Father of Russian cities

Father of Russian cities
Russia
Russia, Veliky Novgorod – April 2019. Veliky Novgorod Railway Station. On the forecourt there is a monument to Alexander Nevsky.

Often, because of low use scores (the Unified State Exam in Russia after graduation from school) and the lack of money to enter the University on a paid basis, people leave large cities for neighboring ones, where it is cheaper to live, and there is no such competition for training places.

Veliky Novgorod

Just before going to Veliky Novgorod (which is constantly confused with Nizhny Novgorod), I had talked to Vladislav. He is from Saint Petersburg but has been living in Novgorod for several years. And so that I had some impression before the trip, we met and had a chat. The first thing Vladislav told me was “there is a MacDonalds in this back country, and it is located near the train station”. Great, I thought to myself, so I wouldn’t starve in this city.

“Novgorod seems like a city, but it’s not like that at all. This is something in the middle between Moscow and Saint Petersburg of nowhere. Here you can meet both a well-being student who came here to study and a local ragamuffin who will demand 10 rubles for vodka from you. The city lives only at the expense of students, as there are many universities here. And many foreigners come here to study, because here the cost of education is much less than in St. Petersburg, and all the necessary conditions for foreign nationals are created but they only come here to study and then leave. Because the job pays here are small and almost everyone has a loan. Tourists don’t trip here, this city is visited just only for show, the local Kremlin is only worth seeing, and that’s all.”

Vladislav also jokingly told me that he had often read about murders and fights in the news reports, but then said that in the few years that he had been living here, he had never seen anything like this. This reassured me well.

Russia, Veliky Novgorod – April 2019. Novgorod Kremlin (Detinets) is one of the oldest Russian Kremlins that have survived to the present day.

A city with an amazing centuries-old history

In general, Veliky Novgorod is a city with an amazing centuries-old history. This is a unique place in terms of architecture where a huge number of monuments of 11-14th centuries have been preserved. It is called Great because it had a huge impact on the historical development of Russia as a state. Although until 1999, the city was officially called simply Novgorod.

The official date of Novgorod’s appearance is 859, based on the chronicle. Novgorod was also not conquered by the Mongol powers and preserved unique monuments of ancient Russian architecture created before the Mongol invasion. For example, as the Kremlin (as it is also called the Novgorod Detinets). Well, another historical fact that Novgorod merchants called London and Paris “dirty village” because the streets in Novgorod began to be paved earlier than in European cities and the wooden water supply system here has already appeared in the times of Ancient Russia.

Russia, Veliky Novgorod – April 2019. Monument “Millennium Of Russia”. Monument inside the Kremlin, erected in 1862 in honor of the 1000th anniversary of the calling of the Varangians to Russia. The monument is made in the form of a large ball – the tsarist power.

…MacDonalds on the left of the train station

As soon as I’d arrived here the first thing I saw was actually MacDonalds on the left of the train station. There were few people on the streets and few tourists inside the Kremlin walls though it was Saturday. You must come to Novgorod just to see the Kremlin, and then tell all your friends “Yes, I was in Novgorod, this is the one that is Great”. It takes a few hours to walk around all the sights of the city.

There are a lot of churches here, both in the territory of the Kremlin itself and across the bridge. All these names of churches I learned once in school when I was preparing for the history exam to enter University, and now I see it all with my own eyes. Those who love history and want to spend a great weekend, this is a great opportunity because they can get here in a few hours from the St. Petersburg railway station. And now I can say that I was there.

Russia, Veliky Novgorod – April 2019. The Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh is the only structure of the preserved gate churches not only in Novgorod, but also in all of Russia. Next to the Church there is a 40 — meter high tower with a clock-Chime. It seems slightly inclined, so it evokes associations with the leaning tower of Pisa.
Russia, Veliky Novgorod – April 2019. Kremlin beach is a sandy strip on the Bank of the Volkhov river, which stretches along the walls of the fortress. In summer, this place turns into the main recreation area for residents of the city. It has all the necessary infrastructure: changing booths, sports fields, children’s slides, umbrellas for protection from the sun. On Sunny days, the beach can be quite crowded. The place is perfect for swimming and sunbathing, as well as for admiring the surrounding scenery.
Russia, Veliky Novgorod – April 2019. The Palace and the Spasskaya tower of the Kremlin.
Russia, Veliky Novgorod – April 2019. By lunchtime, there were a lot more people.
Russia, Veliky Novgorod – April 2019. The view of the Kremlin from the other Bank is amazing.
Russia, Veliky Novgorod – April 2019. The Church of St. Paraskeva the Friday on the marketplace. The first wooden Church on the site of the current one was built in 1156 by merchants.
Russia, Veliky Novgorod – April 2019. I always liked to go to churches to look at icons or paintings inside churches.
Russia, Veliky Novgorod – April 2019. Tithe convent.The first mention of the monastery in the Novgorod chronicle dates back to 1327. The monastery suffered during the Swedish occupation of Novgorod in 1611-1617, after which only the Nativity Church remained in it.
Russia, Veliky Novgorod – April 2019. As soon as you go beyond the borders of the Central district, you really think that you are in an ordinary village.

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