Ermak Travel Guide

 

Staraya Russa

Staraya Russa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transportation

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

Interesting information and useful tips

 

Description of Staraya Russa

Staraya Russa is a city (since 1167) in the Novgorod region of Russia. It is a city of regional significance and the administrative center of the Starorussky municipal district and urban settlement of the Municipality Staraya Russa until 1552 was called Russa. On April 6, 2015, by decree of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, the city was awarded the honorary title - City of Military Glory. Staraya Russa is the largest settlement of the Starorussky district and the third largest city in the Novgorod region. Population - 29 019 people. (2017). As of 1994–2003, the area of ​​the city was 24 km², and since 2005 it has been 18.54 km².

 

Staraya Russa is a small and very cozy city, one of the oldest in the Novgorod region. It is interesting by the ancient churches, the summer home of F. M. Dostoevsky and the balneological resort that was unexpected for the European part of Russia, which existed here before the revolution.

 

 

 

Staraya Russa is located in Southern Priilmenye, 96 km from Novgorod, if you go along the road, and only 60 km if you go straight across Lake Ilmen. The city stands at the confluence of the Porussia river (sometimes referred to as Pererytitsa) into the Polisti comparable in size, which, in turn, is a tributary of the larger Lovat, which flows 15 km to the east. The inhabitants of the city are called rushanas.

 

History of Staraya Russa

The emergence of Staraya Russa is surrounded by numerous legends. According to one of them, the princes Sloven and Rus founded around the lake Ilmen the cities of Slovensk (the future Novgorod) and Rus. According to another legend, there was no Sloven, and instead the company Rusu was Czech and Lech - the founders of the Czech Republic and Poland. Scientific versions of the legends link the name “Staraya Russa” (up to the XVI century - simply “Rusa”) with the Russian tribe, who either lived in Priilmenye before the arrival of the Varangians, or the Varangians who had not yet existed and nameless “Rus” joined the squad of Rurik, founder of the medieval Russian state. Nevertheless, not only buildings, but even archaeological objects of the 9th century were not found on the territory of Staraya Russa, therefore the official date of foundation of the city is 1167 - the first mention in the chronicle, although the earliest archaeological finds date to the mid-10th century. In the Middle Ages, Staraya Russa was the most important and only center of salt-making in North-Western Russia, and therefore by the middle of the XII century it could well become a full-fledged city with active trade on the way “from the Varangians to the Greeks”, passing along the Lovat River.

Since its founding, Staraya Russa has been under the influence of Novgorod, as bark documents remind of - more than forty of them have been found here. From the end of the 15th century, the city fell under the authority of Moscow, remaining one of the most important centers of salt-making and trade. At the turn of the XVI and XVII centuries. Staraya Russa suffered greatly during the Livonian War, and then in the Time of Troubles, when the city was occupied by the Swedes for ten years. The fire of 1763 destroyed all wooden buildings, after which Staraya Russa was built with stone houses according to a standard rectangular plan. Salt production gradually faded away, but mineral waters and the accompanying mud were used for medicinal purposes, therefore, from 1828, a mud and mud resort appeared in Staraya Russa - perhaps the first in Russia. Over the next 90 years, Dobrolyubov, Gorky, the sons of Alexander II and, of course, Fyodor Dostoevsky, who, however, were not treated here, but escaped from gambling addiction and Petersburg lenders, visited the resort. Staraya Russa turned out to be an ideal place for a writer: there was a resort, and with it a certain cultural life, but at the same time a calm environment for fruitful work. In the Staraya Russa he wrote his "Devils", fully written "Teenager" and "The Brothers Karamazov." However, one should not look in Dostoevsky’s books for the enthusiastic descriptions of Staraya Russa, as well as anything else, because in Staraya Russa the action of “The Brothers Karamazov” unfolds. The cattle were indeed driven here, but otherwise the reality was not so terrible: Petersburg society gathered in the summer, already in 1878 a railway appeared in the city, and after the revolution a city tram was even created, which disappeared with the start of World War II and did not recover later.

The war years brought tremendous destruction to Staraya Russa: regular and unsuccessful counter-offensive operations took place in these parts for two years in a row. The city was almost completely destroyed, but some buildings were later restored. There are perhaps no less than one old area per unit of area than in Novgorod, although you cannot call Novgorod itself a well-preserved city. After the war, Staraya Russa became an exemplary hunk, the cause of which was the destruction of the railway (before the war there was a direct branch to Novgorod), as well as the absence of large-scale industry: the main enterprises here are the dying chemical engineering plant and the still living aircraft repair plant. Compared with the end of the 19th century, the balneological resort is incomparably less popular, since the swampy Staraya Russa can hardly compete with the sunny Caucasus. Attempts to develop tourism are almost imperceptible, although from time to time foreigners appear in the city who are interested in Dostoevsky’s heritage. It really is here, and you can even mark the plot of The Brothers Karamazov on the ground, but the general atmosphere has little in common with Dostoevsky’s books. Now Staraya Russa is, first of all, one of the best centers of ancient stone temples in North-West Russia, cozy patriarchal quays and an old-fashioned resort of local significance.

 

 

Travel Destinations in Staraya Russa

Savior Transfiguration Monastery, st. Volodarsky. Located among modern buildings, as if away from the big streets. It was founded in 1192 and before the revolution was a full-fledged abode with numerous buildings behind a high brick wall. Now, a complex of three white churches with a bell tower and a refectory stands, while the rest of the buildings were destroyed or rebuilt beyond recognition. In the past, Volodarsky was a large cathedral in the middle of the XIX century. A characteristic feature of the entire complex is the wooden domes covered with tiller-shaped wooden domes and charming jagged roofs made in the Novgorod tradition, the comfort of which is complemented by wooden porches and modest stone carvings. The oldest in the monastery of the Transfiguration of the Savior Cathedral was first built in stone in 1198 and heavily rebuilt in 1442 meters. During the next reconstruction in 1625-1630, after the destruction of the Time of Troubles, a bell tower, a small Christmas church and a larger Sretenskaya church with a refectory were added to the cathedral. Then the whole complex was rebuilt in the spirit of classicism, but during the post-war restoration it was possible to restore the original medieval look, which, along with the house of Dostoevsky and the Muravyovsky fountain, became the hallmark of Old Russa. In the monastic buildings is a museum of local lore.

 

 

 


 

Transportation

 

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

 

Interesting information and useful tips