Kremlin, Veliky Novgorod: photos, excursions, address of sights
What can you say about the main attractions of Veliky Novgorod? The Kremlin (ist. - Novgorod Detinets) is a truly monumental building of Russian architecture and one of the oldest monuments of military-defense art. Despite the fact that the history of the Novgorod Detinets (the historical name of the fortress that has survived to our times) dates back to about ten centuries and several historical eras, this architectural ensemble has been preserved surprisingly organically and completely.
Today the Novgorod Kremlin of Veliky Novgorod, whose history will be told in the article, is not only one of the most important Russian cultural monuments, but also honored to be included in the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites. A visit to the Novgorod Detinets will not leave indifferent any lover of antiquity.
General information: location, territory
Novgorod Kremlin is a defensive fortress of the city, the territory of which occupies about 12.1 hectares and has more than thirty historical buildings and monuments.
Detinets is located on the left bank of the Volkhov River and rises above its level to a height of more than ten meters.
The fortress stretches from south to north and is shaped like an oval concave inward from the side of the river. The fortress walls stretch along the perimeter for 1,487 meters, evenly accompanied by nine active towers (three, unfortunately, were lost).
The official address of the Kremlin is Veliky Novgorod, ter. The Kremlin, 11.
Today, Novgorod Detinets works as a museum - reserve, the doors of which are open to every visitor. On its territory there are also a regional philharmonic society, a music college, and a scientific library. The address of the Kremlin in Veliky Novgorod is known to all residents and visitors to the city, as it is one of the most significant attractions.
origin of name
The history of the Kremlin in Veliky Novgorod originates in the distant past, hundreds of years ago.Novgorod Detinets - one of the earliest fortifications in the territory of modern Russia. The first mention of it by the chroniclers dates back to 1044. It is precisely to historical origin that the Kremlin owes its name - “Detinets”.
Although the word “Kremlin” sounds much more familiar to the modern ear, until the XIV century the inner fortress of the city was called Dytynets. Such facilities were typical of large cities like Kiev and Novgorod.
Philologists and historians do not find a common opinion on the question of the origin of the word “Detinets” itself. According to one version, in the inner part of the fortress they sheltered children during an enemy siege. Another theory says that the etymology of the word is rooted in the verb “to put it,” since in wartime not only children, but also women, church shrines and valuable property were hidden in the walls of the fortress.
The history of this brainchild of fortification art goes back to the beginning of the XI century. The first fortress was wooden and was located in the middle part of the modern Kremlin. In the period described, the northern part was geographically the delta of the Volkhov tributary, which divided the territory of the Detinets into two island sites.
Novgorod Kremlin (Veliky Novgorod) was built in a place that previously served as a residential suburb called Lyudin end. Prince Vladimir Yaroslavich, the son of the famous Yaroslav the Wise, laid the construction of the Kremlin.
One of the first buildings of the fortress built was the St. Sophia Cathedral, the construction of which began in 1045, and ended only in 1052. Prince Vladimir, who led the seven-year erection of the church, managed to bring the matter to a victorious end, having died a month after the consecration of the cathedral, where he was buried. St. Sophia Cathedral, in turn, to this day remains one of the most magnificent buildings of the Kremlin.
The fortress was repeatedly subjected to enemy raids and fires. Not having time to recover from the seizure of the Polovtsian Prince Vseslav Brjachislavich, who invaded the city in 1065, the original Kremlin was destroyed by fire almost to the ground in the last quarter of the 11th century. By that time, the northeastern and southern parts had already joined the Detinets, and it has practically reached modern dimensions.
The new Kremlin in Veliky Novgorod, the photo of which you see in the article, was erected to replace the burnt down only in 1116 with the assistance of Prince Mstislav, son of Vladimir Monomakh.This fortress was also wooden, which sooner or later had to lead to another fire.
It happened in the middle of the XIII century. During this period, the separation of powers in Novgorod greatly changed: the powers of the prince were severely curtailed, and a new elected body, the Novgorod veche, appeared in the political arena. The church also had a serious weight, as a result of which the archbishop occupied most of the territory of the Kremlin. His possessions were called Vladychny Dvor and included many different buildings.
It was the archbishop who initiated the construction of the stone Kremlin in 1333, guided by considerations of security and defense. However, the construction of the fortress walls was strongly prevented by the Swedish invasion of the Novgorod possessions in the middle of the XIV century, and construction was completed only in the first quarter of the XV century.
Another significant modification of the Kremlin in Veliky Novgorod (photo available in the article) underwent in 1490, during the reign of Ivan Kalita. During this period, Veliky Novgorod was already incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow and had to correspond to the defensive architecture of the capital.That is why the modernization was mainly subjected to loopholes and towers.
