Gorodets appeared thanks to Prince Yury Dolgorukiy, the founder of Moscow, as a fortress for defending the eastern frontiers of his principality in 1152. The settlement was named Gorodets, which means “a small stockaded town.”
As there was an abundance of woods around the town, becoming a wood carver or carpenter was always considered the best option for a profession. Today Gorodets is known as the “town of masters” – a place where numerous crafts are plied. The famous Gorodets painting style, gold embroidery, wood carving, honey cake baking, pottery and basket weaving all still flourish here.
The other interesting fact about Gorodets is that since the 17th century it has basically been something of a capital for Russian Old Believers. After the schism of the Russian Orthodox Church in the mid-1600s the opponents of the reforms were forced to hide. Many of them settled here in the Middle and Lower Volga regions.
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