Russia is a huge country – with a lot of history packed into it. Its small towns and villages are characterised by kremlins and forts, churches and monasteries, some still amazingly made of wood and all of them distinctly Russian.
SCENIC SMALL TOWNS IN RUSSIA
The compact and picturesque island-town was founded in 1551. Located at the historical crossing point of the Volga and Silk Routes. The fortress was shipped piece-by-piece downriver from Uglich and built in just four weeks. Some of the finest examples of Eastern Orthodox murals can be seen in the Assumption Cathedral.
The town was first mentioned in 1148, but supposedly build dating back to 937. The biggest draw to the town is the historically prominent kremlin. Other attractions include many, many churches, one of which is the stunning white Church of the Assumption, dating from 1628.
The Massive Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery founded in 1397 is the town’s most famous attractions. A three storey fortress wall is surrounding the 12 churches, the exquisite Assumption Cathedral and the whole of the town. During the warmer months this lakeside town with its natural surrounding is an attractive one to explore.
Originally built from wood in 1323 and destroyed by the Swedish king Magnus IV, the fortress was rebuilt in 1352. The impressive stone fortress is well known today. The town is located on the River Neva’s bank opposite Oreshek, and was founded in 1702 by Peter the Great. You can explore the stunning old town with a handful of 18th century churches.
The town with its street laid out with 18th century Neoclassical planning by architect Ivan Starov, is regarded as one of Russia’s finest provincial towns. Landmarks include a whole slew of churches that range from the mid-18th century Zhitny Cloister to the beautiful Ascension Church, built in the 1689, overlooking Lake Seliger. The famous 16th century Nilov Monastery, one of the biggest and imported ones is nearby on Stolby Island.
The village was founded in 862AD and is located near the Estonian border. Popular attractions is the ruined stone fortress, the 14th century Church of St Nicolas; combined with a few museums. A path from the fortress leads to Gorodishchenskoye Lake, a tranquil spot to reflect on the rural life of this charming village.Izborsk makes for an interesting historical stop.
The town was founded in the 12th century, and was later destroyed by marauding Mongols in 1238. The town was fortified as a border post of Moscow in 1410. At the oldest part of the town down by the Volga River at Torgovaya Ploschad, you will see ramparts of the old fort, the Church of the Resurrection and old market stalls. You can also visit the wooden church built in 1699 and the museum dedicated to Isaac Levitan.
Located 300 kilometers from Moscow the village dating back from 1502 is one of the most beautiful ones in Russia. Businessman Oleg Zharov intervention in 2007 helped, and much of the town’s buildings were renovated. The village boasts with many museums and attractions in its historical streets.
The town with its wooden cottages was founded by Evenki in the 19th century with a whole wilderness of nature on its doorstep. It is one of the best destinations for hiking trails which extended into the surrounding Bystrinsky National Park. You can go horse-riding, dog-sledding and visit one of the Hot-spring for a relaxing afternoon. You can also visit the Museum of Bears in town.
Dating back to the 11the century the town is one of Russia’s oldest and long ago one of the most important. You can visit one of the many historical monuments and the medieval Suzdal Kremlin, and its Cathedral of the Nativity. The rolling green fields and lazy river, Suzdal is possibly the sparkling gem on Russia’s famous Golden Ring, like something from a Russian fairytale.
The coldest month obviously is January with average temperature at -6°C. The wettest months are October & November. The best time to visit Russia weather-wise is late spring - early June. This is the season when weather is the most convenient for long hours of sightseeing.