Veliky (The Great) Novgorod is commonly known as the “cradle of Russia”. The first reference to Novgorod appears in ancient Russian chronicle in 859, so the city is at least 300 years older than Moscow. Long before St. Petersburg became famous as the “window to Europe” Novgorod had been a crucial link between medieval Europe and Russia. Situated on the crossroads of important trading routes passing from the Mediterranean to the Baltics, the town prospered in the Middle Ages, and local craftsmen became renowned for their unparagoned skills.
During our tour you will get a unique opportunity to see what the life and work of the common folk in old Russia looked like by visiting the wonderful Vitoslavitsy Museum. It is the largest open air museum of Slavic wooden architecture in the world. Among 20 beautiful buildings you will discover several churches, izbas (dwellings), farmhouses and the traditional banya (bathhouse). Our guide will tell and numerous exhibitions will show you the curious story of local folklore, craftsmanship and customs.
UNESCO has classified several sights of Novgorod as a part of World Cultural Heritage, but the main jewel among them is undoubtedly the Kremlin – the true heart of the city. For centuries it was the civic, public and religious center. The sturdy walls of Kremlin carefully protected the amazing St. Sophia’s Cathedral – one of the first stone churches in Russia, built by masterful architects of age from Kiev and Byzantium. While enjoying magnificent views of the Kremlin the meaning of the strange Russian words: “Detinets”, “veche”, “posadnik” will become clear as our knowledgeable guide introduce you to the exciting history of old Russia through the prism of the history of the great city – Veliky Novgorod.