HANSEATIC LEAGUE. THE RUSSIAN WAY
HANSEATIC LEAGUE. THE RUSSIAN WAY
Veliky Novgorod (Novgorod the Great) is situated in the North-Western Russia, 180 kilometers from Saint-Petersburg and 524 kilometers from Moscow. The city is easy to reach by car, bus or train.
The oldest city in Russia, one of the biggest in the Medieval Europe, the cradle of Russian democracy, medieval centre of trades and crafts, a golden mine for historians, architects and archaeologists - all this is Veliky Novgorod.
The name Novgorod means “the new town”. It is first mentioned as a fortress in the chronicles of 859, and this date is accepted as a starting point of the city's age. However, historians and archaeologists still debate over the exact date of the city's foundation and the location of the "old" town, compared to which the later settlement was considered "new". It is generally considered that the old town used to be the settlement of Varangian Prince Rurik who was summoned to rule over Novgorod in the 9th century and who started the first Russian royal dynasty.
From the very beginnings of its existence, Novgorod had a quite different political order than most of the other Russian cities. At the times of the Kievan Rus', the first Russian state, the oldest son of the Grand Prince of Kiev (King of Russia) traditionally ruled in Novgorod. Grand Prince Vladimir the Great, who converted Russia into Christianity, and his son Yaroslav the Wise were among those who occupied Novgorod throne for some time. From the year 1136 and on, Novgorod became "free of princes", which means that princes from the royal house were invited for a period of time (usually during the wars) to serve as generals or administrators, without much of real power. They where hired on certain conditions which were stated in a contract. If the prince didn't come up to the expectations, he was simply fired and expelled. Moreover, the prince and his troops were forbidden to live within the proper city borders and hunt nearby.
From the 12th century, the Novgorodian Land became an independent feudal republic managed by the Veche - a sort popular gathering of representatives from all city ends. Veche made decisions concerning war and peace, foreign and internal policy and other global matters as well as electing the Archbishop of Novgorod. The town grew up around its Kremlin (citadel), the most ancient in Russia , an oval red-brick fortress on the banks of the Volkhov river, surrounded by a large moat.
Russia's decision-making centre at that time, Veliky Novgorod is also the home of Saint Sophia Cathedral which towers above the sixty or more churches of the fortified city. Also in the Kremlin is a truly astonishing and exquisite collection of impressively large icons, probably the finest in Russia.
For centuries, Veliky Novgorod was a political centre of a vast land from the Baltic region and Finland in the West to the Northern Urals in the East. It was a gateway to Europe, one of the most powerful hubs of international trade on the way from the Baltic Sea to Volga, serving as a link between Northern Europe and Asia.
Medieval Novgorod had close contacts with the Hanseatic League of North-European cities, a prototype of present-day united European Market. The League had its permanent representatives in Novgorod. Since 1993, Veliky Novgorod is a member of the modern Hanseatic League of New Time based on traditions of Medieval Hansa, that includes more then 160 cities from 15 European countries.
Program of the tour:
Arrival to Novgorod and check–in the hotel. Dinner at the hotel.
• Accommodation 2 B/B
• Transfers Airport / Hotel / Airport
• City tour
• The Yuriev Monastery (XI), St. George cathedral
• Sophia Cathedral
• Yaroslav Courtyard and Marketplace
• 2 Dinners at the hotel
The price of the tour is quoted by request.