Veliky Novgorod was good. It is already for the second time that this trip happens exactly at the moment when I most need this getaway. And when the weather is great too – windy and sunny – you unleash your carelessness and relax.
Last year our first day in Veliky Novgorod was pretty nasty in terms of the weather but this time I made quite a bit of sunny pictures.
These are the gates of the most venerable cathedrals in the region – Saint Sophia Cathedral of Veliky Novgorod. Never actually paid any attention to the details, always just looking at these gates as a whole while passing by. Gosh, did they have tons of time and skill in the old days!
Inside the cathedral it was warmer than outside so we lingered for quite a bit in there. It sometimes helps when you don’t have to pay attention to the sights as a whole (because you have seen them several times already) and so start enjoying the details:
Just outside of St Sophia there is this building with a funny balcony. I think it’s now a local center for kids where they teach them arts and crafts. We heard some music playing there. Right next to the school is the kremlin wall (no, Kremlin doesn’t exclusively refer to that red fortress in the center of Moscow, it can be found in other cities of Russia).
If you cross the bridge leading from the kremlin to the other side of the Volkhov river, you get to the Trade Side of Veliky Novgorod, where they have so many churches (and these are just a fraction of what was there before) that you can barely remember all their names.
I love how they grow from the earth (this church is almost 650 years old!). Sometimes they have to undig them out of all the culture layers that have accumulated throughout the years. And most of the times the years are pretty visible on these old walls:
Inside the walls of the late 17th century church:
Love those lines which are breaking all the rules of your school geometry lessons!
OK, here’s some geometry for you:
Our hostel was located in a very good spot, wasn’t it?
Next morning we went to Perynsky Skit on the Lake Ilmen where the monks would settle to get away from the busy monasteries. The tiny pieces of ice were rocking on the waves coming ashore the lake, creating some delicate music – or were they telling legends of the old times?
We made a wonderful sunny walk in the forest nearby and then visited the Yuriev Monastery, a must of all the coach trips to Novgorod:
Just a couple of meters away is the open-air museum of traditional Russian wooden architecture called Vitoslavlitsy.
It’s a bit of a tourist trap (especially if you just close half of the territory for reconstruction) but I still love it.
You can enter most of the buildings and see how the old Russians used to live:
There are houses of rich peasants and merchants as well as churches, a windmill and other buildings. A bit like they did it in Suzdal but I like the quality of their interior work much more.
Pity those vatrushkas were not real! 🙂
And there under the towel I suppose is a Novgorod carrot pie since we are in Novgorod!
And there to the right are blini while in the foreground is the traditional karavay bread served with a pinch of salt to the bride and groom at the weddings:
Can you spot some berries in between the window panes?
A babushka coming back to her duties after the lunch break:
Russian stove in a wealthy merchant’s house:
The icon corner is called krasny ugol (red or also beautiful corner) in Russia. The white and red towel has its meaning:
And here’s a workshop of a wool-maker:
View over the Yuriev Monastery from the open-air museum:
Can imagine how delicately green the city is now but back then in early April it was still rustic and brown, so very early spring-like. A wonderful start to the season!
Read my last year’s post for more details on Veliky Novgorod.
Adding this to my Travel collection.