23 best sights of Uglich – descriptions and photos

Guide to Uglich: Time of Troubles, Soviet hydropower and unusual museums

People come to Uglich to get in touch with history: 500-year-old monasteries and ancient civic buildings have been preserved here. The city is also famous for its unusual museums, which will be of interest to both children and adults, and in the summer it hosts festivals and fairs.

I’ll tell you what to see in Uglich and where to go, if you come to the city for a day.

Sights of Uglich: what to see in the city

Uglich is one of the oldest cities in Russia, founded in 937. Uglich is located about 220 kilometers north-east of Moscow, stands on the Volga River, and is part of the Golden Ring of Russia.

The history of Uglich is connected with the significant landmarks in the country’s history: in the Uglich Kremlin Tsarevich Dmitry, the younger son of Ivan the Terrible, the last representative of the Rurikovich dynasty, died. This event was a prologue to the Time of Troubles.

Almost all attractions are located in the center, within walking distance of each other. On the map I have marked for you the places I will tell you about.

Uglich Kremlin.

Start with the Kremlin, where the Uglich State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum is located. The reason is simple – this museum opens earlier than others (at 9:00). I recommend to take an excursion – so you will not only examine antiquities, but also learn (or refresh in your memory) important moments of our history.

In the Uglich Kremlin there is a monument to Tsarevich Dimitriy, son of Ivan the Terrible, who was killed here under mysterious circumstances

An unusual open-air exhibit – a tractor, made at the Kharkov Tractor Plant in 1936

Dimitry on the Blood Church, according to legend, was built on the site of the death of the tsarevich.

Here you’ll see the Uglich exile bell, which ringing heralded the beginning of the Troubles in Russia, a reliquary and a stretcher (a boarded box with handles). In 1606 they carried the relics of Tsarevich Dimitry from Uglich to Moscow.

Chamber of the palace of Uglich feudal princes – building of the XV century – the oldest monument of the Kremlin ensemble. Here one may see expositions of Uglich history, paintings and applied art of the XVIII-XXI centuries.

The chambers are considered the first brick dwelling house in Russia: white-stone churches of Moscow Ivan III appeared later

The building of the former town council houses an exposition of ancient everyday life. As the museum staff says, “small in size, but rich in content. Most of the items were donated to the museum by Uglich citizens and residents of Uglich region.

In the Kremlin is also the main functioning temple of Uglich – Transfiguration Cathedral, a little gloomy inside, but majestic. Entrance to the temple is free.

The museum works seven days a week from 9:00 to 18:00, closed on Friday for an hour earlier. You can buy tickets for each exhibit separately or take a single ticket: 590 ₽ adult, 550 ₽ student and 500 ₽ children. An hour and a half tour will cost 1,500 ₽. It’s convenient to order directly from the museum’s website.

Museum of Prison Art

Despite the gloomy name, the museum is very interesting. The exhibits are art objects made by prisoners.

Here you can see bread handicrafts, drawn cards, wooden backgammon and chess, paintings on sheets, icons, moonshine machines, and tattoo machines. The best part is the story of the museum’s caretaker, who deftly inserts words of prison lingo into her speech and knows the history of each exhibit.

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One inmate drew a portrait of his daughter in ink on a sheet. Twenty years later, the girl came to the museum and recognized herself. By then her father, who had escaped from prison, was presumed dead

The second room of the museum is a prototype of a prisoner’s cell. The furnishings, the lighting, even the rough finish on the walls, are all as close as possible to conditions in a real prison. One of the plaster figures in the cell has a living prototype. After his release, this man sometimes visits the museum: as he says, to look at himself.

Admission ticket with a guided tour costs only 150 ₽, you can buy directly at the museum. Schedule is better to clarify the phone: +7 910 972-80-59.

Folk Toy Museum

To take a breath from the “prison” experience, I recommend to go to the Folk Toy Museum. The exhibits are made of wood, clay, tree fruits, plaster, textiles, talcum and even dung. It is a private museum, with toys from 30 countries, including Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Burma, India and the CIS.

You can order a tour or walk the halls by yourself – almost every display case has a QR-code: put your phone on it and read about the exhibits.

