PDA

View Full Version : Veliky Novgorod - worth to see!



Sparafucile
04-03-2012, 22:03
As for the City of Vladimir, this is Russia's old capital too, so there are three capitals in Russia - Moscow, Petersburg and Vladimir. I read in some articles today.

Sure :)

Don't forget also Novgorod (Veliky Novgorod, rather than Nizhny Novgorod). It was the original medieval capital of Russia, to which Rurik was called to rule the country. The Rurikid Princes later moved to Kiev - but Novgorod was the original capital of Rus'. :)

Veliky Novgorod is too far as a day-trip from Moscow - it takes about 7 hours to drive (and you wouldn't want to, it's a miserable road clogged with HGV trucks). But there is a convenient and inexpensive overnight train from Moscow, leaves around 9pm, arrives 05:30 the next morning. Make sure you've booked a hotel where you can crash out on arrival :) Then you can have the whole day to see the town. The main attraction is the medieval Kremlin, the oldest in the whole country (all the others of that period were destroyed in the Mongol and Pecheneg invasions of the C13th and C14th, but Novgorod survived, because it was further north than the Mongols went).

Novgorod would be a nice place for a weekend trip - and in fact we have some Long Weekend holidays coming up in the calendar right now :) Although it's a small town there are some nice places to eat and drink there, and a good range of reasonably-priced hotels :)

Judge
04-03-2012, 22:15
Veliky Novgorod is too far as a day-trip from Moscow - it takes about 7 hours to drive (and you wouldn't want to, it's a miserable road clogged with HGV trucks).

It's not that bad, I drove to Velikhy Novgorod(nice place) last winter, the only problem I had to face was a snow storm.The HGV trucks were a blessing, I used them to see in the snow storm..
The road was decent,more or less a smooth ride all the way.What was annoying is that you have to pass through small villages.
Soon they will be building the new super motorway to St Petes, this will make the drive much better.

droy
05-03-2012, 00:02
Hi,

Is now is a good time to visit Novgorod or should I wait for summer and then make the trip?

FatAndy
05-03-2012, 11:14
Hi,

Is now is a good time to visit Novgorod or should I wait for summer and then make the trip?
Late spring is better ;)

FatAndy
05-03-2012, 11:29
Sure :)

Don't forget also Novgorod (Veliky Novgorod, rather than Nizhny Novgorod). It was the original medieval capital of Russia, to which Rurik was called to rule the country. The Rurikid Princes later moved to Kiev - but Novgorod was the original capital of Rus'. :)

Veliky Novgorod is too far as a day-trip from Moscow - it takes about 7 hours to drive (and you wouldn't want to, it's a miserable road clogged with HGV trucks). But there is a convenient and inexpensive overnight train from Moscow, leaves around 9pm, arrives 05:30 the next morning. Make sure you've booked a hotel where you can crash out on arrival :) Then you can have the whole day to see the town. The main attraction is the medieval Kremlin, the oldest in the whole country (all the others of that period were destroyed in the Mongol and Pecheneg invasions of the C13th and C14th, but Novgorod survived, because it was further north than the Mongols went).

Novgorod would be a nice place for a weekend trip - and in fact we have some Long Weekend holidays coming up in the calendar right now :) Although it's a small town there are some nice places to eat and drink there, and a good range of reasonably-priced hotels :)

A couple of comments. The Kremlin of V. Novgorod (in current borders and brick/stone exterior) was built in 14-15th century, although a couple of towers belong to the end of 13th century. In the summer they do some nice festivals and events on the Kremlin territory, behind the museum building.

The best view to the Kremlin over Volhov river is from Amaks/Rossiya (Tourist) hotel http://novgorod.amaks-hotels.ru/
I've been there in Aug 2012, prices were low, but as same as service level :D Not only booking is needed, but a couple of kicks, that you'll be REALLY ARRIVING tomorrow morning, so please prepare the room. And still no warranty that room will be ready.
So don't expect too much. The food in their restaurant was not bad though.

In contrary with Moscow, there are no fruit/vegetable/cigarettes kiosks there. At all. So if you want to buy fresh fruits, consider pedestrian walk to local market.
http://www.domberga.ru/ - here you can have a good dinner and service.

Sparafucile
05-03-2012, 12:09
A couple of comments. The Kremlin of V. Novgorod (in current borders and brick/stone exterior) was built in 14-15th century, although a couple of towers belong to the end of 13th century. .

True, the present structures were rebuilt in the C14th & C15th, but the entire Kremlin itself dates back to the C11th ;)

St Sofia's Cathedral - which is built within the Kremlin walls - dates from the C11th, although it has been repeatedly renovated over the centuries. The Yuriev Monastery, the St Nicholas Monastery and the Antoniev Monastery (all outside the city) are all from the C11th too. So there is plenty of Russia's oldest architecture still standing in the area, and within the Kremlin too :)

I've been in that "Hotel Tourist" and it was truly horrible :( There are several other hotels in Novgorod which aren't expensive, and they are better :)

You can have a medieval dinner in the Detinets Restaurant - it's in a former Guard Chamber of the Kremlin Walls (entrance from within the Kremlin, through a Guard Tower). The food and recipes are 'Old Russian", including roast duck, mead, etc. I wouldn't say it is really super, but the atmosphere is nice. If you prefer a modern restaurant, then Holmgard is good - it's in the large building built on the lawns in front of the Kremlin.

