15 best sights in Staraya Russa – descriptions and photos

15 best sights in Staraya Russa

*Review of the best according to the editorial opinion of expertology.ru. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective, is not an advertisement and does not serve as a guide to purchase. It is necessary to consult with a specialist prior to purchase.

Staraya Russa is one of the oldest towns in Novgorod region. Mainly it has always been engaged in salt production, and the city had a number of problems with water. Even a water tower was built for that purpose, which later became one of the most recognizable sights of Staraya Russa. Later a resort was opened here. Despite the northern location, in architectural terms the sights belong to the central part of the Russian Federation, because officials and rich merchants often came here. And even taking into account the occupation during the Great Patriotic War, they managed to perfectly preserve a number of heritage sites. Our experts have compiled a rating of the most interesting places in Staraya Russa.

Rating of the best sights in Staraya Russa

Nomination place name Rating
Best architectural sights in Staraya Russa 1 Zhivonosny source 5.0
2 Water tower 4.9
3 The resort of Staraya Russa 4.8
4 Living bridge 4.7
Best religious sights in Staraya Russa 1 Transfiguration Monastery 5.0
2 Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker 4.9
3 Church of St. George the Victorious 4.8
4 Church of the Icon of the Mother of God 4.7
5 Trinity Church 4.6
Best cultural attractions in Staraya Russa 1 House Museum of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky 5.0
2 Museum of North-Western Front 4.9
3 Muravyev Fountain 4.8
4 Local History Museum 4.7
5 Medieval manor 4.6
6 Tsaritsynskiy source 4.5

Best architectural sights in Staraya Russa

Zhivonosny source

The traditional bureaus, located at some distance from Staraya Russa, is an important architectural landmark built in the Slavic style. It is located on the territory of the village of Buregi and is considered one of the oldest sources of healing water in the region. Moreover, it is not even known exactly when it was discovered. And when it was closed after the war, there were requests to resume its work.

The spring was already known in the 17th century among the locals and residents of other towns. According to the beliefs of local residents, its water carried power and healed illnesses, so visitors flocked to Staraya Russa. And on their donations in the 19th century the chapel was founded. Later the spring has been abandoned several times, but at the moment it has been restored.

Water tower

Water tower

Photo: A. Savin (Wikimedia Commons – WikiPhotoSpace), FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

Previously, the town of Staraya Russa was known outside the region primarily as a salt producer. However, due to the high salinity of the local river, there were problems with the drinking liquid, which could only be solved after the construction of a water tower. It dates from 1909, almost before the Revolution. The significance will be quite difficult to overestimate, because after the construction, the city finally got a real water supply.

In the twentieth century, engineering work began. After that, the water tower immediately became a hit of local postcards. It is the architectural dominant of the region and the central element of Staraya Russa square. During the Great Patriotic War it was significantly damaged, the tier was destroyed and part of the beams were lost. However, the foundations were perfectly preserved, thanks to which it was rebuilt.

The resort of Staraya Russa

The resort town of Staraya Russa

Photo: A. Savin (Wikimedia Commons – WikiPhotoSpace), FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most important resorts in the town of Staraya Russa and in the entire Empire was this health and recreation complex. It dates back to 1828, and later it was supplemented with a number of buildings with baths belonging to one class or another. It was a very important and famous sight in the region, where many important people of the Russian Empire came to have a rest.

Among them the most famous are the Princes Alexei and Vladimir. The resort has been perfectly preserved to the present time, and during the Great Patriotic War it became a hospital. During the battles for the city, the buildings were partially destroyed. Afterwards, however, they were restored, which allowed the resort to retain its status as a regional hospital. At the moment, the resort is privately owned.

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Living Bridge

Living bridge

Photo: A. Savin (Wikimedia Commons – WikiPhotoSpace), FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

The Living Bridge of Staraya Russa is considered an important engineering and architectural landmark. The exact date of the construction of this object remains unknown until the current time. Originally it was built from rafts to cross the river Polist. However, they were not reliable and were constantly swinging, so the bridge has received the name of a living one.

Later they tried to rename it, but the locals did not agree with such changes. At the moment it is a concrete structure with iron ribs and a fixed load. It was erected in the 1980s. And since the 1920s, the tramway between different parts of the city ran here.

Best religious sights in Staraya Russa

Transfiguration Monastery

Transfiguration Monastery

Photo: A. Savin (Wikimedia Commons – WikiPhotoSpace), FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

The first position in the rating of religious sights in Staraya Russa is occupied by the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery, which dates back approximately to the 11th century. On its territory there are still 3 churches built in 1630 and a number of unique bell towers. At the moment in some of them is located museum of local history, which has an impressive archaeological collection, as well as the gallery of paintings of the Soviet period.

The foundation of the monastery is associated with the name of Bishop Martyrius. He is believed to have been born in Stara Russa and also founded it in his homeland. The monastery is located near the bend of the local river, and the location was called an island. The name of this religious complex is the cathedral on the suburb.

Church of Nicholas the Wonderworker

Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker

Photo: A. Savin (Wikimedia Commons – WikiPhotoSpace), FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

The second position in the category of the best religious sights is occupied by the church dedicated to Nicholas the Wonderworker. It was built in Staraya Russa in 1371 and has been active ever since. The location for the church was chosen very well. Next to the institution is the bed of the river Porusya, and from all sides you can explore the beautiful panoramas of the nature of Staraya Russa.

The landmark was originally erected small and four-table, which made it very similar to typical religious institutions of this period. As for the dimensions, they are quite compact: only 8×8 meters, and even less inside – 5.6×5. According to historical data, the church originally had only one chapter and a wide entrance. The number of bricks in the masonry is minimal.

Church of St. George the Victorious.

Church of St. George the Victorious

Photo: A. Savin (Wikimedia Commons – WikiPhotoSpace), FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

The third position of the top religious attractions in Staraya Russa is occupied by an ancient monument dating back to the 15th century. The first of the temples was built in 1410 by the famous Archimandrite Varlaam after the blessing of Bishop John of Novgorod. It was a traditional one-domed church with a small side-altar, which was consecrated in honor of the Annunciation.

According to contemporary documents, the church survived in 1625, even during the Troubles, despite the invasions of the Lithuanians and Swedes. In 1710, it began to fall into disrepair as all liturgies were suspended. In 1740, the temple dedicated to St. George the Victorious was partially dismantled, leaving the foundation. As a result, the cathedral significantly increased in size. The sight has been perfectly preserved.

Church of the icon of the Mother of God

Church of the Icon of the Mother of God

Photo: A. Savin (Wikimedia Commons – WikiPhotoSpace), FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

A large church dedicated to the icon of the Mother of God was bound to make it into the rating of attractions in Staraya Russa. In the middle of 1888 an image was brought from Tikhvin, in honor of which the religious complex was erected. The new temple was laid in 1898 and construction was completed in just 12 months. And just six months later, it was painted and equipped, which turned it into an important local landmark.

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In 1892 it was consecrated in honor of the Staraya Russa icon of the Mother of God, and a week later the altar in the name of Prince Vladimir. The construction of the church itself is located very close to the cloisters in the wall and the fence. The church is a vivid example of the late eclectic style. The central part is occupied by the famous drum, and the dome is topped with a cupola and a cross. Above the altar there are beautiful decorative covers.

Trinity church

Trinity Church

Photo: A. Savin (Wikimedia Commons – WikiPhotoSpace), FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

The Church of the Holy Trinity represents the last landmark in this section of the ranking. It is a traditional Orthodox church that belongs to the Novgorod diocese and is located on Frunze Street. According to historical data it is impossible to establish exactly when it was erected, and in 1625 it was already burned down by retreating Lithuanian troops.

Almost to the end of XVII century the landmark was destroyed. And only in 1680, it was erected at the expense of philanthropist Tverev. It was consecrated in 1684. Metropolitan Cornelius was invited for that. In 1759 it was damaged by the fire again, during which the altar and iconostasis were destroyed. However, a number of icons survived. And only after 36 long months it could be reconstructed.

Best cultural attractions in Staraya Russa

House-Museum of Fyodor Dostoyevsky

House Museum of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky

Photo: A. Savin (Wikimedia Commons – WikiPhotoSpace), FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

The main cultural attraction of the city is the house-museum dedicated to one of the greatest writers of the golden age of Russian literature. The building is located on the bank of the Pererytitsa river. The total area of the house is approximately 170 square meters, and every year it is visited by up to 5 thousand tourists and locals. There is a library as a part of the museum complex. And the most valuable and the best objects are considered to be the writer’s belongings and works published during his lifetime.

It is known that the writer called this house in Staraya Russa “Our nest”, because only here he felt comfortable. He moved into the house quite by chance in 1872, when his family decided to take a vacation in the North. Within 12 months, they had already rented a small estate on the coast, and then bought it. This is also where Alexei Fyodorovich Dostoevsky was born.

Museum of the North-Western Front

Museum of North-Western Front

Photo: tripadvisor.ru / Author: Tatiana

Among military museums I would like to single out the complex, dedicated to the conduct of the Great Patriotic War on the North-Western Front. It is located on the territory of Staraya Russa and is considered to be a recognized local landmark. Its collection contains a number of materials and documents, which are devoted to the battles on the territory of the North-Western Front. Despite a certain inconspicuousness of the building, it is extremely important.

What makes it distinctive is that the military themes are presented from a humanistic perspective. And the materials refer to both sides of the conflict. Here they try to analyze and analyze the situation in maximum detail, regardless of the political differences. And the main highlight can be called the front letters.

Muravyovka Fountain

Muravyev Fountain

Photo: A. Savin (Wikimedia Commons – WikiPhotoSpace), FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

This particular fountain is considered the largest and most important of the mineral springs in all of Eurasia. Its name goes back to Count Mikhail Nikolayevich Muravyov, a minister of the Russian Empire in charge of foreign affairs in the state since 1897. It was he who ordered to drill a new well with a depth of almost 110 meters.

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In 1859, the project was submitted to a specialized commission, which checked and ennobled the territory. That is how the metal tent appeared. During the Great Patriotic War the structure was destroyed, and then a whole new marquee appeared, but due to rust it was destroyed. Now the fountain constantly pleases the local residents with the rising column of water.

Museum of local history

Local History Museum

Photo: tripadvisor.ru / Author: Nejdanka

The Local History Museum in Staraya Russa is one of the most important cultural attractions and is considered a branch of the Novgorod complex. It is located on Frunze Square in a number of buildings of Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery, which is the oldest in the city. And the museum itself was opened in 1920. At that time the exposition consisted of several departments, including archeological and historical.

The collection was based on items from nationalized estates of local landlords. In 1933, it was moved to the Cathedral of the Resurrection, badly damaged and looted during the war. One of the exhibitions contains artifacts discovered during excavations in the 1970s. All guests of the museum speak positively about it.

Medieval manor house

Medieval manor

Photo: tripadvisor.ru / Author: andrey.n.nov

The rating of the best sights in Staraya Russa was bound to be completed by the museum complex, which represents the traditional dwelling of the common inhabitant of the town. And this heritage object occupies a rather large area, almost 1700 square meters. And the homestead itself was created on the basis of a number of archeological researches.

With the help of historians and archaeologists it was possible to create a number of traditional buildings. And the interior decoration corresponds to the ancient homesteads. The museum complex itself was opened in 2014. At the entrance you can buy a ticket for all the attractions of the estate at once, which will allow you to get acquainted with the living conditions and everyday life of the inhabitants of Staraya Russa.

Tsaritsyn source

Tsaritsynsky spring

Photo: tripadvisor.ru / Author: latosha

This attraction was created at the time of drilling its own well for the local plant engaged in the production of salt in Staraya Russa in the 19th century. The spring was one of the most powerful, as its head was enough to drive 3 water mills at once.

And the name itself was given in gratitude to Catherine the Great for her help in designing the coat of arms of Staraya Russa, which fully reflected its long history. At the moment, the mineral spring is not used, and the water simply flows into the river. Because of the large amount of salt that has formed around it, the lake practically does not freeze, even in the harshest frosts.

15 main attractions of Staraya Russa

Staraya Russa is a city in the Novgorod region with a rich past. Its heyday is associated with the salt trade. Despite the fact that the city stands on the river, there have long been problems with drinking water, just because of the salt. The problem was solved only by building a water tower. However, the high mineralization had a silver lining: in Staraya Russa they opened a spa with the same name.

The urban architecture is typical for central Russia. In spite of the occupation many structures of the past have been preserved here, including the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery. In general, there are many religious sites here, and most of them are active. The war years have remained in the memory of citizens and are immortalized for posterity in the museum of North-Western Front. Its collection also includes an exhibit about the Afghan campaign.

What to see and where to go in Staraya Russa?

The most interesting and beautiful places to walk. Photos and a brief description.

Voskresensky Cathedral

Built on the shining Polisti and Pererytitsa. The first building of the cathedral dates back to the 90s of the XVII century. In 1833 it was significantly rebuilt, including an increase in size. The damage from shelling during the war was extensive. It needed repairs, after which the cathedral was successively occupied by a cinema, a club, a warehouse and a museum. Returned to the ROC in 1992, the same year services began.

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Voskresensky cathedral.

Cathedral Square and the water tower

In the past, the square was called the Market Square. There were rows of shops, which were finally destroyed during the occupation. The only part of the old buildings that survived is the water tower. The construction helped to provide the city with fresh water, which was a problem. It was impossible to drink water from the rivers around because of the salt. Therefore, in 1908 the authorities initiated the construction of a 50-meter high tower in Art Nouveau style.

Sobornaya Square and water tower.

The resort of Staraya Russa

One of the oldest spas in central Russia was founded in 1828. In the 30s the first buildings with baths of different classes were built. Subsequently, famous people of the country, including the Grand Dukes Alexei and Vladimir, came here to improve their health. During the war the resort became a hospital, and its buildings were partially destroyed. Currently, Staraya Russa has the status of a CJSC.