A Japanese traditional doll represents a deity that brings happiness. It is considered the prototype of the Russian matryoshka doll.

In the museum there are interesting workshops: you can make a clay whistle-turner, sew a doll Jelannica, an owl or other stuffed toy.

The museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00, Monday is closed. To make an appointment for a master-class and to clarify the cost of tickets you can by phone: +7 960 544-85-78. Tickets are on sale in the museum itself and you pay only in cash.

Hydropower Museum

Go to this museum for sure. This is not just an interactive thematic exposition: each room is equipped with sound, sensory equipment, controlled models – everything moves, flows, sounds, lights.

The guide will tell you about the history of hydropower in our country, about the most powerful hydroelectric power plants in the world, show models of dams, hydroelectric power plants in action.

You’ll learn how water helps to generate electricity, watch films and try to generate electricity yourself: spin the pedals of an exercise bike so that all the bulbs on the model of the house light up.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 09:00 to 18:00, but tours run by the hour: at 11:00, 14:00 and 16:00. You need to come to the museum by this time and buy tickets (the ticket office is on the street, at the entrance). The ticket costs 350 ₽ for an adult, 300 ₽ for children over seven years old, students and senior citizens, and children under seven years old pass for free.

If you want to take pictures, you have to pay an extra 100 ₽. You will be given a special sticker to put in a prominent place, such as the back of your phone.

The museum is a five-minute drive from the city center, so it is more convenient to go there by car. Or you can go by bus № 1, 118 or taxi № 1, 1a, 51, 114, 118a from the bus station to the bus stop “Gorelectroset” and from it walk 500 meters, turning right.

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Where to eat in Uglich

If you, like the writer Mikhail Pogodin, want to be treated to “as much Uglich as possible,” go to the restaurant Vremena. Almost the entire menu of the restaurant consists of local dishes – they are highlighted in gray. I especially recommend trying the brine and pikeperch dishes. The average check is ₽800.

The restaurant “Gosti” is conveniently located in the center – you can drop in during a walk between sights. The menu features European cuisine and there is a children’s room. There is a store at the restaurant where you can buy Uglich cheeses, tinctures and meat delicacies. The average bill is 600 ₽.

When to go to Uglich

You can come to Uglich both in winter and summer. The weather in Uglich is the same as in the whole of Central Russia: on average -8 ° C in winter, +18 ° C in summer, but it can also be hot. In spring and autumn it often rains. In winter it is sparsely populated, you can take a quiet walk through the museums and ride the roller coaster. In summer, of course, the influx of tourists, but working shopping malls and festivals take place, most often in August.

In the first week of the month those who love to take pictures come to Uglich. International Festival of Photography includes lectures and master classes, exhibitions of famous photographers, film screenings, a large portfolio review and competitions for young photographers.

In mid-August, guests are welcome at the Uglich Harvest Fair. You can taste local fruits, vegetables, berries, honey and dairy products. There is also an entertainment program with a costume procession and skomorokhi.

The festival month is closed by the Celebration of workhorse, which is held closer to August 31 – the Day of Saints Florus and Laurus, the patrons of horses. There are horse-drawn carriage tours, a visit to the Workhorse Museum, and a horse show.

In summer the water is sometimes heated up to +20 ° C and above, so you can swim at specially equipped beaches. The most convenient is the City Beach. Located near the hydropower museum, there are cabins to change clothes, toilets, Rospotrebnadzor regularly takes samples of water and sand. You can get here by car – 8 minutes from the central market near the pier, or by bus number 62 from the “Central Market” to the “Microrayon Solnechny”. But you will have to walk about a kilometer.

The temperature in Uglich in winter is -8°C, in summer it’s +18°C.

How to get to Uglich

The most convenient to come here by car. From Moscow choose the direction through Sergiev Posad (travel time – four hours). But most roads go through the regional capital Yaroslavl: from here to Uglich about an hour and a half.

You can also come here by train. There are direct trains from Moscow and St. Petersburg. From Moscow, go from the Belorusskiy railway station. The train goes a little over five hours. From St. Petersburg – from Moskovsky. To get there will take three times longer. To get from the train station to the city center, take a cab or bus number 3.

