Yaroslavl is the administrative center of Yaroslavl Oblast, located 250 km northeast of Moscow.
Yaroslavl lies on the upper reaches of the Volga where the river Kotorosl flows into it. Yaroslavl is one of the oldest Russian towns founded in 1010 (one and a half century earlier than Moscow) during the reign of Yaroslavl the Wise and is named after him. By the end of the 12th century and beginning of the 13th century, the town has become a substantial cultural center of Russian secular buildings. Since the end of the 16th century, Yaroslavl has become a big trade town. The conquering of Kazan and Astrakhan khanates opened a free way to Asia along the Volga. Yaroslavl has become the center of international trade. The Englishmen chose the town as the inside harbor for storage of their goods and delivering them to the Lower Volga. The Dutch and the Germans followed the Englishmen, the French and the Spanish followed them. The main imported goods were cloth, sugar, spices. The Germans brought here dishes, paper, and arm from Hamburg, the French brought wine and fruits, the Dutch – linen, glass. The goods exporting from Yaroslavl were leather, fish, flax, and works of art. The churches of Yaroslavl (the town had 77 of them) are the monuments of the former importance of Yaroslavl as well as its wealth as the center of trade in the past. The main sightseeing destination in Yaroslavl is the ensemble of Transfiguration Monastery. Founded in the 12th century, the monastery is one of the oldest on the Volga and a regional sentimental favorite.
It was also here that the first Russian theatre was founded in 1750 by the talented Fyodor Volkov and the year 1786 saw the first publication of a Russian provincial magazine. No other city in Russia except Yaroslavl can boast such a wealth of 17th – century architecture.
Folk traditions are also evident in the St. Elijah the Prophet Church’s architectural establishment: the carved window plat bands, the brightly painted arched portals and the elegantly designed porches. The frescoes done in the late 17th century by Yaroslavl and Kostroma masters (Kostroma is close to Yaroslavl) have received world acclaim.
The ancient Russian town on the slope Volga’s bank became one of the most popular tourists’ centers nowadays. You will take a bus city tour around the town, and after a cocktail reception at the ex-Governor’s mansion, you will explore the unique in beauty interior of the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, lavishly decorated with elegant mural painting, sophisticated woodcarving of the gilded iconostasis.