THE GOLDEN RING OF RUSSIA
ROSTOV VELIKY (ROSTOV THE GREAT)
Rostov the Great is on of the most interesting cities of the Golden Ring. "A miracle of the past", "a symphony in stone", "the eternal city of Russia" - such poetic labels have been given to this ancient Russian city by its visitors.
Rostov the Great is one of oldest cities in Russia, it is nearly three centuries older than Moscow.
At the end of the first millennium, Rostov was a flourishing, densely populated city, an important center of Russian statehood. The fame of the city grew when a Kremlin was built on the shore of Lake Nero in, the 17th century.
The chimes in the bell - towers of the Rostov Kremlin have an inimitable sound which can be heard for miles and miles around.
The Kremlin's collection of 15th-17th century icons, ancient china, and Rostov's phinipht (painting on
animal) are well known far beyond the Rostov the Great region.
SIGHTS OF INTEREST
Cathedral of the Assumption. The cathedral (Uspensky sobor) and its belfry dominate the Kremlin, though they're actually outside its north wall. The cathedral, with its five magnificent onion domes, was here a century before
the Kremlin. The belfry (zvonnitsa), added in the 1680s, was famous even outside Russia; the
French composer Hector Berlioz came to listen to its 13 bells. The biggest, the 32 tonne Sysoi bell,
is rung only on church festivals.
- Kremlin. Nearly all the Kremlin buildings date from the 1670s and 1680s, Metropolitan
Iona's time. The west gate and north gate (through which you can't pass) are both straddled by gate-churches
(Tserkov Voskresenia and Tserkov Ioanna Bogoslova), rich with 17th century frescoes that you can view from May to October. Between them, the Church of Hodigitria
(Tserkov Odigitrii) looks like
it's been wallpapered on the outside. Inside is an exhibition of Orthodox Church vestments and paraphernalia.
The metropolitan's private chapel, the Church of the Saviour-over-the-Galleries
(Tserkov Spasa-na-Senyakh), in the southeastern corner of the Kremlin, behind the metropolitan's house
(Pokoy mitropolita or Samuilov korpus), has the most beautiful interior of all,
absolutely covered in colorful 17th century frescoes. The huge White Chamber
(Belaya palata) next door was once the Kremlin's dining hall; the Red Chamber
(Krasnaya palata), with the
massive porch, was its guesthouse.
The metropolitan's house and the White Chamber both have museums accessed by the stairs at the rear (south) side of the White Chamber. The one in the metropolitan's house has icons,
paintings and a collection of Rostov's own specialty, the luminous painted enamelware called
finift. The one in the White Chamber, known as the otkritye fondy, displays
ceramics and furniture.
- Monasteries & Other Buildings. Two monasteries flank the Kremlin on the lake shore. Two kilometers west (and visible like an apparition on the southern approach to
Rostov) is the Monastery of St Jacob (Spaso-Yakovlevsky monastyr). It's under restoration but, having been returned to the Church in 1993, has a small community of monks, its magnificent 19th century cathedral is worth seeing as you'd never expect
to find such architectural splendor on the outskirts of a tiny town. Take bus No 1 or 2 west from the Kremlin to the end of the line.
A similar distance east by bus No 1 is the dilapidated Avraamevsky Monastery, whose Cathedral of the Epiphany
(Bogoyavlensky sobor), built in 1553, is probably Rostov's oldest
The streets around the Kremlin contain several more old churches, as well as the fruit of a secular building program in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Trading Arcades
built in 1830, surround a 17th century church; there's another church of similar age on Sovietskaya
ploshchad. The Church of the Ascension (Voznesenskaya tserkov) on ulitsa Karla Marksa dates from the
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