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About Novgorod

NOVGOROD THE GREAT is a city in the north-west part of Russia, on the Volkhov River, just below its outflow from the lake ILMEN. The Novgorod territory is remarkable neither for fertile lands nor for rich natural resources. Its main wealth lies in its great cultural legacy created in the course of a thousand-year history. It is not only of great national significance but enjoys worldwide repute too.

Novgorod was an important factor in the establishment and preservation of the Russian Statehood.

Novgorod is the most ancient Christian center of Russia in its present-day frontiers and also the earliest center of education in Russia. The first school for 300 students was established here in 1034.

In the middle of the eighth century Northern European merchants laid the new Baltic-Volga waterway to Asia. This trade route functioned for more than a thousand years and from the moment of its emergence Novgorod played the dominant position as trade center on that way. It was a sort of economic border between Europe and Asia.

The Kremlin (Detinets) is the main landmark in the unique complex of structures dating from the 11th to the 17th centuries. The first reference of Kremlin goes back to the beginning of the 11th century, the year 1044. Originally it consisted only of the Bishop’s Court. In the early twelfth century the territory of the citadel was extended, but the Kremlin began to be used as a military fortification only at the beginning of the 14th century. In the late 14th century ramparts were built around the entire city, with wooden walls and stone towers over them. Present-day appearance the walls and towers have acquired at the end of the fifteenth century.

The St Sophia Cathedral in the Novgorod Kremlin is the most ancient church in Russia (the year 989). While visiting the Cathedral inside you will see authentic frescos and icons from those ancient times Novgorod played that important role in view of all aspects in Russia.

On the Kremlin grounds there is another landmark – Monument “Millenium of Russia” – narrating about all historical periods of the country.

Novgorod is the birthplace of the Russian democratic republican traditions and in the most ancient records the Novgorodian land is associated with the development of early Russian legal system with the law code that reached us in the chronicles under the name of the Russian Truth.

Yaroslavovo Dvorische (Yaroslavovo Yard) - this Yard was used as the place for meetings where people could discuss any issue of political importance. These meetings were called “Novgorodian veche”, so nowadays when some decision is required to be taken by one or just a very limited number of people, Russians say – do not arrange “Novgorodian Veche” to discuss this matter.

The place has been also used for receptions of foreign ambassadors and ceremonies marking the departure of warriors to a war.

Vitoslavlitsy - Monuments of wooden architecture of the 16th-19th centuries were brought to this place by helicopters from entire Novgorod Region and inside visits to these old premises will give you more ideas of the Russian life style at that period. You will be able to learn here more about Russian old traditions and various holiday rituals, all visitors are usually interested and even not all Russians know about.

Birch is one of the most beautiful trees on our planet. Touching the tree helps to restore the emotions, while wearing jewelry made from the bark helps to reduce stress and relieve headaches. Siberian craftsmen call birch bark the eighth wonder of the world. It has a smooth silky surface very pleasant to the touch, nature's satin indeed. For Russian people it is the symbol of their mother land and of its female origin. In the old days birch was planted near the wicket - entrance to the yard - so that trouble couldn't enter people's home. Near the birch there was always a bench - for people to sit under this tree and talk to it asking it for strength and health that were much needed.

Birch Bark (beresta) has bactericidal properties; therefore air in a birch wood is cleaner, than in an surgery room. Since 14 century people in Russia learned to keep fresh fish, honey, milk, oil, cheese in specially designed "Tues" (the barrel). The organic nature of those boxes allows keeping food always fresh for a long time. These days our products generally used for a storage of jewelry. But still "Tues" (Barrel) can be used for a food store. 



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