Yaroslavl, one of the most beautiful cities of the Golden Ring, is located on the high bank of the Volga river at its confluence with the Kotorosl` river. The city has many interesting tourist attractions, and its historical center was completely reconstructed. Although Yaroslavl is a large regional center, all main tourist attractions of the city are compactly located within a walking distance from one another, which makes it very convenient and interesting to visit them.
Yaroslavl was founded by Yaroslav the Wise in 1010. By that time there were already founded Murom and Smolensk in the centre of Russia, while some other cities of the Golden Ring - Kostroma, Vladimir and Suzdal - appeared some time later. Considering its location on the main navigable river of Russia, Yaroslavl became an important trade and economic center.
You may start your tour of Yaroslavl from the Bogoyavlenskaya (Epiphany) Square. You can find a parking lot and good hotels near the square. On the square the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery (Transfiguration of the Savior) is located, which is the main tourist attraction of the city.
Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery was founded in 1216, and since that time it had been used as an acropolis. Strong walls of the monastery made it possible to house the treasury there and defend the city. In the monastery there remained the buildings of the 16 century: the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, the Belfry and the Holy Gate.
Having gone out of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral through the Holy Gate you should go to the Volga. It was just there, at the confluence (spit) of the Volga and Kotorosl`, that Yaroslav the Wise laid down the city of Yaroslavl. The spit is quite suitable for promenades. It has musical fountains and the monument to the founders of the city and is always crowded by people. Over the spit on the high embankment of the Kotorosl` river there`s located the Pavilion from where you can enjoy the view on the confluence of two rivers.
On the high embankment at the confluence of the rivers you can also see the huge Assumption Cathedral. The cathedral was restored in 2004 on the site of the former Assumption Cathedral, which was laid down in 1215 but was destroyed in 1937. The cathedral was completely restored by 2010 on the occasion of the thousandth anniversary of Yaroslavl.
If you have a walk on the high embankment of the Volga, you can see the Governor`s House. The house itself is occupied by a museum and art exhibitions. You should also visit the Governor`s Park.
Near the Governor`s House, on the Soviet Square, the Church of Elijah the Prophet is located – a gem of Yaroslavl. The church was built in 1647 and in 1680 it was painted by the painters of Yaroslavl. As all these frescoes remained almost intact until our time, it makes the church the most important example of the Russian church art.
Apart from these main tourist attractions, there are a lot of other churches in Yaroslavl. They are located all over the historic center of the city. It would be better to include Kostroma in your tour of Yaroslavl as it is also an interesting city of the Golden Ring. On the way from Moscow to Yaroslavl you will pass such beautiful cities as Rostov the Great, Pereslavl Zalessky, as well as the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius.