The Silver Ring of Russia
Travel destinationsPskovVeliky NovgorodVologdaVyborgIdeas your travel
The Silver Ring of Russia includes the cities of Novgorod Land, now encircling the city of St. Petersburg. The route passes through the ancient Russian cities, which preserved the unique historical and cultural monuments north-west Russia.
Veliky Novgorod
Considered Russia’s first capital, Veliky (Great) Novgorod (usually simply known as Novgorod) was first mentioned in the chronicles in the mid-ninth century. Today the city is a living museum to ancient Russia, featuring some 50 medieval and early modern churches. At its zenith in the 1300s, Novgorod was one of the largest cities in Europe and was one of the few early Russian settlements that were never conquered by the Mongols. In 1992, this wealth of historic monuments - centered on the Novgorod kremlin -- was honored with inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Vyborg, a town in the Leningrad region, has long been known as the borderlands between the Russian and Scandinavian worlds. These borders are historically fluid: The last time the area changed hands was in 1944, when it was taken by the Soviet Union from Finland during World War II. Russian, Swedish and Finnish hands have molded the city and its buildings– sometimes bolstering each other’s work, and at other times erasing it. Vyborg has been frequently compelled to alter not only its way of governance but also its religion and ethnic composition too.
Kizhi Pogost
The world-renowned architectural ensemble on an island in Lake Onega is included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. A great place to grasp the ingenuity and determination of the Russian people. What is more symbolic of Russia than isolation and ingenuity? This 17th century site speaks to both. Located in the middle of Lake Onega, this island contains three large structures: a bell tower and two large wooden churches, with one of them standing 37 meters tall and featuring 22 domes. Not one nail was used in any of these constructions, which have shown remarkable longevity, despite the use of rather simple materials.