Kostroma is a river port, and the administrative centre of Kostroma Region (with over 270,000 residents). This peaceful and charming provincial city is located on the banks of the River Volga. The city also acted as a cradle for the Romanov dynasty of Tsars. Kostroma is a major halt on the 'Golden Ring' tourist route – famous for its churches and monasteries.

Fascinating facts

  • Kostroma is the official residence of the Russian folklore character Snow Maiden – who is Grandfather Frost's grand-daughter. Together they bring songs, stories and presents to children at New Year.
  • Kostroma is a major jewellery production centre – with nearly a third of all jewellers in Russia working in Kostroma.
  • In 1934, the Bolsheviks blew up Kostroma's Kremlin. The remaining bricks and rubble were used to build a flax factory. Today, the site also has a monument to Lenin.
  • August is fireworks month in Kostroma – when the city stages the largest pyrotechnics festival in Russia, 'The Silver Boat'.

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City History

The city's history dates back to the 12th century, when it was founded by Grand-Prince Yuri Dolgoruky.

The city was founded as a defensive outpost against the Tatars and Mongolians. The city defences were first built from wood – but after numerous fires, they were rebuilt in stone in the 18th century.

During the 17th-century succession crisis known as The Time Of Troubles, the city was captured by invading Poles. A local hero named Ivan Susanin saved the nation – by offering to act as a guide for the Poles, but falsely leading their army into the swamps to die. By laying down his own life, Susanin defeated the enemies of future Russian Tsar Michael I Romanov. This marked the founding of the Romanov dynasty of Tsars.

From the mid-18th century the city became a major producer of textiles, and Russia's leading linen producer. The city's other major industry is timber production. Kostroma is also the largest producer of jewellery in Russia.

Kostroma has one of Russia's oldest theatres – the Alexander Ostrovsky State Theatre.

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