Yaroslavl, Russia

Attractions, Monuments, museums and pictures of Yaroslavl

The town of Yaroslavl is one of the most beautiful cities of the Golden Ring of Russia which has a history of centuries. The first mention of Yaroslavl can be found in the chronicles of 1071. Meanwhile the history of Yaroslavl has begun in 1010 when the Prince of Rostov Yaroslav the Wise based a fortress in lieu of the settlement the Medvejy Ugol (the Bear Home) at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl Rivers.

Yaroslavl is considered a pearl of the Golden Ring of the Russian ancient towns as well as one of the Russian capitals particular in the sense of architecture. Coat of arms of the town is already known from the VII century. A bear holding a golden pole axe in his left leg is depicted on the coat of arms. As the legend says the Prince Yaroslav slew the sacrament beast - a bear. This deed has enslaved the locals.

A bit of history
The image of ancient Yaroslavl can be reconstructed due to ancient records and information received from archeological sites. The fortress made of wood, square with small huts hosting bodyguards and numerous servants and the wooden two-floor Palace of the Prince which towered above them. Later on stone constructions were arisen in Yaroslavl - temples in the Kremlin and the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery. In the beginning of the III century Yaroslavl had been far beyond the fortress borders. The Spassky Monastery defended approaches to the town in west. In north the town was guarded by the Petrovsky Monastery.

As a result of construction of new shrines icon painting became very popular art in Yaroslavl. The icons of Yaroslavl having reached us from the depth of centuries prove immense artistic genius and skill of icon painters.

In 1238 during the Tatar-Mongol invasion Yaroslavl was ransacked and burnt into ashes. However the town was undaunted, insurrection and bloody battle with Tatars were arisen there. The armed force of Yaroslavl fought to bitter end in the victorious Kulikovo Battle on the left flange of Dmitry Donskoy's troop.

Even at the period of the Mongol overlordship which has been very difficult for the whole Russia artistic life of Yaroslavl has been continuing to develop that is testified by the painted icons and miniatures which are extant at our days.
In 1463 Yaroslavl has joined the Principality of Moscow.

The VII century has become the Golden Age for the art of Yaroslavl. This became one of the brightest pages not only of Yaroslavl but also of all ancient Russian culture. That period was marked with construction of numerous stone shrines in Yaroslavl. The original school of architecture and art has been founded here. None of Russian towns had such wonderful collection of monumental art.

In the VIII century Yaroslavl becomes a large trade and artisanal center of Russia.

Sightseeing of Yaroslavl
Yaroslavl has its own Kremlin. This name was given by people to the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery located on the bank of the Kotorosl River. Austerity and finesse emphasize majestic picture of the shrine. The central edifice of the Monastery is the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral (Sobor) that used to be a sepulcher of princes and rich merchants in ancient times. Facades were designed in two architectural styles that is ancient Russian and West- European style. The Spassky Sobor's interior is decorated with frescoes painted by masters from Moscow in 1563-1564. In the eastern part of the Monastery's central square there is a belfry built in the sixteenth century. There is a church on the first floor of the belfry. The church attracts attention with its unusual iconostasis painted on the wall. If you rise to the observance stage you will see an adorable view of the town.

Once finish overview of the Spasso-Preobrazhensky Monastery you can attend another and not less interesting place of Yaroslavl - the Theophany Church built in the VII century and located at the same Theophany Square. The walls of this ancient structure are decorated with tilework with fascinating beauty. Coming in the Church you will admire exclusive paintings among which there are episodes of Divine healing, argument of Christ with the Pharisees, images of parables and many others. Wonderful green lawns and asphalt roads border the Church from outside.

One of the most interesting places of Yaroslavl visited by tourists is the Church of Elias the Prophet. This is exquisitely rigorous and solemn shrine which can be called a pearl of ancient Russian architecture. Two snow-white pavilions on the bell tower and chapel of Deposition perfectly complement general composition of the shrine. The interior of the church is amazingly delicious as well. High arches, walls and even scuncheons are all full of paintings. These wall master-pieces have been fulfilled in 1680-1681 by a crew of fifteen masters headed by renowned Russian artists Gury Nikitin and Sil Savin. At the present time the Church of Elias the Prophet is one of the most conserved and complete monumental places of Yaroslavl.

