These breathtaking monuments are situated on the M10 federal highway connecting Moscow andSt. Petersburg. The city lies along the Volkhov River just downstream from its outflow from Lake Ilmen. UNESCO recogniszed Novgorod as a World Heritage Site in 1992. Population: 218,717 (2010 Census). Source :- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novgorod NovGorod Citadel is the oldest Kremlin in Russia.This ancient capital of Russia is the centre for inexplicable Orthodox spirituality and mind-boggling Russian architecture. The 14th century frescoes of Theophanes the Greek( Andrei Rublev’s teacher) are a testimonial to illustrate the development of its magnificent architecture and cultural creativity.
Novgorod was a remarkable culture centre. It was the home to the national style of stone architecture, and one of the oldest national schools of painting, the town of Novgorod influenced Russian art throughout the middle ages. The wide range of monuments conserved in Novgorod makes it a factual ‘conservatory’ of the development of Russian architecture in the middle ages. The town of Novgorod had much geographical importance too. In the 10th century it laid on the trade route linking Central Asia with Northern Europe (Baltic and Scandinavian countries). The aristocracy that governed the republic through a People’s assembly invited a prince from the Swedish( Varangian) dynasty of the Rurikids to reign over them. In the Russian era, only the cities of Novgorod and Pskov had this sort of organization, which was similar to that of the Hanseatic cities, with which Novgorod had trading relations. It would be fascinating to know that :- 1) The most ancient Russian old church Slavonic, a branch of the Indo-European family of languages, Manuscripts (11th century) were written at Novgorod,including an autonomous historiography and, in particular, the first complete translation into Slavonic of the old and new testaments. 2)It was only after the conquest of the two republics by the Muscovite rulers that the present russian capital, Moscow, achieved cultural supremacy. 3)In Novgorod itself, there is the district of St Sophia, which includes: the Kremlin with its 15th-century fortifications, reinforced in the 17th century: the church of St Sophia from the mid-11th century, and other monuments from the 12th to 19th centuries, monuments in the commercial district (including many of the oldest churches in the town, such as the Church of the Transfiguration, decorated with frescoes at the end of the 14th century by Theophanes the Greek, who was responsible for reviving medieval Russian painting and was the teacher of Andrei Rublev); and four religious monuments (12th and 13th centuries) outside the old town (including the famous church of Neredica). 4) This was the very place where Vladimir Yaroslavovich built a huge stone Cathedral of St. Sophia in 1050. This cathedral became the symbol of the strength and power of the Prince’s authority, and later it was adopted as the symbol of the power of the Novgorod Republic. Residents of the city would die as soldiers fighting for the Holy Sophia. 5)George’s Church of the St. George’s Monastery could also compete with the Sofia cathedral. The chronicle says that the prince’s monastery was founded in 1119, becoming the second one in Russia after the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra. It was located on the legendary route from the Vikings to the Greeks, and formed the southern gate of Novgorod. And while George’s Church yields to the Sophia in size, its image reflects the highest ideas of our ancestors of beauty and harmony. The George Monastery is especially beautiful during the spring flood of Volkhov, it turns into an island surrounded by the water. 6)In 1136 the state system was changed from the prince’s rule to Veche and the popular council, a new chapter in the history of temple construction began. At that time citizens were free to decide how to build and what to build. New churches were ordered by Boyars, merchants, and residents of the streets. Of course, their artistic tastes and material resources were far less than those of princes. The buildings became smaller and the décor simpler. But the overall image of Novgorod architecture is preserved. 7)In 1179 an impressive cuboid Church of the Annunciation was built near the village of Myachino. It was built on the request of Archbishop of Novgorod Iliya just for 70 worshippers before the 10th anniversary of the victory over the Suzdal army. The church has become a new type of small temple in Novgorod, with four pillars and a dome. The restoration work in the church disclosed magnificent frescos of Novgorod school, bright and festive. 8)Zverin or Pokrovsky monastery was built on the left bank of the Volkhov in the forest, where the princes of Novgorod used to hunt. It is considered the oldest convent in the Russian North. The monastery contains buildings of the 14th and 15th centuries, when lots of stone temples were built in Novgorod on the requests of the church rulers. The Church of the Twelve Apostles and the Church of Simeon were more elegant with unusually detailed facades. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/604
Some remarkable facts :- 1) Birch bark writing Letters from the past are an amazing source of knowledge about the life of the Russian people in ancient times and the Middle Ages. The Novgorod birch bark documents were found during the excavations in 1951. Over thousands of personal and business letters, contracts, wills, receipts, and exercises for students have changed our mind on the level of literacy in Veliky Novgorod. Novgorod was almost totally literate, regardless of social status and wealth. 2) The Monument dedicated to the Millennium of Russia Ancient chronicle evidence of calling Rurik to rule in Russia helped with the decision to celebrate the installation of the monument in Novgorod, which embodies the history of the Russian state. The Russian memorial design competition was won by the young artist M Mikeshin and architect I. Schroeder. The monument combines the silhouettes of the bells and the Cap of Monomakh, which illustrate the national doctrine of the Russian Empire: Autocracy, Orthodoxy and Nationality. High relief figures of the lower frieze, are divided into groups: the Enlightenment heroes, statesmen, military men, writers and artists. Periods in history of the Russian state from Rurik to Peter I are symbolized by 17 sculptures of the middle tier. There is a power ball with a cross and the kneeling woman in Russian costume on the top of the Monument. It is an interesting fact that there is no figure of Ivan the Terrible who defeated Novgorod with the Oprichnina army in 1570. Source :- http://culture.ru/en/atlas/object/697