In one of the HED issues, we told you about one of the largest Russian regions – the Nizhny Novgorod Region. The Nizhny Novgorod Region is a picturesque region with numerous rivers and lakes, a major historic and cultural center, and an industrial and transport hub. Nizhny Novgorod is regularly ranked among the most developed and livable cities. Today we continue to familiarize you with the region and its sights. Fasten your seatbelts, everyone. We are leaving for Gorodets.
Gorodets. Famous for its Craftspeople
Gorodets is one of the oldest Russian fortress towns whose proud history stirs up many disputes among scholars even today. The exact date of the town’s foundation is not fixed. However, starting out from the first references in chronicles, it can be said that the town was founded in 1150–1172. The fortress town was to protect the southern borders of the Russian state from raids of hostile neighbors. It was repeatedly attacked and was burned down, but it was always restored and had been a major trade, political and industrial center for centuries. In the 18th century, bread trade was booming and shipbuilding and woodworking crafts were developing here. And later, it was a place where the first major metallurgical, woodworking, and leather manufacturing plants of the Nizhny Novgorod Region were established.
Taking into account the Gorodets’ status as a commercial and industrial center located at the intersection of the major trade routes, it is no wonder that it was a place where rich merchant families settled. And this fact was one of the drivers of the town and region’s development. The splendid houses with rich and exquisite decoration, churches, hospitals, and the necessary infrastructure were built.
Gorodets is a place where Alexander Nevsky, Grand Prince of Vladimir, passed away in 1263.
Throughout its history, Gorodets has gone through periods of rise and fall caused by military clashes, disasters, political turbulence, and trade and industry development. Today it is a major tourist center that attracts many tourists from across Russia and the world every year.
You can get from Nizhny Novgorod to Gorodets:
- by car
- by commuter train
- by bus
- by motor ship (from May to September)
Places to visit
Gorodets is exceptionally remarkable and beautiful. It is actually a museum town. Most of the ancient buildings have been preserved here. Local authorities make efforts to preserve the historic and cultural heritage in good order. So, in the uphill part you can enjoy a walk among the houses of the 19th century and delve into the atmosphere of that time.
The town center includes only four streets, including the streets named after Andrei Rublev, Vladimir Lenin, Alexander Nevsky, and Revolution Embankment. And this is the place where all the main museums of Gorodets are located.
- Museum House of Countess Panina (Rubleva Street, 16)
- Museum of Good (Revolution Embankment, 10)
- The Russian Samovar Museum (Revolution Embankment, 11)
- Regional Museum (Lenina Street, 11)
- Gorodets Gingerbread Museum (Lenina Street, 2)
- City of Masters (Yuri Dolgorukiy Embankment, 1)
City of Masters is a whole complex where you can see the wooden architecture works of the 16th-19th centuries, from the princely tower to the peasant log house. Despite the fact that the buildings in the City of Masters are actually modern buildings constructed in the style of Old Russian wooden architecture, the complex is still the most visited site in Gorodets. It holds various events, meetings, master classes where you can get an idea of folk crafts in Gorodets and even learn to make toys and painted crockery.
Of the ancient fortress standing on the borders of the Old Russian state, only a small fragment of the fortress wall has been preserved until now. To see this sight, you should climb up the Knyazhya Gora mountain.
Feodorovsky Monastery –an active friary – is one of the most ancient Russian monasteries. It was founded in 1154. The sanctuary is most famous for its copy of the Feodorovskaya Icon of the Mother of God. The icon itself has not been preserved. It burned down together with the wooden chapel during the invasion of Batu Khan. The light and beautiful monastery complex, which is a witness of historic events, is open to parishioners and visitors.
When in Gorodets, don’t forget to taste Gorodets gingerbread cookies!