About city and surrounding areas: Nizhny Novgorod

•   What: The former closed city of Gorky for foreigners
•   Where: The European part of Russia, 400 km east of Moscow
•   Season: June- September
•   What to see: historical center of Nizhny Novgorod, a monastery in Diveyevo
•   How long: 1-2 days
•   Activities: trips

If you would like to see Russian provincial cities and have a comfortable vacation, then a visit to Nizhniy Novgorod might give you some general impression. It is one of the largest cities of Russia. Although Nizhny Novgorod has developed industrial infrastructure, it also has the characteristic features of an old provincial city with very beautiful sights.

There is one more reason to go there – to see the city of Gorky that was so much heard of in the west during the «cold war». The city was closed for foreigners. It was just there that the dissidents were sent who criticized the Soviet regime.

The city atmosphere is created by the two greatest Russian rivers: the Volga (the longest river in Europe) and the Oka (one of the biggest rivers in the Central Russia). They flow together in the city, forming the huge «Strelka» (Arrow). This «Strelka» looks very pictures-que from the high banks of the river. The upper city is located on the high hills with steep slopes.

A strong fortress is atop the tall hill in the Old Town. It is the Kremlin of Nizhniy Novgorod. Its walls and towers have been fully preserved, and you should walk along them. Kremlin mainly houses administrative buildings. There is also an interesting museum of defense technologies, which were manufactured at the plants of Nizhniy Novgorod. Kremlin is the most interesting sight of Nizhniy Novgorod and you should visit it, as well as the neigh-bouring streets and squares, in the first place.

Besides the Kremlin, you may plan a walk along the two pedestrian embankments of Nizhniy Novgorod. One of them, Fedorovsky Embankment, goes from the Kanavinsky Bridge to the monument to Minin and Pozharskiy located in front of the Kremlin. The other one, Upper Volga Embankment, goes from the walls of the Kremlin (the monument to Chkalov) to Sennaya Square. At warm nights these embankments are one of the most fa-vourite promenades of the citizens.

From Nizhniy Novgorod you may go on a very interesting excursion to Diveyevo. It is one of the most important sacred places for the Russian Orthodox Church, the place where the relics of St. Seraphim Sarovsky are kept. As well, not far from Nizhniy Novgorod, just on the Volga there is another well-known monastery – Holy Trinity monastery of St Makary Zheltovodsky.

Also, it will be interesting to make a trip to the Lake Svetloyar, near the village Vladimirs-koye (110 km). According to the legend, the invisible city of Kitezh is at its bottom, and in quiet weather one can allegedly hear the ringing of church bells and singing of people.


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