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Make sure to visit one of the most beautiful towns of the Golden Ring and one of the oldest towns in Russia – Rostov Veliky. The architectural harmony of Rostov’s numerous churches is beyond words and impresses even the most sophisticated travelers. The Rostov Kremlin is number one of the major sightseeing highlights of any multiday or one-day Golden Ring tour.

  • Region in Russia: Central Russia, Moscow Region, Golden Ring
  • Topic: Sightseeing, Multiday trips
  • Best Season: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
  • Family & Kids: Yes

Rostov Veliky – the oldest of the Golden Ring Towns

If you want to feel the atmosphere of old Russia with its traditions and customs, unique architecture, old fortresses and white churches, if you are eager to see all the monasteries and church that hold within themselves a history of the whole country, if you can’t wait to heat the bells ringing their old sincere and beautiful melody, then the towns of the Golden Ring are waiting for you.

Coloured in the same pink sunsets it have seen for centuries and centuries, Rostov Kremlin with its impregnable walls and perfectly proportioned towers rise majestically above the waters of vast Lake Nero. Looking down on Moscow for its younger age, Rostov, first chronicled in 862 and founded much earlier, was the original capital of Kyivan princes who moved to northern lands which would become known as Muscovy and Russia. The architectural harmony of Rostov’s churches is beyond words. Where to travel from Moscow, you ask? Rostov Veliky (or Rostov the Great), former great and important town, now is a rustic green rural town with beautiful white-stoned churches. The Rostov Kremlin is the main sightseeing highlight of Rostov, where each of the churches is a fine example of old and unique Russian architecture. Rostov Veliky, the oldest town of the Golden Ring, is probably the calmest town which shows its tourist sincere and rustic Russia with fresh air, beautiful lake and old wooden houses where the citizens live. Whether you are on a multiday tour through the Golden Ring or plan a one-day trip, you will like Rostov Veliky by its traditional beauty and calm nature.

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The History of Rostov Veliky

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Where to travel from Moscow? If you answer to this question is Rostov Veliky, then take time to learn about its long and interesting history. Rostov Veliky, the oldest town of the Golden Ring and one of the oldest Russian towns, is located on the share of vast Nero lake. First settlements existed here 4 thousand years ago, in the stone age, thanks to proximity of Nero lake which was a source of food and water. Starting from 7th century ancestors of Finns – Merya tribes were living on the territory of today’s Rostov Veliky. In the 9th century Slavs came here from the South, and the assimilation process started.

The first mentioning of Rostov Veliky in chronicles dates back to 862, and at that time it was already a big town. In the 10th century Rostov Veliky accepted Christianity and started to gain its importance due to strategic location near river ways. In 12th century Rostov  gained independence from Kievlan Rus thanks to high level of culture, developed trade and good political positions. 13 century saw Rostov Veliky as flourishing and prosperous trade and cultural center, but Tatar invasion 1237 brought the growth of the town to the end. Despite being under Moscow Pricipality in 14th century, Rostov Veliky became one of the most important religious centers in Russia and remained thus till 18th century when the metropolitan was moved to Yaroslavl. From that time onwards, Rostov Veliky remains a quite rural town, one of the oldest in the whole country and one of the most influential towns in Russia’s medieval history.

Sightseeing highlights of Rostov Veliky

Located about 3 hours away from Moscow, Rostov Veliky is a very convenient location for one-day trip from Moscow. Rostov Veliky is also a must-see stop at any multiday tours through the Golden Ring. The town is equally beautiful in summer and winter, and each of the seasons brings its special atmosphere. The oldest town of the Golden Ring, Rostov Veliky offers tourist different attractions but the main sightseeing highlight of Rostov Veliky is the Rostov Kremlin. The green route through wooden houses will lead you from railway station to the large white Kremlin, located on the shore of Nero lake. While walking towards the Rostov Kremlin, take a deep breath of fresh air and look around: this is how the peaceful life in Russian provincial town looks like.  Let’s have a closer look at the sightseeing highlights of Rostov Veliky!

Rostov Kremlin – the main sightseeing highlight

If you are coming to Rostov Veliky for one-day trip from Moscow, you will be surprised by how the Kremlins in these two cities are different. Actually, the word “Kremlin” means a fortress and refers to any old fortress in any Russian town, not only the one in Moscow. In comparison to Moscow’s red brick Kremlin walls, Rostov Kremlin has beautiful white-stoned walls, and consists of three independent parts which inside the Kremlin are also separated by walls. Rostov Kremlin is located on the shores of Nero Lake and was built in 17th century as a metropolitan residence. The northern part is called Sobornaya or Cathedral part; the central part is called Mitropolichiy Dvor or Bishop’s Yard; the southern part (closest to Nero Lake) is called Mitropolichiy Sad or Bishop’s Garden. The architectural harmony of the ensemble of Rostov Kremlin is beyond words – charming and gentle beauty of white churches, unique flowing melody of famous Rostov bells located on majestic four-arched belfry and the elegant, strong white walls. Let’s have a closer look at each part of Rostov Kremlin, the main sightseeing highlight of Rostov Veliky.

Cathedral Square with Assumption Cathedral

Cathedral Square existed on its current place for a thousand years already with the Assumption Cathedral being at the centre of the square. In 17th century, when Rostov Kremlin was built, Cathedral Square got surrounded by Kremlin walls and became a southern part of Rostov Kremlin. First wooden Assumption Cathedral was founded back in 989, only a year after Vladimir the Great, a prince of Novgorod, Christianized the Kievan Rus. Image how important and sacred this place is – an age-mate of Christianity in Russia (!), partly that is why Rostov Veliky has always been a religious centre and a true holy place. In 200 years, the wooden Assumption Cathedral was re-built in white stone. However, the majestic white-stoned Assumption Cathedral that we see today was built in 1512 in accordance with the architectural style of the ensemble of Rostov Kremlin. The majestic four-arch belfry that stands near Assumption Cathedral was built in 1687 during the time of Bishop Iohana Sysoevich, the famous man, who built the whole ensemble of Rostov Kremlin. The belfry houses 15 bells (the biggest and the most famous bell called Sysoy) in an unusual way – in a row, which creates unique flowing melody famous worldwide.

Rostov Veliky – Location Map & Contact Information

[om_gmap zoom=”12″ lat=”57.1833″ lng=”39.4167″ styles=”_map_box”]

 Location Address:

Rostov Veliky, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia

How to get there – ARRIVAL INFORMATION

Rostov Veliky – 215 km North-East from Moscow by M8 highway

Other attractions and sightseeing nearby

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