- Vacation with children
- Veliky Novgorod in winter and summer
- Cafes and restaurants
Veliky Novgorod is one of the oldest cities in Russia, which played an important role in the formation of the country. It was here that Rurik was called "to reign", the first Russian books were created here, in the Middle Ages there was the Novgorod Republic, which pursued its independent policy. Due to its favorable geographical position, Novgorod has always been a center of trade, the route “from the Varangians to the Greeks” passed here, the city was part of the Hansa (along with Riga and Bergen) and was known as a rich river port. The merchant beginning was reflected even in the territorial division of the city - historically there were two main districts: the Sofia part with the Kremlin, the cathedral and administrative buildings and the Trade part with a pier, trading, shops and outbuildings.
During its long life, Veliky Novgorod has earned several nicknames, such as, for example, "the father of Russian cities" or "Mister Veliky Novgorod". And it fully lives up to its names. The city, like a Russian merchant, leaves a feeling of freedom, solidity, breadth of soul. I would like to return to Novgorod to walk along the narrow streets of the Trade Side, breathe in the fresh wind in the middle of the ancient Volkhov and feel the spirit of Russian history near the St. Sophia Cathedral.
Veliky Novgorod is very well located on the way between the two capitals, so getting here is quite easy. From St. Petersburg they launched the high-speed "Swallow", in the morning "there", in the evening "back", the journey time is only 3 hours. The night train "Ilmen" runs from Moscow, and you can also get by combining the "Sapsan" to the station "Chudovo" and "Swallow" from it. You can get there by bus: from St. Petersburg every half hour from early morning to late evening. The journey takes three hours. There are only night buses from Moscow.
It is better to come at least for a couple of days in order to have time to see the sights of not only Novgorod, but also the immediate environs. And it is better to book a hotel in advance.
Novgorod can be conditionally divided into 4 parts, the most interesting for tourists: the Novgorod Kremlin, the Sofiyskaya and Torgovaya side and the vicinity of the city. The entire historical center of Veliky Novgorod is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Be sure to check out the local tourist information center "Krasnaya Izba" located at the walls of the Kremlin. Here you can get a free city guide and a map of the area.
A few words about the main attractions of Veliky Novgorod:
- The Novgorod Kremlin, founded in the middle of the 11th century, is the oldest such structure in Russia. It is located on a small hill on the banks of the Volkhov River. The red color of the walls gives the Kremlin an imposing look. A distinctive feature is the presence of gate churches. During the time of the Novgorod Republic, the Kremlin hosted veche - meetings of local people to discuss various issues and problems.
- On the territory of the Kremlin there is a monument to the Millennium of Russia. It was installed in 1862. The monument is made of bronze and granite and represents the state as a symbol of statehood, installed on a pedestal. The monument is very interesting to look at, because along the perimeter there are figures of outstanding historical figures - from Dmitry Donskoy to Peter the Great, as well as figures - symbols, such as the figure of a peasant as a symbol of Russia's support.
- St. Sophia Cathedral, located on the territory of the Kremlin, is one of the symbols of Novgorod. It was erected at the beginning of the 11th century in the image and likeness of the cathedral of the same name in Kiev, but it turned out to be so unique that it itself became a vivid example of the Novgorod architectural style. The cathedral is white-stone, with five tall domes resembling Russian helmets in shape, four of which are gray and only one sparkles with gold. At one time, princes and nobility of Novgorod kept gold within the walls of the cathedral. Inside, you should pay attention to the Sigtun Gate - a bright and rare example of European foundry craftsmanship of the 12th century. The gate was taken out of Sweden by Novgorodians during one of the wars. Inside you will find preserved frescoes from the 13th century, icons and an iconostasis from the 14th-16th centuries.
- Yaroslav's Dvorishche and Ancient Bargaining are located on the opposite bank of the Volkhov River opposite the Kremlin. There are a large number of monuments of Orthodox culture dating back to the XII-XVI centuries. In the Nikolsky Cathedral, for example, frescoes and carved iconostases of the 12th century have been preserved.