Muravyovka Fountain

The most powerful mineral spring in the Old World. It was named after Minister Muravyov. He initiated the drilling of a new well. Its depth is about 110 meters. In 1859 the project was submitted to a special commission. The area around it was landscaped, and a metal tent was added. During the war the structure was destroyed, and then a new tent was built, but it was dismantled because of rust.

Muravyevsky fountain.

Transfiguration Monastery

The oldest building of the city, recognized as a historical monument. First mentioned in chronicles in 1192. The first temple was made of wood and soon burned down during a major fire. Active building of the territory of the monastery was conducted in XVII century on money from the salt mine. Now there is a museum of local history. Well-preserved frescoes of the XV-XVII centuries are a part of the collection.

Transfiguration Monastery.

Church of the Holy Trinity

During its history, the temple has experienced a lot of troubles. In the XVII century it caught fire from a neighboring building, so the church had to be rebuilt. In 1836, a hurricane knocked down the dome and damaged the ceiling. In the process of reconstruction the plan of the building was completely changed. In Soviet times it was a warehouse for grain. Since the 80s, the church has been used as an exhibition hall. It was returned to the ROC only in 1997.

Church of the Holy Trinity.

Church of the Holy Great Martyr Mina

Date of erection of church is specified 1371 year, but it is inexact data. The temple is not mentioned in annalistic sources, so the conclusions of researchers are based on indirect facts. During the Soviet period, the building was taken by the City Executive Committee. It was damaged by bombardments in the Second World War. It has been repaired, but there has been no full restoration. Currently services are not conducted, and the doors are also closed to tourists.

Church of Holy Great Martyr Mina.

Church of St. George

The first temple appeared on this site in 1410. Its walls were the basis for the construction of a new church building in the mid-18th century. The church is one-domed, as its northern aisle. The bell tower was built next to it in the 80s of the XIX century. Under the Soviet regime divine services were not held. For a short time the church was opened to the congregation during the occupation. After the war the bell tower was dismantled and later was restored.

The Church of St. George.

Church of Nicholas the Wonderworker

The date of construction of the first temple is considered to be 1371. It was larger than it is now and fell into disrepair during the Time of Troubles. In 1910 a new church was built. The peculiarity of its construction was the absence of internal columns. The three-tiered bell tower appeared only a century later. After the Bolsheviks came to power in the church was a museum, and later a warehouse. In 1991 the building was given to the Old Believer community.

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The Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker.

“The estate of a medieval rushenin”.

The open-air interactive museum occupies an area of 1700 square meters. The medieval manor was created based on archaeological research. For this reason, the buildings here are authentic to the real ones, and the attractions also match the real crafts and everyday life of the past. The exhibition has been welcoming visitors since 2014. Buying a single ticket opens access to all the objects of the estate.

F. M. Dostoevsky House Museum

The writer and his family rented a two-story house in Staraya Russa as a dacha in 1873. Here Dostoevsky worked on a number of his works, including The Brothers Karamazov. In 1909 it was decided to give the building on the embankment of Pererytitsa river as a museum. But the process was delayed, and the authentic interiors and personal belongings became available for visitors only in the 1980s.

House-museum of F. Dostoevsky.

Museum of the North-Western Front

Open since 2003. The museum exhibition covers all the events that took place in the area during the Great Patriotic War. The exhibitions describe the battles, underground liberation movement and life of the city during the occupation. One of the important exhibits is a bell cast in 1672. It was a present from Peter the Great. Since 2011 there is a department dedicated to the war in Afghanistan.

Museum of North-Western Front.

Monument “Eagle”.

The project was started by V. Martynov in 1893. When he went to the front, I. Wittenberg continued to work on the creation of the monument. The height of the composition is about 5 meters. On the square stele is placed a sphere, and on it – an eagle with outspread wings. The monument is dedicated to the soldiers of Vilmanstrand regiment. It was damaged by bullets during the Great Patriotic War. It was fully restored in 1953.

Living Bridge

Span across the river Polist. The exact date of construction is unknown. Originally the bridge consisted of rafts. They were lying directly on the water and swaying, so the name “Alive” appeared. It was tried to be officially renamed “Alexander”, but the folk name stuck too firmly. The bridge acquired its present appearance after 1890. Since the 20s and until the war a streetcar line had been running here.

Living bridge.

Tsaritsyn source

It was created when drilling a well for the salt plant in the 30s of the last century. The power of the spring allowed three mills to work. The source was named in gratitude to Catherine II for the emblem of the city, reflecting its history. Currently, the spring is not used in any way, and the water from the spring simply flows into the river. A small lake has formed around it. It does not freeze even in winter in severe frosts.

Tsaritsynsky spring.

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