You may also choose to take a bus. From Moscow, buses go to Uglich from the Shchelkovo station, and from Yaroslavl – from the Yaroslavl-Main railway station or from the bus station. You will arrive at the bus station, which is 700 meters from the Uglich Kremlin, that is, in the center of the city.

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The most beautiful way to get to Uglich is to come by boat on the Volga. This is also convenient: the pier is in the center of the city, it is easy to walk to the hotels and visit the sights. Motor ships ply to Uglich from Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and St. Petersburg from May to October.

The cost of a three-day cruise Moscow-Uglich-Moscow starts at ₽22,000 per adult. Discounts are available for children under 14 years, children from 2 to 5 years usually travel for free, but they do not get a separate seat, meals and sightseeing service.

How to get around the city

Uglich is a small town, so there are only two types of public transport: buses and marshrutkas. A one-way trip costs ₽24. It’s more convenient to move around the city on foot, or you can take a cab – from 90 ₽. In summer, I recommend renting a bicycle – an hour of rental costs about 100 ₽.

Where to live in Uglich

If you decide to stay overnight in Uglich, there are many hotels for all tastes and wallets. I recommend to settle closer to the center, best of all – on the waterfront. And it’s beautiful, and the attractions are close by.

A convenient option is the Azimut Hotel. Rooms overlook the Volga, buffet breakfast is included in the room price. And also a gift of Andrey Razin, the founder of the group “Laskovy May” – two statues of lions under the windows.

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Uglich was first mentioned in chronicles as early as 937. It is believed that in that year Pskovite Yan Pleskovich came here to collect a tribute from local tribes. He liked the view of the great river so much that he decided to found a fortress on its shore.

The sight of the great river so impressed the Pskov boyar that he decided to found a fortress on its shore. Photo: Sergey Pesterev, commons.wikimedia.org

It’s in its place today is the Kremlin, with the famous Church of Demetrius on Blood, built on the site of the murder of Ivan the Terrible’s eight-year-old son, Demetrius. Whether there was a murder or still an accident is still unclear…

In Soviet times, Uglich was famous for its clocks. Now only a museum is left of the once enormous factory. And you have to visit it and while looking at the collection of clocks you will remember: your grandmother wore such clocks and your mother had such ones.

What to see in Uglich

1. Uglich Kremlin

Opening hours:

You can walk around the Kremlin itself around the clock. Expositions are open Saturday through Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Once the Kremlin was surrounded by moats and walls, which have been repeatedly destroyed by enemies. And Catherine II ordered to tear them down once and for all: not to block the excellent view of the old buildings. So the only reminder of the former fortifications are the remains of the moat. In winter crowds of people want to go down the hill on tubing skis to this place. And the Kremlin is the place of pilgrimage of tourists. It has a lot to see: the graceful Cathedral of the Transfiguration, the unusually shaped bell tower, the building of the City Council, where exhibitions are held. And, of course, the old princely chambers, where once lived Tsarevich Dmitry and his mother. And the church built on the site of his death.

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2. Church of Dmitry on the Blood

Opening hours:

After Ivan the Terrible died, his son Feodor Ioannovich, who was sickly and very pious, became the ruler of the country. So secular power was concentrated in the hands of Boris Godunov. He also ordered to send the widow of the Terrible, Maria Nagoya, with a potential heir away from Moscow – to Uglich. Tsarevich Dmitry grew up sickly – they say, from time to time suffered from attacks of suffocation and convulsions. According to one version, during the attack and fell on a spike. According to another – was killed by people Godunov, who himself dreamed of becoming king. This version was supported by Pushkin – remember his famous “And the boys bloody eyes”? So, at the site of his death they put the Church of Demetrius on the Blood. Services in it are held three times a year – on his birthday, the day of his death and the day of his canonization. At other times they take excursions here – they show the alarm bell, which was struck after the murder and which was sent into exile, the reliquary, in which the remains of the tsarevich were carried to Moscow, and the unusual temple paintings – pictures of the people’s rebellion after the massacre of the boy.

