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Nizhny Novgorod

Federal District: Volga
Founded: 1221
Population: 1 266 871 (2016 Census)
Area: 410,68 km2
Federal City Day: 2nd Sunday of September

Nizhny Novgorod is one of Russia’s major cities. The dominating feature of the city skyline is the grand Kremlin (1500-1511), with its red-brick towers. After Bolshevik devastation, the only ancient building left within the Kremlin walls is the tent-like Archangel Cathedral (1624-31), first built in stone in the 13th century. The city has a truly fascinating history that you will learn more about during your tour. The city was founded in the 13th century and became one of the Russian Empire’s most important outposts by the 16th century. In the 19th century it became the capital of trade for the whole of Russia due to its perfect location on the Volga. By the early 20th century it had also become an industrial hub. Between 1932 and 1990 the city was known as ‘Gorky’ after the famous Russian writer who was born there. During the Soviet era the city was actually closed to most foreigners in order to protect the production and military facilities in the city. Nowadays it’s a true mix of the cultural and historical monuments, yet with a contemporary vibe.

There are more than six hundred unique historic, architectural, and cultural monuments in the city leading the way for UNESCO to include Nizhny Novgorod in the list of 100 cities of the world which are of great historical and cultural value. The main sites to see are of course the dominating Kremlin which has some spectacular views of the Volga River. These views are beaten by those from the top of the Chkalov staircase. The staircase in itself is a work of art with 560 steps forming a figure of eight.

Also definitely worth a visit is the Museum House of Gorky. The wooden house where he grew up is open to the public. The Fair is a remarkable building, which many people mistake for a palace. It was moved to Nizhny Novgorod in 1817. The Church of Nativity is one of the most beautiful churches in the city. You have to choose carefully which church(es) you want to see, because there are so many that it’s impossible to get round them all! Finally, Pokrovka, the pedestrian street has a really pleasant atmosphere. There are street artists and musicians surrounded by the architectural gems lining both sides of the street.

As you can see, there is lots to see in Nizhny Novgorod. You can reach the city by various ways of transport. The train station is served by trains from Moscow and the Trans-Siberian passes through the city. The airport has both domestic and international flights, and of course you can arrive in the city by boat as it is along the main cruise route along the Volga.

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