Yaroslavl Russia Is The Most Beautiful Of The ‘Golden Ring’

Yaroslavl Russia Is The Most Beautiful Of The ‘Golden Ring’

Yaroslavl Russia is the most beautiful of the ‘Golden Ring’ of ancient Russian cities to the north and east of Moscow. Its heart is tucked into the angle of the junction between the Volga and the smaller Kotorosl, where Prince Yaroslavl of the Kievan Rus fortified an existing Viking trading post in 1010. It reached the zenith of its political and economic power in the 16th century, and by 1612, during the Polish occupation of Moscow, it was Russia’s second-largest city and briefly, the capital.

Yaroslavl Russia

During the 17th century, Yaroslavl Russia‘s trade barons competed with each other to build ever more glitzy churches, and brought the finest craftsmen and artists from all over Europe to the city. Catherine the Great set her beady eye on its astonishing agglomeration of treasures, and had the medieval city re-cast on neo-classical principles. The radial plan of the modern centre is hers. You can still see more than 20 churches dating back as far as the 12th century, and Catherine’s excellent artistic taste incorporated the porticos, parks, squares and monuments of the 16th and 17th into her master plan.

These days Yaroslavl Russia rests sleepily on its historic laurels. It is still a major industrial centre of petrochemicals, tyres and diesel engines; and the Perekop district across the Kotorosl boasts some of the city’s best parks and churches, including 17th century St John the Baptist on the riverbank slap bang next to the paint factory. It’s unfortunate that Perekop is a seedy, run-down place of pre-Soviet izbas and factories, but the combination of sublime art and 21st century urban reality is typical. Fortunately, the huge residential areas ringing the centre have enough parks and, in Zavolzhsky across the Volga, birch and evergreen forests, for Yaroslavl‘s central masterpieces to retain the verdant riverside settings for which they were created. Try to arrive by riverboat.

Population Of Yaroslavl Russia

613,000 (2002)

When To Go To Yaroslavl Russia

April to October.

Don’t Miss To Visit This Place In Yaroslavl Russia
*The incomparable icons, illuminated inscriptions, and frescoes of the Church of St Elijah the Prophet, whichalso has some of the loveliest onion domes anywhere.
*The Spassky Monastery, built in the 12th century on the site of a pagan temple, but with later additions.
*The 18th century neo-classical City Hall.
*The red brick and bright, tiled exterior of the Church of St Nicholas Nadein – an exemplar of the Yaroslavl Type, and with first-rank frescoes.
*The Saviour Monastery of 1505-15.
*Walking the river bank in the shadow of ancient lindens, in the city centre.

You Should Know About Yaroslavl Russia

Yaroslavl Russia lost its pre-eminence as ‘mother of all crossroads’ when St Petersburg was built.


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