Complete replacement of wood with stone, however, was also unable to save the fortress from damage and destruction. In 1862, a significant part of the fortress wall from the side of Volkhov collapsed and was subsequently rebuilt without taking into account the architectural features of the rest of the historically formed ensemble.
The Kremlin suffered significant damage during the occupation by the fascist troops during the Great Patriotic War, when the fortress was used as a barracks room.
Already a state-protected cultural and architectural monument, the Kremlin continued to collapse in the era of modern Russia. Thus, the last major damage to the architectural complex dates back to the 90s of the 20th century, when the fortress wall at the Spasskaya Tower collapsed again.
Currently, the Kremlin is under the tireless attention and control of museum staff, who are making every possible effort to preserve its historical appearance.
Architecture of the Novgorod Kremlin, main buildings
The massive walls of the Novgorod Kremlin are masonry and stone inserts of cobblestone and limestone.The width of the walls is not uniform: in some places it does not reach 4 meters, and in some places it is close to 7 meters thick.
A characteristic feature of the Kremlin is the presence of gate churches. This is due to their construction in those periods of time when the princely power weakened and the church prevailed. Such gate churches can be found in many cities of Russia, where the influence of bishops and metropolitans influenced the birth and flourishing of Russian church architecture.
Particular attention when visiting Novgorod and its famous Detinets should be given to the Sofia Cathedral, the Church of Andrei Stratilat, the Vladychnaya (Faceted) Chamber, the monument to the Millennium of Russia, and, of course, the main fortifications of art to the Kremlin towers.
Practically all the walls and buildings were restored in the middle of the 20th century and look as close as possible to the historical one.
Kremlin towers in Veliky Novgorod
Stories are known for certain about the twelve towers of the Kremlin, three of which - Borisoglebskaya, Prechistenskaya (Bogoroditskaya) and Resurrection - unfortunately, have not reached our days.
Nowadays, you can contemplate the nine towers of the Novgorod Detinets: Spasskaya, Dvortsovaya, Princely, Kokui (Kukui), Pokrovskaya, Zlatoustovskaya, Metropolitan, Fedorovskaya and Vladimirskaya.
The most widely known Spasskaya Tower, because it is not only the earliest surviving tower of the Kremlin (built in 1297), but also served for a long time as a distinctive symbol of banknotes of five rubles.
Kokuy Tower (Kukui) - the only tower that was designed to carry the guard and was a lookout. According to one of its versions, its name etymologically comes from the Dutch “coke” - “to watch” (“see”), which is directly related to the functional purpose.
The modern height of the Kokuy tower reaches 38.5 meters, but this was not always the case. The foundation was built at the end of the 15th century and was intended to support the battle course of the fortress wall. At the top there was a special area for artillery, called the “roll”. Such a structure allowed the guns to shoot over long distances, while they were almost inaccessible from the ground.
Subsequently, five more levels were added to the rollout, turning the battle tower into an oversight unit. Today, the tower has a viewing platform for tourists, offering a magnificent view of Novgorod and the surrounding area.The observation deck is equipped with modern telescopic equipment and is available for visits daily, except Mondays and Thursdays.
Significantly stands out against the backdrop of the architectural ensemble of the Kremlin and the Palace Tower. It is distinguished by a more slender appearance and stylization under the forms of the XV century. Today, permanent expositions on weapons and numismatics are open on the tower’s premises.
As mentioned earlier, the Sofia Cathedral of the Kremlin is considered to be the oldest temple in modern Russia. It was erected in the middle of the XXI century and immediately became an integral symbol of Novgorod Russia.
The interior of the cathedral is striking in its surviving fragments of frescoes of the XII century. Of particular value for culture are the two iconostasis, the bronze Korsun Gate (XI century), the oldest Orthodox burial places and a wooden prayer place. The main entrance to Sofia is distinguished by the Magdeburg Gate, also cast in bronze in the XII century.
The bell tower of the cathedral is unique in its kind, being a medieval architectural monument and made in the technique of the bell ridge. The belfry operates to this day.In the rooms of the second floor, sophisticated tourists will be able to contemplate a collection of bells of the 16th century, which has been preserved in its entirety only in Novgorod Detinets.
The cathedral has a difficult fate: it was closed twice and lost its Orthodox purpose. After the Bolsheviks came to power, the services in the temple ceased, ironically, a museum of atheism was placed there.
During the years of the capture of Novgorod by the German troops, Sofia was practically destroyed. Restoration of the cathedral in the postwar years was long and difficult, the work was completed only by 1985.
