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Novgorod Kremlin Guided Tour
Excursions in Novgorod

Novgorod Kremlin Guided Tour

The Kremlin in Great Novgorod is one of the oldest standing Russian constructions and the Kremlin's history is linked with the fate of Great Novgorod. The Kremlin is situated in the very heart of the city and used to be the political, religious and cultural centre of 'Novgorod Land'.

The construction of the ancient fortification is thought to have begun in 1044 AD when 'Great Novgorod' was being developed. Unfortunately, very little of the 1000 year old building remains today. However, at the end of the 15th Century when Ivan the Great conquered the city the grand reconstruction of the Novgorod Kremlin began. Hence, the Kremlin we can see today was mainly built at the end of the 15th century and is a mere 600 years old. Luckily, the majority of the Kremlin's twelve towers still stand and as these were built over a long period of time they reflect the development of contemporary architectural tastes.

The Kremlin's appearance and history remain impressive to this day and the Kremlin itself now consists of a museum and a series of ancient churches.

St. Sophia Cathedral

St. Sophia Cathedral - located in the grounds of the Great Novgorod Kremlin - is the most ancient religious building in Russia.

In 988 AD, Prince Vladimir decided that the kingdom of Kievan Rus should move away from paganism to Christianity under the Byzantine tradition. At this time all pagan idols within Kievan Rus became forbidden. By 1045 AD, construction of the first Christian cathedral began. The design of the cathedral was meant to resemble the main Orthodox Church in Constantinople. The cathedral was named St Sophia from the ancient Greek for 'wisdom'.

For nearly 10 centuries, the religious and civil life of Great Novgorod has been connected with the cathedral.

Nowadays, in St. Sophia Cathedral you can still see frescoes from the eleventh and twelfth centuries and religious icons and artifacts dating from the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries, as well as other Byzantine and Western European object of art. Since 1991 the cathedral has played host to one of the more important Russian national relics — the icon of 'Our Lady of the Sign'.

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5 hours | £95 per person