➤Veliky Novgorod guided tour: the Kremlin, the Cathedral of St. Sophia, Yaroslav's Court, the St. George's Monastery, the Wooden Architecture Museum
➤Transfer to the train station to board the overnight train to Vladimir
Veliky Novgorod is one of Russia's most ancient cities and was Russia's first capital. No other Russian city can compete with Novgorod in the variety and age of its medieval monuments. It was founded by the Viking King Rurik in the 9th century who became the first King of Russia and founder of the Rurik Dynasty which ruled the Russian lands until the 16th century. In the 12th century, the Novgorod city-state controlled most of Europe's North-East, from today´s Estonia to the Ural Mountains making it one of the largest states in medieval Europe.
The Novgorod Kremlin, or Detinets, as it was called in Novgorod in old times, is the most ancient out of the preserved Kremlins in Russia (it is first mentioned in the chronicle of 1044). It was founded by Prince Yaroslav.
The Kremlin was an administrative, a social and a religious centre of Novgorod. Veche, elections of a posadnik were held here. From this place, squads of Alexander Nevsky marched out to the battle with the Swedes. Novgorod walls protected the main Cathedral of St.Sophia and the residence of the Archbishop of Novgorod. It was the Kremlin where the chronicles were kept and books were collected and copied.
The best way to admire the walls of the Novgorod Kremlin is to come nearer to it along the Volkhov river from Lake Ilmen. From the Settlement, you can see red and brick towers and walls of the fortress. The fortification near the settlement, built in the X century began to call the New City – Novgorod. The Kremlin, which is very beautiful in all weather, seemed to soar over the modern building. Bell ringing that covers tens of kilometres by the water, contributes to a sense of fabulousness. Approaching the Kremlin you begin to see the details: loopholes of towers and merlons of the walls, ancient and rather new buildings.