Plyos: What to see in the town of artists on the picturesque Volga bank

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The stunning Volga landscapes here inspired the great artist Isaac Levitan.

How to get there from Moscow: to Ivanovo by Lastochka high-speed train (travel time 3h 41m) and then to Plyos by bus (1h 20m – 1h 50m)

To-do list:

  • Climb Levitan’s Hill
  • Visit one of the art galleries and maybe even buy a picture by a local artist
  • Try the beer and traditional delicacies at the Plyos beer house inside an 18th-century building
  • Walk along the Volga embankment and find Levitan’s house
  • It may sound trite, but Plyos is a real pearl of not only Ivanovo Region, but the entire Golden Ring. The views of the Volga from the town’s elevated green riverbanks were admired by many fine artists. 

Start from on high

Visitors are advised to spare no time or effort when it comes to viewing the landscapes. Take a leisurely climb up Cathedral Hill in the heart of the city to feast on the gorgeous vistas and go inside the Assumption Cathedral, built in 1699, with its steepled bell tower.

Next, head straight down to the Volga – you will see another splendid edifice in the shape of the recently restored Church of the Resurrection, dating back to 1817.

Resurrection Church

At the market by the pier, you can buy smoked Volga fish (sterlet will make you feel like a real Russian noble). This is also where the Plyos beer house is located, where you can taste the local beer and meat specialties. 

Shopping arcades

Stroll down the street of galleries along the Volga

Running along the embankment is Sovetskaya Street, where there is a gallery or museum literally at every step.

Among the old merchant estates nearby is the house-museum of the great landscape painter Isaac Levitan.

Levitan house-museum

Arriving one day, he ended up staying for almost three years and painted more than 200 canvases, immortalizing the town's churches, dawns, and sunsets. Incidentally, these are the paintings that made his name.

Monument to Levitan

From here, you can climb another hill offering sumptuous views, the so-called Levitan Hill, where wooden crosses stand in an old graveyard alongside another Church of the Resurrection, this time wooden and built in the late 17th century. 

Wooden Resurrection Church on the Levitan Hill

River outing

To be within touching distance of Russia’s main river and not go out onto the water is almost a crime against Mother Nature! In Plyos, you can swim or ride in a pleasure boat, and even hire a private cutter with a captain.

It's also possible to go fishing on a boat or travel by water to the village of Rusinovo, where you will plunge headfirst into a Russian fairy tale, complete with freshly baked bread from a Russian stove. 

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