10 places in Russia that will transport you to another era better than a time machine

Legion Media
If you don’t read this article to the end, you’ll never know where the oldest home in Russia is located or why Soviet architects built a flying saucer in the Caucasus mountains.

Many cities in Russia contain buildings from various epochs, from Ancient Russia to the present day. These structures have withstood the test of time and survived the Mongol-Tartar invasion, fires and revolutions. If you want to learn about centuries-old architecture, look no further.

1. Rurik’s Hill Fort, Veliky Novgorod, 9th century

Veliky Novgorod (350 miles north of Moscow) is one of the oldest cities in Russia. It’s exactly in this place that the remains of the original residence of Rurik, the first prince of Russia, were found. In the cecenterf Novgorod is the oldest Orthodox church in Russia, the Cathedral of St. Sophia, which dates back to the 11th century.

2. Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky’s palace, Vladimir Region, 12th century

The prince’s palace in Bogolyubovo is the only non-military building of its time to survive until today. Andrey Bogolyubsky’s residence consisted of churches, a two-storey stone palace and large fortifications. According to popular myth, the prince was killed in his own home and the remains of his palace were used by a monastery in redemption of this atrocity.

3. The oldest wooden church, Karelia, 14th century

The island of Kizhi is home to a splendid array of wooden churches. Here you can see the only remaining wooden church from the 14th century. The Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus was brought to the island from Murom, where it was famous for the saint’s miraculous powers to heal illnesses. The church is no longer open today, but many pilgrims still travel to Kizhi to worship Saint Lazarus. 

4. Old English Court, Moscow, 15th century

The history of Russian-British trade relations dates back to the Middle Ages. There is an old English court, located right in the centre of the city (Varvarka, 4), which housed the English “Muscovy Company” and hosted ambassadorial visits up until the 17th century. The premises was later converted into warehouses and residential homes. During Soviet times there was also a library, which has now been converted into a museum.

5. The oldest home, Leningrad Region, 16th century

The house is located in the city of Vyborg (85 miles north of St. Petersburg) on Krepostnaya street, 13a.  Two families still live in this 16th century two-storey house, which was built from granite boulders. They have renovated the place several times in order to make the windows bigger and raise the ceilings inside, but generally-speaking the building has been preserved in its original state.

6. The only fortress in Siberia, Tyumen Region, 17th century

In medieval Russia there were a lot of fortresses with stone fortifications. In the era of Siberia’s development, a white stone fortress (known in Russia as a kremlin) was built in Tobolsk (1,240 miles east of Moscow). Not all of the buildings have survived, but you can still visit the 17th century St. Sophia-Assumption Cathedral, the oldest stone towers and fortifications of Siberia’s first capital. 

7. Stately palaces, St. Petersburg, 18th century

The best city to enjoy 18th century classical architecture is St. Petersburg. The new capital was designed by the most skilled Russian and foreign architects of that time. The majestic palaces and ingenious layout of the streets will leave you amazed. If you want to find out how Russian emperors lived, visit the Hermitage museum. It used to be known as the Winter Palace, but later became the most famous museum in the country after the Revolution. 

8. Industrial boom, Moscow, 19th century

Moscow suffered widespread damage as a result of the 1812 fire and was forced to rebuild the city from scratch.  In honour of the victory against Napoleon in the war, a triumphal arch and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour were built. From the mid-19th century the city witnessed rapid industrial development. Many factory buildings have now been converted into modern homes and offices. This is exactly what happened to the chocolate factory “Krasny Otyabr” (“Red October”), where you’ll now find nightclubs, bars, museums and the Strelka Institute.

9. Soviet architectural masterpieces, Karachay-Cherkessia

There are plenty of buildings from the Soviet era in Russia, from Lenin monuments to five-storey apartment buildings in residential areas. There are also incredible structures constructed in imperial and Art Deco styles: famous high-rises in Moscow, homes in Nizhny Novgorod and the Novosibirsk Opera Theater. Architectural experiments also took place during the Soviet years. For example, this spaceship-hotel located in a resort in the highlands in Dombay was built in the spirit of cosmic romanticism, which prevailed in architectural styles and mass culture in those years. Would you spend a weekend at this hotel?

10. Moscow city, 21st century

The business center of Moscow city has already become an iconic place in the city, just like Red Square and the Bolshoi Theater. You can spot the skyscrapers from practically any part of town.

Moscow is a city of contrasts. Here is our photographic proof!

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