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It is situated on the M10 federal highway connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg. "Novgorod" is the Russian word for "new city", whereas "Velikiy" means "the Great". The city lies along the Volkhov River just below its outflow from Lake Ilmen.

Local Time: Moscow time
Brief History:

859 —  First mentioned in the chronicle. It was already a major station on the trade route from the Baltics to Byzantium.
862 — Varangian Prince Rurik is invited to rule in Novgorod. 1019 — Prince Yaroslav the Wise grants Novgorod independence from Kiev and rights of a "free city".
1136 — The Novgorod Republic was proclaimed. The powerful city state ruled by the assembly of the city's aristocracy (called Veche) controlled most of Europe's North-East, from today's Estonia to the Ural Mountains.
1862 — the Monument "Millennium of Russia" was opened.

Attractions & Highlights:

No other Russian city may compete with Novgorod in the variety and age of its medieval monuments. The foremost among these is the St Sophia Cathedral, built in the 1040s at the behest of Yaroslav the Wise. It is the best preserved of 11th century churches, and the first one to represent original features of Russian architecture (austere stone walls, five helmet-like cupolas). Its frescoes were painted in the 12th century and renovated in the 1860s. The cathedral features famous bronze gates, made in Magdeburg in 1156 and reportedly snatched by Novgorodians from the Swedish capital Sigtuna in 1187.
Novgorod Kremlin, traditionally known as Detinets, also contains the oldest palace in Russia (the so-called Chamber of the Facets, 1433), the oldest Russian Bell tower (mid-15th cent.), and the oldest Russian Clock Tower (1673). Among later structures, the most remarkable are The Royal Palace (1771) and the bronze monument to the Millennium of Russia, representing the most important figures from the country's history.
There are numerous ancient churches scattered throughout the city. Some of them were blown up by the Nazis and subsequently restored. The most ancient pattern is represented by those dedicated to Sts Peter and Pavel (on the Swallow's Hill, 1185-92), to Annunciation (in Myachino, 1179), to Assumption (on Volotovo Field, 1180s) and to St Paraskeva (at Yaroslav's Court, 1207). The greatest masterpiece of early Novgorod architecture is the Saviour church at Nereditsa (1198).
The Yuriev Monastery (probably the oldest in Russia, 1030) contains a gloomy Romanesque Cathedral from 1119.
The open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture "Vitoslavlitsy".

Tour Packages:
Special Events:

September, 2007 -  Festival of bell-ringing art "Golden bell-ringing" in Veliky Novgorod and Valday
In the programme: traditional festal and modern author’s rings

Night of July, 6, 2007 - "Summer night" (St. John`s Day) with the Folklore Theatre "Kudesy" 
In the programme: games, round-dancing, swimming in the Ilmen Lake, making flower diadems. Ceremonial meal, summer night's bonfire, fortune-telling by wreaths, rite of harvest protection. Location: Ilmen Lake south from the town

May, 31 - June, 3, 2007 -  VI International festival of folk arts and crafts "SADKO"
In the programme: Folk holiday with performances of the best folk dancing and singing groups of Veliky Novgorod, guests from different Russian regions and other countries. Concerts, shows, trade exhibitions of craft and applied arts' works, Arts and Crafts trade fairs. Horse-riding, folk games, attractions, authentic games, contests, competitions and fun-makings. Ceremonial feast, Russian folk traditions and customs

Getting There:

From Saint Petersburg: travel time by bus is about 3.5 hours. Several regular buses run daily from Saint Petersburg Bus Terminal.
From Moscow: daily overnight train runs from Leningradskii Vokzal and arrives in Novgorod early in the morning. The train seats designed for both sitting and sleeping. Personal suites for 2 or 4 are also available.

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