Novgorod and the Surrounding Area (World Heritage)

According to businesscarriers, the city, north of Moscow, was founded by the Varangians in the 9th century and is one of the oldest cities in Russia. The world heritage includes the entire old town with the St. Sophia Cathedral, the beginnings of which go back to the 9th century, as well as churches, monasteries and the Kremlin.

Novgorod and the surrounding area: facts

Official title: Monuments of Veliky Novgorod and the surrounding area
Cultural monument: first Russian capital; Architectural monuments on the Sophia and the trading side such as the Kremlin with the 1385 m long wall, the five-aisled Sophia Cathedral (Sobor Sofii w Kremle), the Faceted Palace, the Metropolitan House, the Church of Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem, St. -Blasius Church (Walassij Church) from the 15th century on the site of a pagan cult site for the god Wedes, St. George’s Monastery (Jurjew Monastery) and the White Tower as part of the oldest city fortifications
Continent: Europe
Country: Russia
Location: Veliky Novgorod
Appointment: 1992
Meaning: a center of Orthodoxy and Russian architecture from the time of the Novgorod city-state

Novgorod and surroundings: history

at 862 legendary city foundation by the Varangian Rurik
around 978-1015 Vladimir I, Prince of Novgorod
988 Orthodox Christianity was raised to the status of the state religion
1045-52 Construction of the Sophia Cathedral
1119-30 Construction of St. George’s Cathedral in St. George’s Monastery
1189, 1259 and 1269 Due to contracts, influence of the Lübeck Association of Cities, the German Hanseatic League, on Novgorod
1238 Mongol-Tatar horsemen get stuck in the swamps off Novgorod
1242 Defeat of the Teutonic Order
1256 Victory over the Swedes advancing on Novgorod by the troops of Prince Aleksandr Nevsky
1406 Construction of the Peter and Paul Church in Koshevniki
1433 Construction of the Facet Palace
1910 Discovery of the frescoes in the Church of the Transfiguration of Christ

Splendor and splendor of the cradle of the Russian Empire

No city in ancient Russia could match the splendor and splendor of Novgorod. The prosperity of the powerful city-state, whose territory stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Urals, was based on its favorable location on the trade route between Northern Europe and the Black Sea, which a lively merchant class, also as a partner of the Hanseatic League, knew how to skillfully exploit. The real ruler of Novgorod was the Veche, the assembly of citizens; the prince only had formal rights. The pride and prosperity of the city, the striving for supremacy in the Rus, but also the search for God found expression in the rich sacred architecture.

The symbol of “Mr. Great Novgorod”, as the residents called their city, is the St. Sophia Cathedral located in the Kremlin on the left bank of the Volkhov. The building was erected in the middle of the 11th century and is one of the oldest stone churches in Russia. Over the centuries, the cross-dome structure has been able to retain its austere, unadorned appearance. The mighty gilded main dome is surrounded by four silver secondary domes, a sixth dome covers the stair tower. The west portal made of oak wings, the so-called »Magdeburg Door«, was covered with ornamented bronze panels, which, in addition to scenes from the Old and New Testament, show the creators of this bronze work, the Magdeburg ore caster Riquin and Waismuth.

Corresponding to the Kremlin on the Sophienseite, on the opposite bank of the Volkhov, the Yaroslav Hof, which no longer exists today, was to become the dominant building on the trading side. This part of the city was once an international transshipment point. Hanseatic ships brought in cloth, herrings and salt, which were exchanged for hemp, skins and even pepper from Southeast Asia. The princely residence, the Yaroslav court, had to be evacuated in the first half of the 12th century by its noble residents at the insistence of the wealthy Novgorod citizens.

Of particular importance is the Transfiguration Church in Eliasstrasse, which was donated by a wealthy boyar in 1374. It is the only surviving church in Russia that shows frescoes by the Byzantine painter Theophanes the Greek. The paintings were hidden under plaster for five centuries: the figure of Christ in the dome, the prophets and patriarchs on the windows, the Trinity in the chapel on the gallery. As important as this church in Eliasgasse is because of the frescoes – its architectural model is the “Theodor Stratilat Church on the Bach” on the trading side, which subsequently became the model for the sacred architecture of the Rus. Its pointed arched, high windows, the profiled portals and the one-part apse are remarkable.

In the far north of the city rises the snow-white Antonius Monastery, which, according to legend, was founded on Christmas Eve in 1106 by a Roman Catholic believer. Legend has it that Antonius was the son of a wealthy family who bequeathed his inheritance to the poor after his parents died. He put the family jewelry in a barrel that he gave to the sea. Sitting on a rock washed around by the sea, he is said to have prayed for a year and three months, until this rock sank with him in the waters of the sea. The pious man miraculously reached the bank of the Volkhov, where he founded a monastery. On the feast day of the birth of Mary, fishermen are said to have fished the barrel with the jewelry out of the river in their nets. Legend has it that the proceeds were used to build the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in the early 12th century.

Novgorod’s unique church splendor is due to the fact that the Mongols were kept away by paying tribute. However, in the late 15th century, the troops of Grand Duke Ivan III conquered. of Moscow the city. The great time of Novgorod and its sacred architecture was over; a time of decidedly conservative church building began.

Novgorod and the Surrounding Area