Novgorod the Great Tour
Note! The service is held on Sunday morning and inside the church, women are asked to cover their heads and taking photos inside are forbidden.
If you want to find yourself at the crossroad of different times and discover the history of ancient Russia (Kiev Rus), you should visit the city of Novgorod. It is a 3 hour train trip to get to this charming little city from Saint-Petersburg. Your guide will meet you at the railway station and from there you’ll begin to make your acquaintance with the city. In the evening you’ll return by rail to Saint-Petersburg.
It is no coincidence that Novgorod is called the ‘museum’ of Russian medieval architecture. Nowhere else will you find as many ancient churches as those scattered throughout the Novgorod region. Take a look at the exceptional combination of these XI-XVII centuries’ masterpieces and modern buildings.
The trip includes visits to the following sites:
- Monument ‘Millennium of Russia'
- Holy Sophia Cathedral
- Yaroslav's Court
- Museum of Folk Wooden Architecture "Vitoslavlitsy"
The heart of the city is the Kremlin. This ancient fortress contains several monuments fascinating in its diversity.
Here you will see the Holy Sophia Cathedral which was the first stone building in Russia and constructed in the middle of the XI century. The simplicity of its form gives the cathedral real grandeur. The Cathedral’s six helmet-like domes, resemble ‘Six Bogatyrs’ (epic heroes of Russian fairy tales), who rise above the city and protect it from enemies. Inside the temple, unique wall paintings of the XI-XII centuries are stored, as well as the iconostasis that is decorated with the XV-XVII centuries’ icons. A visit to The Holy Sophia Cathedral with all its ancient relics will definitely grant you an unforgettable experience.
In front of the temple, you will behold a bronze, bell-shaped monument named the ‘Millennium of Russia’. The wall carvings of this statue can tell you a story of a 1000 year old country. You can also take a stroll along Yaroslav's Court where the Great Medieval Market once stood. Here, merchants of several countries exhibited their goods and every day endless streams of ships are moored to the embankment.
In Novgorod, many monuments of religious and civil architecture of the XII-XVIII centuries have been preserved. You can marvel at the magnificent princely temple of the XII century, as well as at the churches of merchants which were used not only in the function of a place for offering prayers, but also to store goods.
A little further away from the city the old village the Vitoslavlitsy Folk Wooden Architecture Museum is situated. This open-air museum features a genuine collection of wooden architectural pieces. Huts, barns, churches, chapels and other mills that were built in sequence from the 16th to the 19th century found a new life here. The museum founders managed to recreate the lives of Novgorod peasants of that time. Inside their huts you’ll find furniture, kitchenware, clothing and utensils typical for habitants of the old Novgorod.
This trip to Veliky Novgorod will make for a truly unforgettable experience, the tour allows you to connect with the living history and discover the historical roots of Russia, the place where the great country began to arise.