Top 5 Nizhny Novgorod Attractions
Nizhny Novgorod was founded by the Grand Duke of Vladimir, Yury Vsevolodovich, in the 13th century. In the 16th century, a stone Kremlin was built there. Today, the Kremlin grounds are home to the oldest cathedral in the city, Michael the Archangel Cathedral. The city’s museums store precious exhibits from the past. There, one can get to know traditional folk art of the 17th-21st centuries and visit writers’ house museums. The Culture.ru web portal presents the top 5 attractions of the ancient city.
The Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin Museum
In the city centre of Nizhny Novgorod, multi-tier towers of the medieval fortress and the Kremlin wall, over 2 kilometres long, are still preserved. The Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin is an early 16th century military engineering complex. Over 400 years ago, Kuzma Minin gathered the Nizhny Novgorod people near the Kremlin’s walls to liberate Moscow from Polish invaders.
The museum’s exhibits are situated in three Kremlin’s towers. The Dmitrievskaya Tower with a gilded deer emblem offers armour and weapons of the 15th to 17th century warriors. In the Ivanovskaya Tower, the ‘National unity feat’ exposition is dedicated to the 1612 People’s Militia. Among the Zachatskaya Tower exhibits, one can find authentic fragments of ancient foundations and buildings, photographs of archaeological digs.
The A.M. Gorky Literary Museum
The Literary Museum was opened in 1928 to celebrate the Soviet writer Maxim Gorky’s 60th anniversary. Its expositions are situated in the houses where the writer lived. The main building is located in the historical centre of the city, in a merchant’s manor built in 1882.
In the Literary Museum, one may see photographs of Nizhny Novgorod of the late 19th and early 20th century: streets, city squares, Nizhny Novgorod fairs, photographs of writers, musicians and painters. The exposition is dedicated to Maxim Gorky’s artistic journey, the writer’s attitude towards the 1905 and 1917 revolutions, and characters of his famous books, including Vassa Zheleznova, Ignat Gordeev, the Artamonovs and others.
The Nizhny Novgorod Intelligentsia Museum
The Nizhny Novgorod Intelligentsia Museum is dedicated to the everyday life of the 19th and 20th century intelligentsia. It was opened in 1967. The museum is situated in the historical part of Nizhny Novgorod in an 1842 building. Its rooms represent a recreated typical apartment of a commoner intellectual of moderate means.
In the living/dining room, authentic 19th century objects are stored: Viennese chairs, a tea-table, a piano and a classical-style cupboard. In the study, there is a writing cabinet with a writing set and a book case. In the maiden’s room, one can find an early 20th century wooden bed, a lady’s desk with needlework caskets, a dressing table and a book stand with books on it. In the hallway, there are coffers for clothes, a sofa and two hangers, one for warm clothes, and another, for umbrellas, canes and hats.
The M. Gorky Nizhny Novgorod Academic Drama Theatre
The M. Gorky Nizhny Novgorod State Academic Drama Theatre is over 200 years old. It is one of the oldest theatres in the country. The first play, the comedy ‘The Choice of a Tutor’ by Denis Fonvizin, was performed there in 1798.
The theatre obtained its own building in 1896. Mikhail Glinka’s opera ‘A Life for the Tsar’ starring the young singer Feodor Chaliapin became the first performance of the theatre at its new stage. In 1948, the Nizhny Novgorod theatre was named after Maxim Gorky. It was the only theatre in the country to stage all the plays by the writer. In 1960s, the drama theatre became the second theatre among provincial ones in Russia to obtain the status of an academic theatre.
Today, the theatre’s repertoire includes productions of Russian and Western European classical plays: The Lower Depths by Maxim Gorky, The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Knights by Alexander Pushkin, Salomé by Oscar Wilde, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and other plays.
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
The Faithful Saint Prince Alexander Nevsky orthodox cathedral was founded in 1856. It was built especially for the Nizhny Novgorod Fair: the Saviour Cathedral in the fair shopping mall of the Kunavinskaya Sloboda didn’t have enough room for all the parishioners.
The 5-domed tent-shaped stone cathedral is one of the largest Christian churches in Russia. Its height amounts to 87 metres. The building has three side-chapels: Mararyevsky, Nikolsky and Maria Magdalena ones. A 'Cathedral' Bell was installed in the cathedral to commemorate 400th anniversary of the feat of the Nizhny Novgorod People’s Militia of the Russian heroes, Kuzma Minin and prince Dmitry Pozharsky. The bell weighs 60 tons. It is the third largest bell in Russia after the Tsar Bell in Moscow and the bell in The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius.