The silver ring of Russia
The silver ring of Russia is a route that passes through ancient Russian towns, which have preserved exceptional monuments of history and culture of the Russian North-West.
The silver Ring route comprises several historical cities of 7 subordinate entities of Russian Federation: Veliky Novgorod, Pskov, Velikiye Luki, Izborsk, Pechory, Ivangorod, Kingisepp, Vyborg, Staraya Ladoga, and Vologda.
The Slavic culture of this area dates back to 7th-8th centuries AD. The architectural monuments there represent virtually all periods of development of our country from wooden religious buildings and medieval fortresses, guarding the borders of Veliky Novgorod, to the world-famous palaces of Saint-Petersburg and its suburbs.
Veliky Novgorod (Novgorod the Great)
Novgorod is the most ancient Slavic city recorded in Russia. The chronicle first mentions it in 859, when it was already a major station on the trade route from the Baltics to Byzantium. Nothing will give you such a quiet joy and aesthetic pleasure as a walk along the streets of Veliky Novgorod, the cradle of Russian traditions. It possesses true gems of Russian architecture of different styles and epochs, which despite the eclecticism, are in amazing harmony.
You will see that with your own eyes visiting the churches of Our Saviour on Nereditsa Hill and Annunciation of Our Lady on Miachino Lake (12th century), appreciating at its true worth the 14th century frescoes of world-famous Theophanes the Greek in the church of the Transfiguration of Our Saviour, studying wonderful mural compositions of the late 17th - early 18th centuries in The Virgin of The Sign Cathedral, etc.
The Kremlin of Novgorod is also the oldest in Russia, it features such striking monuments as the Faceted (Archbishop`s) Palace - a rare specimen of Gothic architecture, built in 1433 as well as the impressive and beautiful St. Sophia`s Bellfry with a set of bells dating back to the 16th - 18th cc.
The fortified town of Pskov was a western outpost of medieval Russia. It is primarily famous for its 15th century fortifications, stretching almost 10 kilometers (6 mi). These long hedges surrounded not only the yard and mansions of princes, but the entire city. Given the constant wars, such extensive barriers were not a luxury but a necessity.
Izborsk and Pechory
Not far from Pskov is located the legendary Pskov-Caves Monastery and a little town of Izborsk. The first strikes with festivity and diversity, while the second – with its impregnable fortress.
The Pskovo-Pechersky Dormition Monastery or Pskov-Caves Monastery appeared amongst the caves, which were later used for burial of monks, warriors and noble citizens of the Pskov region. The service there has never been interrupted since the foundation till the present day. The monastery is concealed from invaders by large stone walls, stretching more than 700 metres (0.4 mi) and separated by several towers. The boundaries are still held there.
Izborsk was founded so long ago, that no one can accurately say when. In 862, according to the chronicles, there was already a settlement. Now Izborsk is a small town with a population of about a thousand people and contains one of the most ancient and impressive fortresses of Western Russia.
Veliky Novgorod & Karelia