The balneological resort of Old Russa is located on the southern shore of Lake Ilmen, 100 kilometers from Veliky Novgorod. The city became a resort in 1828. Before that, the main industry in Old Russa was salt making. The main source of mineral water, Tsaritsynsky, was discovered during the drilling of a well of a salt factory. By the middle of the 19th century, salt mining in Old Russa stopped, and the city became a resort.
Treatment in the Old Russa Resort is carried out on the basis of mineral water, as well as therapeutic sulfide-silt mud, which is extracted in the local salt lake. Old Russa’s water is sodium chloride. It is used to treat the stomach, intestines, gallbladder. Water with a high content of mineral substances is used for taking baths for the treatment of joint diseases.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the therapeutic and health-improving properties of mineral water and mud were officially confirmed by Dr. Fedor Gaaz. At the same time, he made two trips to the North Caucasus, where he explored the mineral sources in Kislovodsk, Pyatigorsk and Essentuki. After confirming their medicinal properties, the resort infrastructure began to form there. The same thing happened in Old Russa.
A visit to the balneological resort in Old Russa in the 19th century was cheaper for residents of St. Petersburg and Moscow than a trip to the Caucasian Resorts or to Marcial Waters, the first balneological resort in Karelia.
In 1830, Tsar Nicholas I signed a project for the organization of "Mineral Water Facilities in Old Russa". The sanatorium buildings are located in a relict deciduous forest, where most of the mineral water sources were found. In the center of the resort, you can see the famous Muravyevsky fountain. It is the most powerful self-draining source of mineral water in Europe. The water comes to the surface of the earth with a powerful fountain that hits a height of 10 meters.
The city of Old Russa is closely connected with the life and work of the great Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky. In Old Russa, on the embankment of the Porusia River, a house has been preserved, which since 1873 belonged to the writer. All his life after exile Dostoevsky lived in rented apartments or wandered around Europe. The house in Old Russa was the first that he bought into the property.
After the writer`s death in 1881, his wife Anna Snitkina continued to come here with her children for the summer months. In 1909, the Dostoevsky Museum was created in this house. The last time Anna Snitkina came here in 1914, after that the whole house was given to the Dostoevsky Museum exposition.
In Europe, Dostoevsky and his wife Anna Snitkina gave birth to two daughters. After returning to Russia, they began to look for housing outside of St. Petersburg in order to improve the health of their children. Old Russa has become an ideal place for them. By that time, the city was already a balneological resort, but at the same time, recreation here remained inexpensive. The Dostoevsky House-Museum is the main attraction of Old Russa. 500 meters away, on the embankment of the Porusia River, there is the literary Museum of the novel The Brothers Karamazov. These two museums complement each other perfectly.
At the confluence of the Porusiaya and Polist rivers there is the Cathedral of the Resurrection Cathedral, the largest temple in the city. On the opposite bank is located the Cathedral Square. A water tower with a height of 50 meters was built here in 1909.
The oldest stone temple in the city is the Transfiguration Monastery, built in 1193. This temple has preserved the appearance of the ancient churches of Veliky Novgorod. Now it houses an exposition of the Museum of Local Lore. An interesting museum The manor of the medieval Rushanin is located near the entrance to the balneological Resort of Old Russa.