At the present time, the cathedral has regained the status of an active church, being the Cathedral of the land of Novgorod. Due to the invaluable cultural significance of the temple, an excursion visit is allowed.
Andrei Stratelates Church
Another interesting object of the Novgorod Detinets can be considered the Andrei Stratelates Church. Initially, it was the southern chapel of the church of Saints Boris and Gleb, erected in the XII century on the initiative of Sotko Sytinich, according to legend, a prototype of the epic Sadko.
The chapel, named after the holy martyr Andrew Stratelates, appeared in the temple in 1441, replacing the basis of a spiral staircase.
At the end of the XVII century, the cathedral suffered significant damage, and it was decided to disassemble it, leaving only the extant Chapel of Stratelates, which later became an independent church. This church is a prime example of how a small part of a whole complex can become an independent architectural unit over time.
Vladychnaya (Faceted) Chamber
The Vladychnaya Chamber (also called Faceted) was preserved on the territory of Detinets as a silent witness of the heyday of church authority in the Novgorod Veche Republic. The chamber erected by the decree of Archbishop Eufimi II in the middle of the 15th century stood out noticeably against the background of the rest of the Kremlin ensemble with its Gothic architecture. Invited German masters participated in the construction of the Faceted Chamber building.
The main feature of the Vladychny Chamber was the big clock on the facade of the building, which was rare in those times. The three-storey building was intended for the daily needs of the bishop's courtyard: solemn events were held in the upper tier, the ground floor hosted meals, and food and necessary utensils were stored in the basement.
Nowadays, in the building of the Vladychny Chamber, many exhibitions and museum expositions are open, accessible for a visit on any day, except Monday.
Monument "Millennium of Russia"
The unique monument of the Russian statehood is also located on the territory of the Kremlin (Veliky Novgorod). The monument was erected with the direct participation of Alexander II in 1862 on the occasion of the celebrations dedicated to the celebration of the thousandth anniversary of the Russian state. The choice of the city is not accidental: as the records indicate, the Russian statehood was born at the time of the call of the Varangian Prince Rurik to Novgorod.
The monument personifies the triumph of the history of Russia from the 9th to the 19th century and represents a granite pedestal on which bronze figures of the most prominent representatives of the state are cast. There are politicians, elects of the people, commanders and heroes of the epochal battles, the honorable guardians of order and law, culture and art - there are only 129 stone figures.
During the Great Patriotic War, the Millennium of Russia monument was also badly damaged: the German invaders dismantled and removed the valuable bronze grateand illuminating the monument lanterns, and sculptures depicting famous personalities were barbarically thrown off a cliff.
Thanks to the efforts of the team of restorers from Leningrad, in the 80s of the XX century its original appearance was restored to the monument.
Tourist information: opening hours, ticket prices
Opening hours of the Kremlin in Veliky Novgorod - from 6.00 to 24.00 daily. However, it is worth remembering that in the territory of the Kremlin there are many historical sites, the mode of visiting which may differ from each other.
Most of the cultural monuments of the Kremlin (Veliky Novgorod) have the following working hours: from 10.00 to 18.00 on weekdays. But for each of them there are separate weekends or sanitary days, as well as technical breaks. If you especially want to honor specific objects with your attention, it is better to get acquainted with the schedule of their work on the official website of the museum in the Kremlin (Veliky Novgorod).
Prices for entrance tickets are also set by the museum administration individually for each historical object. This is done for the convenience of visitors, so that everyone can make a choice for themselves which special places of Nizhny Novgorod Detinets he would like to visit.
At the same time, if you are lost in the choice, the museum staff is always ready to offer you a tour guide service. Prices for tours of the Kremlin (Veliky Novgorod) vary depending on the number of people in the group and the duration of the visit.
A pleasant bonus for tourists can be a free visit to the museum for certain categories of citizens, as well as on special days of the year.
For example, on the first Wednesday of each month, minors and members of large families can visit the Novgorod Detinets free of charge. On the Children's Day (June 1), citizens who are under the age of sixteen are invited to the museum, and on the Day of the Elderly (October 1), all pensioners are invited. And on the International Museum Day, which is traditionally celebrated on May 18, the entrance is free for absolutely everyone.
It can be incredibly long to describe all the unique charm of the Novgorod Detinets and talk about its architecture, but not a single story can replace the impression that makes up for tourists when they first visit this place. Emotions, visiting a guest of the city at the thought that he was lucky enough to touch revived antiquity, are truly indescribable. Come to Novgorod and enjoy this spectacle with your own eyes!