress within the territory of modern Russia. The Palace of the Facets, famous all around the world, was the first Russian Gothic building. The decree stating that the Novgorod Republic had joined the Grand Principality of Moscow was announced here.
Veliky Novgorod — the pioneer of literacy in Rus’. As the pioneer of literacy in Rus’, Veliky Novgorod got the large library as early as in the medieval times. Medieval birch bark manuscripts survived to this day. The first Russian books and multiple manuscripts were stored there. According to historians, Veliky Novgorod had been built before Rus’ was established. The Cathedral of St. Sophia was the birthplace of chronicle writing in Rus’.
Orthodox Christianity in Veliky Novgorod. Every year, thousands of pilgrims from all around Russia and from abroad come to this city in order to visit Christian sacred places. The Novgorod Diocese was established more than 1000 years ago. One of its masterpieces is the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior. It was painted by the very talented artist from the Byzantine Empire — Theophanes the Greek. It was the first work which he created in Rus’. Besides, the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Novgorod was the oldest church in Rus’.
Veliky Novgorod — the custodian of the authentic Russian culture. It is the only place where you can listen to traditional gulsli and fipple flute playing and enjoy famous Novgorod shchi from grey hash cooked in the Russian stove.