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    Gorodets

Gorodets is a Russian town, the administrative center of the Gorodets District of the Nizhny Novgorod Region.

It has the population of 30 570 people (as of 2013) and takes the area of 124 sq.km.

Gorodets is located in Zavolzhye, on the left bank of River Volga (where it has a pier), 14 km to the west of the Zavolzhye railway station, 70 km to the northwest of Nizhny Novgorod. Gorodets is connected to Nizhny Novgorod with a highway (through Zavolzhye, over a hydroelectric power station dam).

Gorodets and neighboring villages are famous for ancient art handicrafts, such as carving (architectural details, gingerbread boards, and the like) and wood painting (the so-called Gorodets painting, distaffs, toys, and furniture from the second half of the 19th century.

History of Gorodets

It was founded by prince Yuri Dolgoruky as a fortress for defending eastern frontiers of the Rostov-and-Suzdal principality from the Volga Bulgarians in 1152. It was named Gorodets, which means a small stockaded town. It was also mentioned in literary texts as Gorodets-on-Volga and Gorodets-Radilov.

Addition of specifying definitions was due to a wide circulation of the toponym of Gorodets: Russian chronicles only mention eight towns under this name in different places of Russia. By 1164 the town was recorded as Maly (small) Kitezh, i.e. opposed to the legendary Bolshoy (big) Kitezh on Lake Svetloyar. The toponym etymology Kitezh (Kitesh, Kitezh, Kidash) has not been established; there are different versions.

In 1238 it was burned by armies of Baty Khan. After the restoration it became the center of the Gorodets Principality.

Alexander Nevsky, who was coming back from the Golden Horde to Vladimir, died there in the Fyodorovsky Monastery in 1263.

In the 14th century it was the capital of a specific principality, and then as a part of the Grand Nizhny Novgorod duchy. In 1408 it was destroyed by the Mongol-Tatar armies of Khan Edigey and then fell into decay.

In the 17th century near the ancient settlement there appeared Verkhnyaya Slobodka, which gave rise to the village of Gorodets. Boris Godunov gave Gorodets over to his daughter Xenia Godunova (in 1602-22 she owned half of Gorodets). Yekaterina II granted Gorodets to Count G. Orlov and afterwards it was the estate of Count Panin, and then Princess Volkonsky.

Since 1719 it has been part of the Nizhny Novgorod province.

In the late 18th early 19th centuries it was the center for the Old Believers. In the 19th century it became a large trading and industrial village that traded in grain and various crafts, such as blacksmithing, foundry, tanning, tinctorial, and gingerbread). Shipbuilding and anchor production were also developing.

Gorodets has been a town since since 1921.

Architecture and Sights

On the high Knyazhaya Mount with its slope hanging to Volga there have remained hardly noticeable parts of a shaft that was used to protect the town. Concentric nature of the town planning has remained. A massive shaft with the initial height of 9 to 15 m protected the settlement from the north, the east and the south. Its remaining part extends for 1.5 km long. A fragment of an additional shaft for strengthening the expanding town has remained.



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Gorodets
  (Nizhny Novgorod Region)

Cities of the region

    Nizhny Novgorod
    Sarov
    Arzamas
    Dzerzhinsk
    Bor
    Kstovo
    Pavlovo
    Vyksa
    Balakhna
    Zavolzhye
    Bogorodsk
    Kulebaki

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