FatAndy
05-03-2012, 12:35
True, the present structures were rebuilt in the C14th & C15th, but the entire Kremlin itself dates back to the C11th ;)

St Sofia's Cathedral - which is built within the Kremlin walls - dates from the C11th, although it has been repeatedly renovated over the centuries. The Yuriev Monastery, the St Nicholas Monastery and the Antoniev Monastery (all outside the city) are all from the C11th too. So there is plenty of Russia's oldest architecture still standing in the area, and within the Kremlin too :)

I've been in that "Hotel Tourist" and it was truly horrible :( There are several other hotels in Novgorod which aren't expensive, and they are better :)

You can have a medieval dinner in the Detinets Restaurant - it's in a former Guard Chamber of the Kremlin Walls (entrance from within the Kremlin, through a Guard Tower). The food and recipes are 'Old Russian", including roast duck, mead, etc. I wouldn't say it is really super, but the atmosphere is nice. If you prefer a modern restaurant, then Holmgard is good - it's in the large building built on the lawns in front of the Kremlin.

Across the river, on Torgovaya Storona, there are a lot of old chirches too (most of them are located near the river, and 4-5 of them deeper to the city). Yes, I heard about "Detinets" restaurant but somehow bypassed it.
Regarding the hotel - I had no illusions, so I had what I paid for. Though a couple of other Amaks hotels I visited (Perm', Rostov-n-D) were not bad, so maybe in the future they'll pull that one up.

Sparafucile
05-03-2012, 12:46
Across the river, on Torgovaya Storona, there are a lot of old chirches too (most of them are located near the river, and 4-5 of them deeper to the city). Yes, I heard about "Detinets" restaurant but somehow bypassed it.
Regarding the hotel - I had no illusions, so I had what I paid for. Though a couple of other Amaks hotels I visited (Perm', Rostov-n-D) were not bad, so maybe in the future they'll pull that one up.

'Detinets' is unashamedly a tourist experience, so maybe you did the right thing? The food and drink are only average - you pay for the historic setting and nice service. Frankly I would go to Holmgard if I wanted a nice supper - in comparison with Moscow prices it's a real bargain :) It's owned by the Volkhov Hotel, which is probably the best 4* option in the centre. The best of all, however, is the Park Inn 4*, which has a swimming pool and lovely facilities, but is in the new part of town. The restaurant there is excellent, by the way. The same chain of hotels also owns the 3* Sadko, which is the perfect mid-price hotel, and just around the corner from the medieval churches and the city market.

The Churches on the medieval trading area are worth visiting, but aren't always open - not even at the stated times. You might have to go and wake-up the churchwarden to open the doors. For fans of old ikons it's worth it - the oldest ikons in Russia are there (painted by Greek missionaries fleeing the Fall of Constantinople, before a Russian school of ikon-painting had begun).

I'd also recommend the Outdoor Museum of Ancient Architecture - it's more fun than it sounds, and on holidays etc they organise outdoor festive fun. They have several old farmhouses from the C17th-C18th, to get an insight on how people lived in the villages of old Russia. It's directly adjacent to the Yuriev Monastery... you'd need a taxi to get there as it's 7-8 kilometres across the marshes otherwise.

FatAndy
05-03-2012, 13:13
I'd also recommend the Outdoor Museum of Ancient Architecture - it's more fun than it sounds, and on holidays etc they organise outdoor festive fun. They have several old farmhouses from the C17th-C18th, to get an insight on how people lived in the villages of old Russia. It's directly adjacent to the Yuriev Monastery... you'd need a taxi to get there as it's 7-8 kilometres across the marshes otherwise.
Vitoslavitsy museum, yes, I've visited it together with excursion to Yur'ev monastery. They do bus excursions regularely from Sennaya pl., which is located near the western exit of Kremin.

Sparafucile
05-03-2012, 13:13
Hi,

Is now is a good time to visit Novgorod or should I wait for summer and then make the trip?

Best of all is to wait until St John's Day, the Midsummer Night festival of Ivan-Kupala :)

This semi-pagan festival is still celebrated around Novgorod, mostly in the woods. Young couples jump through bonfires, then run off into the woods to copulate :)

FatAndy
05-03-2012, 13:20
Best of all is to wait until St John's Day, the Midsummer Night festival of Ivan-Kupala :)

This semi-pagan festival is still celebrated around Novgorod, mostly in the woods. Young couples jump through bonfires, then run off into the woods to copulate :)

The date of Ivan Kupala is around 21-25 Jun. I appreciate solving of demographic issue ;)

martpark
05-03-2012, 14:43
Best of all is to wait until St John's Day, the Midsummer Night festival of Ivan-Kupala :)

This semi-pagan festival is still celebrated around Novgorod, mostly in the woods. Young couples jump through bonfires, then run off into the woods to copulate :)

Saint John's/San Juan Day is celebrated with fire jumping in other countries as well. In Barcelona, for example, they jump over the fire on the beach and then run off to the clubs to copulate. It's universal.

Swordfish90293
05-03-2012, 14:50
Best of all is to wait until St John's Day, the Midsummer Night festival of Ivan-Kupala :)

This semi-pagan festival is still celebrated around Novgorod, mostly in the woods. Young couples jump through bonfires, then run off into the woods to copulate :)

In Sweden during this time after partying all day we would copulate in the flames of a giant bonfire wearing Teflon™ underwear...