In the end of September few students and I took the train from Moscow to explore Nizhny Novgorod, the fifth largest city in Russia. It’s a little more than 400km ride to the East which takes around six hours. Nizhny Novgorod is famous for its former biggest trade center in Europe if not worldwide. It is a very industrial city, home of many factories in the automobile industry, shipbuilding and aircraft manufacturing. In the past, Nizhny Novgorod was bombarded by Germans because of their biggest weapon production of the Soviet Army. Nowadays there are many cultural sights to check out. The city is built on the intersection of two big Russian rivers, Oka and Volga which is the longest river in Europe.
1. Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky
The excursion of the city starts at the Lenin Square, where our Hotel is located. Our first stop is the cathedral of Alexander Nevsky. This is by far the most beautiful church I ever visited in Russia. The inside is decorated with wooden walls. There is also a tunnel which fulfills your wishes if you pass through it.
2. Church Navity of Our Lady
Some moments later we are crossing the bridge in to the old town city center to visit the church Navity of Our Lady, which is one of the main sights of the city. In fact it’s a small church, in the past owned only by the rich community in Nizhny Novgorod. Today it’s open for public. If you notice the main onion shaped dome of the church is blue, this is the color which stands for Madona Maria. Green onion shaped dome stands on the other side for Jesus Christus.
3. Pechersky Ascension Monastery
Is the old Monastery of Nizhny Novgorod located above the church of the Navity of Our Lady. From here you will have a nice view over the city center and the two rivers Oka and Volga. On this picture you can see how communists destroyed the pretty old Russian traditional architecture with their “modern” buildings.
Nizhny Novgorod as many other Russian cities have their own Kremlin. The word kremlin comes from krepost, which means fortress. Here you can find the World War II museum, Archangel Cathedral, obelisk of Minin and Pozharsky and the Eternal flame with a memorial complex in honor of citizens which died during World War II. In Kremlin you can also admire the famous Russian Tank T-34 which liberated Vienna from the Nazis in 1945.
5. Valery Chkalov Monument
Valery Chkalov is a soviet hero. He was the first pilot who crossed the North Pole from Moscow to Vancouver. You can find his monument right next to the Kremlin.
6. Cable Car
If you have some time, take the cable car across the river Volga to the town of Bor. It’s not a touristic attraction but the local mean of transport. One way cost 90rb (1,20EUR) and you can check out the river from a Bird’s-eye view.
7. Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street
Bolshaya Pokrovskaya is the main street in the pedestrian zone of Nizhny Novgorod, here you can find coffees, shops, restaurants and the theater. It connects the Kremlin with the city center.
I think Nizhny Novgorod was worth visiting. When exploring the city, you just get so many impressions from the Russian history. Somehow it taught me more about the Russian way of life than St. Petersburg or Moscow. If you travel across Russia make a stop in Nizhny Novgorod and check out the city, you will not regret it.
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