Uglich is a historic town in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, located on the Volga River.
A local tradition dates the town’s origin back to 937. The town’s name is thought to allude to the turn the Volga makes nearby. Uglich had been the seat of a small princedom from 1218 until 1328 when the local princes sold their rights to the great prince of Moscow. As a border town of Muscovy, it was burnt several times by Lithuanians, Tatars and the grand prince of Tver.
During the reign of Ivan the Terrible the town passed to his only brother, Yuriy. Local inhabitants helped the tsar to capture Kazan by building a wooden fortress, which was transported by the Volga all the way to Kazan. Throughout the 16th century, Uglich prospered both politically and economically, but thereafter its fortunes began to decline.
After Ivan’s death, his youngest son Dmitry was banished to Uglich in 1584. The most famous event in the town’s history took place on May 15, 1591 when the 10-year old boy was found dead with his throat cut in the palace courtyard. Suspicion immediately fell on the tsar’s chief advisor, Boris Godunov. Official investigators concluded however, that Dmitry’s death was an accident.
The Romanov tsars made it their priority to canonize the martyred tsarevich and to turn Uglich into a place of pilgrimage. On the spot where Dmitry had been murdered the city in 1690 built the small but lovely Church of St Dmitry on the Blood, which appears on the horizon with its red walls and blue domes as one sails north on the Volga. The palace where the prince lived was turned into a museum.
The 1917 revolution changed the course of the town’s history. It was seriously damaged by construction of the hydroelectric stations in the 1930s. The Intercession Monastery, a major architectural sight in the southwestern part, and other churches and buildings dating from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries were blown up and then flooded. The huge structure of the hydroelectric station stands on the former monastery site today.
A team of restorers has been working in the town’s historical center since 1952. As a result, many old buildings have been saved from destruction such as Transfiguration Cathedral. According to the plan for Uglich’s development and construction, recently approved by the local authorities, its historical center will be preserved intact.
You will join the walking city tour with a visit to the territory of the Kremlin, where our experienced guides will tell you more about the history and peculiarities of this town.