Novgorod: The Birthplace of Russia
Veliky Novgorod is a proud city with the title of the Birthplace of Russia. It’s one of the oldest cities in Russia dating from the 10th century. The city was a busy trading post in medieval times thanks to the Volkhov River, by which many Hanseatic cities carried their trade. During the 9th century, the city was a vital part of the most important trade route connecting Northern Europe to the Orient, the Volga trade route.
The city was great once, but its glory has faded, and today there’s no much to see there. I only recommend a visit for those with more time to spare and those interested to learn about the history of Russia.
St George’s Monastery
The St. George Monastery, also called Yuriev Monastery, is one of the oldest monasteries of Russia. The date of its construction is unclear. According to legend, the monastery was founded in 1030, but the first written record of it dates from 1119 when the St. George’s Cathedral was built. The Cathedral was the burial place of the local princes in the 12th century.
Like many other properties of the church in Russia, the monastery suffered during the Soviet era. In 1928, five of the six churches at the monastery was destroyed and, in 1929, the monastery was closed. In 1991, the monastery was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church, and it has been under restoration since.
The Novgorod Kremlin
The Kremlin is the heart of the city like in many other cities of Russia. This fortress served as the center of the political, religious and civic life in the medieval ages. The first records of the Kremlin date from 1044.
Inside the Kremlin, you will find the Cathedral of St. Sophia. This Cathedral is the oldest church in Russia dating of 1050. It was built to replace an even older wooden church built around 989 by Bishop Ioakim Korsunianin, the first bishop of Novgorod.