3. Chamber of the Uglich Princes

Opening hours:

The oldest building on the territory of the Kremlin was built at the end of the XV century. Local princes lived here and even Tsarevich Dmitry and his mother, who were exiled from the Moscow Kremlin, lived here. Now in the building there is an exhibition “Uglich region in the X – early XVII centuries”. The guides tell about the Time of Troubles, the canonization of Tsarevich Dmitry and the demolition of Uglich at the beginning of the XVII century by the Poles. There is an icon of Dmitry himself, a shawl with the image of False Dmitry I, cannons of the XVI century, which once welcomed the enemy with volleys from the walls of the Kremlin. You can study a model of the Uglich Kremlin of the XVII century, which shows how the city looked like before and after the devastation. And it was already restored under the first Romanovs in the XVII century.

4. Museum of the urban life

Opening hours:

And in this museum you will be transported to Uglich at the end of the nineteenth century. First, you will visit the ancient square of the Assumption with its merchant’s shops. Then you will find yourself in a house of a Uglich resident, where you’ll see the owner’s study, the women’s half of the house, the antique furniture and utensils. And there is a tea room, 19th century, where you can have a cup of tea from the samovar with pies. This drink is historically in honor here. There is even a local proverb: “The English drink tea at five o’clock, but Uglich people drink it every hour. At the end you can have a picture in the XIX century costumes.

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5. The Demetrius church in the field

Opening hours:

At first the murdered tsarevich was buried in the Church of the Transfiguration in the Kremlin of Uglich. But when he was canonized in 1606 it was decided to transfer the reliquaries to the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin (the burial place of all Russian tsars). And suddenly, not far from the exit from Uglich, the carriers with the relics stood upright. It was necessary to pray for a long time to the Uglich earth, “that it would let the Tsarevich go”. These carriers are now housed in the Church of Demetrius on the Blood (see above). And on the site where the prayer service was held, another church was built in honor of the murdered boy – Dimitry in the Field. By the way, in Soviet times it was the only temple in the city that was not closed.

6. Resurrection Monastery

Schedule of services:

According to legend, local Prince Roman Vladimirovich – the founder of many surrounding monasteries (after his death he was canonized) – took part in the foundation of this temple back in the XIII century. Wooden buildings of the monastery gradually gave way to stone ones – as a result, we see buildings of the end of 1677. The future Metropolitan Ion Sysoevich, an associate of Patriarch Nikon, who took monastic vows here, participated in their construction. Under the Soviet regime the “museum of antiquities” with masterpieces of Old Russian art was located there. And later there was located the Administration of NKVD “Volgostroy” – under its command the prisoners built the Uglich Hydroelectric Power Plant (it is just opposite). In the 1990s the monastery was returned to the Church. The beauty of walking here is also that you will walk along the old Spasskaya street with its old buildings, in one of which lived Mikhail Chekhov, the brother of the writer, who was engaged in Uglich theater.

7. Rooster Park Museum

Opening hours:

The rooster in Uglich is not just a bird-beast with a red scallop, but an ancient symbol of the city. The thing is that according to a legend, shortly before the murder of tsarevich Dmitry a fiery rooster appeared in the sky over the city to warn the residents of the imminent disaster. How not to learn the history of the rooster in the various ancient beliefs, rituals, proverbs and sayings? That’s what the park-museum offers us. And also – to learn about the reflection of the “cockerel” theme in literature, painting and arts and crafts. And master-classes are held here: they teach children and adults how to make vintage paintings and amulets. And a lot more.

8. Hydropower museum

Opening hours:

How is energy produced in hydroelectric power plants? How is it transmitted over hundreds of kilometers? Where are the most powerful hydroelectric power stations in the world and the highest dams? These and many other questions will be answered in the modern Hydropower Museum, opened in 2007 (before the war, these premises were the headquarters of Volgolagon, which built the local hydropower plant – mostly by prisoners, which was a very common practice). And in the courtyard of the museum you can see and touch the equipment that has already served its time at the Uglichskaya HPP. For example, an impressively powerful 120-ton impeller.

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