- Outside Novgorod, it is worth visiting Vitoslavitsy - a unique architectural reserve, where, since 1960, preserved wooden churches, houses and public buildings have been brought from all over the region. Here, in the open air in a picturesque landscape, you can see up close to vivid examples of Novgorod wooden architecture, buildings assembled without a single nail, and unique wood carvings. All buildings can be entered and viewed with real and reconstructed household items. The reserve operates in the spring and summer.
- A must-see is also the St. George's Monastery, founded, according to legend, by Yaroslav the Wise himself, and built by the first Russian architect. The history of the monastery dates back to the 11th century. Here you can see in detail three completely different churches, hear the delightful bell ringing of the Spassky Cathedral, admire the snow-white walls of the monastery in the picturesque Novgorodian landscapes and feel “out of time”. The monastery was the main spiritual center of the wealthy Novgorod Republic, however, in Soviet times, many valuables were taken away, plundered or lost. The restoration of the monastery began in 1990 and continues to this day. Yuriev Monastery and its dominants - St. George's Cathedral and the bell tower, are visible from afar. Noteworthy is the Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Cross, as if "strung" on the majestic walls surrounding the monastery.
Vacation with children
On the territory of the Novgorod Kremlin in the Children's Museum Center, there are various master classes with a historical bias. Here you can learn about the history of crafts, attend an interactive exhibition or take part in a history and entertainment quest. In the craft center "Paraskeva" children will be taught how to sew "fun" - ancient Russian analogues of today's dolls. Here they will tell about the history of folk art and folklore of the Novgorod region. It will be interesting for little men to visit the Hall of Military Glory in the Kremlin, where the history of the city's defenders is told and shown.
There is an ostrich farm on the shore of Lake Ilmen, where you can learn a lot of interesting things about these birds and what it is like to breed African inhabitants in the Novgorod climate. In Vitoslavitsy there is a “Economic Yard”, where they talk about peasant life in an interactive format and hold master classes. Household animals live here.
60 km from Novgorod is the Museum of the Tesovskaya narrow-gauge railway, which contains unique exhibits of mobile railway transport. In summer, you can ride the narrow-gauge section on a railcar, and in winter, in a historic carriage.
Veliky Novgorod in winter and summer
Most of the sights (except for the village of Vitoslavitsy) are accessible for visits in winter and summer. At the same time, the snow, which always falls abundantly in these parts, adds a "fabulous" atmosphere to the ancient monasteries and churches. In winter, Christmas markets are held on the Trade Side. In the spring, Maslenitsa is widely celebrated in a merchant manner. In summer, the open-air festival of rock music "Zvukmorye" is held here.
In the Novgorod region there are many rivers and lakes rich in fish, with beaches and beautiful shores that are conducive to summer pastime.
One of the “tasty” souvenirs of Novgorod is gingerbread. According to some sources, they began to cook them two centuries earlier than Tula, the main "supplier" of gingerbread, appeared. These sweet delicacies are prepared in Novgorod according to special recipes. You can buy directly in the information center near the walls of the Kremlin. Another tasty souvenir is kvass, which is considered a local invention. Of the more strong drinks, it is worth trying the local liqueurs and liqueurs of the "Alkon" distillery, founded in the century before last. All natural, with berries, herbs and roots. In addition, stock up on local herbal teas based on willow and fireweed, which are harvested in an ecologically clean area of the region.
It is believed that the word "mitten" came into the Russian language precisely from Novgorod. Here you can buy fine examples of handmade mittens with local ornaments.
Cafes and restaurants
In Novgorod, as in a major tourist center, there is a huge selection of catering establishments for every budget. Expensive establishments tend to favor Russian cuisine and appropriate interiors. For example, the "Fregat Flagman" complex, restaurants "Good people", "Yurievskoe Podvorie", "Volkhov". It serves Russian cuisine, delicious and hearty. Try the river fish dishes for which Novgorod cuisine is so famous.
Among the interesting places it is worth mentioning the cafe "Familia", where you will be offered more than 20 types of dumplings and dumplings, as well as the cafe "Jam", which serves mulled wine on mountain ash, Novgorod bagels and pancakes.