Novgord, first mentioned in the year 859, is one of Russia's oldest towns and is located 100 miles south of St.Petersburg (approximately 2 hours by car). No other city in Russia has more extant ancient architectural monuments. Many of the over 200 churches originally found there are still in use.

St. Sophia Cathedral (10th Century) is the oldest church and the oldest stone structure in Russia. It also has the most ancient frescoes, 10th and 11th Century icons painted by Greek and Serb masters. Most existing Russian icons (10th through 12th Centuries) come from this region.

The Cathedral of St.George, the main church of the St. George Monastery, was built by master Peter in the early 11th Century.  It contains many unique frescoes and icons. The Monastery functions to this day, with some 14 monks living on the premises.

Novgorod also retains some of its typically 12th Century 4-pillar churches.

The tour includes visits to Novgorod Kremlin (the fortress), St. Sophia Cathedral, St.George Monastery, and the open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture, which shows traditional Russian log houses and churches from nearby villages.


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