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What to See in Yaroslavl
September 28, 2009 18:48

Yaroslavl is one of the Golden Ring cities, celebrating its millennium in 2010. It means that all the circumstances for a big flow of tourists are already created. Moreover, since 2005 Yaroslavl is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, because of its architectural monuments, churches and civil buildings of 16 – 18 centuries. So, it is worth to be visited even after the anniversary celebration. Museums acquaint the tourists with the exciting history and splendid art of the place. The hotels provide you rooms and apartments, from the luxurious to modest ones. Big variety of cafes and restaurants solves the food problem. Yaroslavl is a transportation hub, so it is not a problem to reach it by car, by train and by water.

A little history

As you could understand from the introduction, Yaroslavl was founded one thousand years ago. It was not later than in 1010, and it was famous prince Yaroslav the Wise, who founded the fortress and named it after himself. During the Time of Troubles in the early 17th century Yaroslavl was a temporary Russian capital. It was Yaroslavl, where the first public national theatre in Russia and provincial magazine appeared, the masterpiece of the Russian medieval literature “The Lay of the Host of Igor” and three icons from the Russian oldest ones were also found here. More history...

Architecture and art: What Yaroslavl is famous with

The very first thing to see in Yaroslavl is its architectural monuments. Yaroslavl is full of the architectural monuments, the numerous 17-century churches; moreover, the urban planning of Yaroslavl is an outstanding example of results of the urban planning reform, carried out by the Empress Catherine the Great. The oldest building on the territory of the city is the Transfiguration cathedral of the Spassky monastery, built in the 1506 – 1516, on the basis of the previous 13th century cathedral. The icons from the iconostasis of the cathedral, painted in the middle of the 16th century are exhibited next door, in the museum, which is situated in the former Spassky monastery. By the way, “The Lay of the Host of Igor” was found here.

Other famous churches are built in the 17th century, by the rich merchants. One of the families was called “the Russian Medici” in literature, because their contribution into the architecture and painting were really comparable with those the Renaissance merchants did. The members of this family, the Skripins, have ordered the building and paintings of the Elijah the Prophet’s church - one of the glories of Yaroslavl. The church is five-domed, the bell tower and Deposition of the Virgin's Robe chapel have conical roofs. The church is famous with its paintings, covering all the surfaces in the interior. The painting was executed in 1681 under the guidance of the famous painters of that time, Gury Nikitin and Sila Savin. Four registers of the painting include Evangelic story, the Acts of the Apostles, the Lives of Elijah the Prophet and of his pupil Elisha. The church of Elijah the Prophet is a part of the museum, and many icons are exhibited there, coming from this church and not only.

The ensemble, consisting of two churches is to be seen in the Korovnitskaya sloboda. One building is for the summer, and one for the winter time.

The church of John the Baptist is the quintessence of the Yaroslavl luxurious art of the 17th century. It is huge, and its silhouette is fantastic. It is the only one church, made of bricks, having 15 domes. The wooden churches of the Russian North can have more, because of the material, but they are not so large. The patron of this church had some troubles because of its 15-heads, because it was regarded as insolence. The body of the building is covered with the ornaments made of the figure bricks and encaustic tiles. The interior is an encyclopedia of the Old-Testament and Evangelical subjects.

The monastery of Tolga, founded in the 14th century, is a place, where the so-called Tolga icon of the Mother of God was found. This icon, a rare example of the late 13 – early 14 century Russian painting, is exhibited in the Yaroslavl museum of Fine Arts. You can see a church of the late 17th century, where it was till 1920-s. Other buildings of the monastery and the cedar garden are also worth to be seen there.

Other examples of the architecture are churches of the Nativity of the Christ (17 century), Theophany (17 century), Nikola Nadein (17 century, the frescoes which are being restored now) and the rare example of the secular buildings – 17-century Chambers of the metropolitan. And it is not all.


There are more than 15 hotels in Yaroslavl, besides the fact that you can find accommodation in the flat for a few days. Most of the hotels provide minimal services, some of them have are more expensive and respectable. The hotel Ring Premiere is one of the most expensive and prestige. The hotels of Yubileynaya and Kotorosl are not bad, according to the feedbacks. But the prices could be a little lower. The hotels Medvezhiy Ugol, YUTA, Turist and Sport have served a relatively low opinion of the travelers.

Restaurants and cafes

The main problem of the restaurants in Yaroslavl is that they call live music. If you don’t understand Russian, it is not so unbearable. The restaurants of the city offer Russian, European, Uzbek and Japanese kitchen. The business travelers advice pizzeria Mario, Kirova Street, 8/10/ and also Poplavok, Yarburg and Zapravka.


The simplieste variant to get to Yaroslavl is by train from the station Yaroslavsky vokzal in Moscow. The named train runs not longer than 5 hours. If you decide to go by car, the federal highway M-8 (Moscow – Yaroslavl – Vologda – Archangelsk) goes through the city. The airports of Yaroslavl are Tunoshna, Levtsovo and Karachikha. Tunoshna is an international airport. The water routes are used mainly for cruises.

Read More about Yaroslavl

Read more about Golden Ring of Russia

Yulia Buzykina


Tags: Yaroslavl Golden Ring    

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