Novgorod or Great Novgorod is a city at the northwest of Russia. It is one of the oldest cities of Russia and its history numbers more that 1000 years. A first record of Novgorod is dated to the IX century.
Novgorod got its fame because of uprising in 1136. After that event the city organized the Feudal Republic of Novgorod that was a peculiar analog of the democracy. The prince was only a formal figure and the real power was in the hands of the popular assembly (vache). In the XI-XV centuries the so-called Master Great Novgorod was a trade center of Kievan and then Moscow Russia. In 1570 the tsar Ivan the Terrible overrode the city and the Republic came to an end. In 1611-17 the forces of Sweden occupied the city and ravaged it.
During the Imperial period of Russian history Novgorod was an administrative center of Novgorodskaya province. In the XX century during the time of the Second World War the city was occupied by German forces and virtually destroyed. Nowadays Great Novgorod is one of the most popular historical centers of Russia where one can find the variety of sightseeing and the monuments of culture, dated to the different centuries.
The main attractions of Novgorod are Novgorod Kremlin, St. Sophia Cathedral with Magdeburg gate, Rurick?s ancient settlement, the monument of the thousandth anniversary of Russia and Faceted Chamber. Novgorod Kremlin is a fortress that was a political center of the Republic of Novgorod. The Kremlin was dated to the XI century, but its walls go back to the XV century. The fortress is located on the hill at a height of 10 meters above the Volkhov River; its inside square numbers 12 hectares.
The spiritual center of the Kremlin is St. Sophia Cathedral, constructed in the XI century. It is a temple, adorned with 6 cupolas, frescos and wall-paintings. The main attraction of the cathedral is Magdeburg gate, created by European masters and decorated with high-relieves and sculptures. The main cupola of the cathedral was crowned with a bronze dove that embodies the Holy Spirit. There is a legend that while the dove is sitting on the cross, Novgorod will be out of danger.
In front of St. Sophia cathedral is situated the monument of the thousandth anniversary of Russia that was placed in 1862. Varangian Rurick is supposed to have been called to Russia by the residents of Novgorod in 862 to become leader of the new state. The so-called Rurick?s ancient settlement was the residence of new ruler and a trade and military center. Nowadays on the territory of the ancient settlement the archeologists find the variety of things that are dated to the VIII-XIV centuries.
Unique sightseeing of Novgorod amazes tourists from over the world. Every stone of the historical centre of the city reminds about striking or terrifying events that took place here.