The Tolgsky Monastery located on the left bank of the Volga River is rightfully considered one of the best architectural ensembles of Yaroslavl. This monastery is one of the oldest fratries of Rus as well. It was founded in the beginning of the IV century by Triphon - a bishop of Rostov. The foundation of the Tolgsky Monastery is related to the miraculous appearance of the Holy Mother icon of Tolga. In 1314 a local hierarch Triphon travelling all over the eparchy stayed for a night on the bank of the Volga River nearby the mouth of the Tolga River which is not existing now. N the opposite shore of the river Triphon saw shining. A bridge appeared from nowhere showed him the way across the river. The hierarch crossed the bridge and on the opposite side found out that it was an icon of the Holy Mother hidden in a tree's branches and emitting that light. Next day Triphon and his companions founded the shrine on that place. The icon which has marked the beginning of the monastery still exists, the 19th of August as a day of the icon's miraculous acquisition has become a solemn holiday of the Tolgsky Monastery. In 1987 the architectural ensemble was handed to the Russian Orthodox Church for establishment of the Saint-Vvedensky Tolgsky Convent.

The monument of world significance is the church of Johan the Baptist (1671-1687). This historical place is advised by UNESCO for performance to tourists. If you decide to walk on the quay of the Volga River you will have a chance not only to enjoy beauty of the aquatorium but also to visit the first private museum of Yaroslavl "Music and Time" belonging to the famous specialty - John G. Mostoslavsky. The collection exposed in the museum has been gathered by John Mostoslavsky his lifelong. Attending this unique museum you will listen to the sounding of small French royal ("royalino"), American harmonium, German organ, barrel organ, a variety of music boxes as well as gramophone and portable gramophone ("patefon") records with voices of well-known singers - Shalyapin, Sobinov and Vertinsky. Numerous bells such as little bells for walls, doors, fishing bells and others are disposed in the central place of the exposition. The pure treasure of the museum is a collection of gold-backed icons aged the end of the XIX-beginning of the XX century. All the museum exhibits are in a working condition.

Museums are the pride of Yaroslavl. There are six diverse museums in the town.

In 1750 the first professional and public theater opened in Yaroslavl. His founder was Fyodor G. Volkov - an actor, stage director, dramatist and scenic designer. Theater was reconstructed several times. The modern theater was opened in 1911 based on design of architecture Spirin I.A. The theater is particular feature of the town. There is a monument erected on the square in front of the theater in honor of Fyodor Volkov. The author of the monument is Solovyov A.

Yaroslavl at our days
One of the development ways of Yaroslavl is tourism. Nowadays Yaroslavl is a large cultural center of Russia. Tourists from all over the world are aspiring to visit Yaroslavl - the beautiful ancient Russian town which is a majestic treasury of old Russian culture. Yaroslavl is the precious example of urban development which carefully conserves the buildings and constructions of almost all architectural styles of Russia presenting during the last five centuries. In 2005 the historical center of Yaroslavl was included into the list of the World Cultural and Historical Hermitage of UNESCO.

The modern Yaroslavl is a beautiful, clean and well-attended town with numerous informative indicators on the streets.

If you come to Yaroslavl in summer time you will be able to attend the festival of choral music "Preobrazhenie" ("Transformation") used to be held here in August. If you happen to visit Yaroslavl in winter time you can participate in colorful and picturesque street festivities in occasion of Christmas or the "Big Shrovetide".

Whatever season you come to this unordinary city you will always feel in full extent this unique historical atmosphere of Yaroslavl. Its beauty and magnificence. You should go to the shrines, museums, admire marvelous architectural ensembles and walk along the Volzhskaya quay! You should for sure walk along a footpath of the Kirov street where you may have a rest in one of the numerous cozy cafes! Go for a ride on horse-drawn carriages!

Welcome to Yaroslavl! 

Yaroslavl photos
Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery, Yaroslavl
Epiphany Church, Yaroslavl
Church of Elijah the Prophet, Yaroslavl
Tolga Convent, Yaroslavl
St. John the Baptist Church, Yaroslavl
Private Museum Music and Time, Yaroslavl
Theatre, Yaroslavl