For completely different reasons, Russians choose cities, resorts and attractions within the country. Experts from the HSE School of Business dealing with area marketing projects recommend the TOP-5 small historical cities in Russia to visit this golden autumn.


Do you want to visit the city on the river of time? This is how Uglich calls himself, meeting guests with a billboard.

The city was at the center of important events at the turn of two eras of Russian history. It was here that the Rurik dynasty was interrupted with the death of Tsarevich Dimitri, and the mother of the founder of the dynasty, Mikhail Romanov, Xenia Ivanovna, was also born here.

The city also honors the memory of Tsarevich Dimitry, depicted on the coat of arms of Uglich, and remembers the alarm bell that called the people together after the death of the Tsarevich. This bell, through the efforts of the Uglichs, was returned from Siberian exile, and you can see and hear the same historical sound. The oldest monastery in the city – Alekseevsky – was built in 1371. It has been perfectly preserved and is still in operation.

But the city lives not only in history. Uglich today is a real resort city, famous for its “corner” – a steep and picturesque bend of the Volga. Be sure to take a walk along the old and busy streets, along the Volzhskaya embankment along the rows with original local hotels. Taste original cuisine, both traditional and modern, based on organic products from local producers. For guests, there are a dozen and a half original museums for every taste. At the leather craft museum, for example, they will tell you about yuft– a unique Russian technology, which Europe never managed to master and therefore bought products in Russia. You will learn what they smell like and touch different types of leather by touch, and you can also buy works by modern masters.


The city of Tutaev has many dates of birth. The city of Romanov was founded in 1283, but Borisoglebskaya Sloboda arose even earlier on the opposite bank of the Volga. In 1822, they merged into Romanovo-Borisoglebsk, which in the 20th century, in 1918, was renamed Tutaev.

Despite these mergers and renamings, visiting Tutaev is like coming to two different cities with their own characters.

One, on the left bank, is extremely picturesque, and, as it were, froze at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. The local embankment was chosen by the famous artist Boris Kustodiev, and one of the boulevards still bears his name. The cast-iron grate reminds of those times. Today, artists and creative people also like to visit here.

On the other side there is already quite a modern city. The beauty and pride of the right-bank side is the Resurrection Cathedral, which has never been closed. Due to its architecture and famous frescoes, the temple is included in most guidebooks. The city has a museum of bell foundry art, museums of ancient banking, Admiral F. Ushakov, “Royal Sheep”, museums dedicated to linen manufactory, merchants and Old Believers.

Famous Tutaev landscapes open from both banks.

Gavrilov-Yam and Velikoye Selo

Few villages can boast of buildings designed by the Russian modernist Fyodor Shekhtel. Perhaps only one – the Great. The village of Velikoye was founded at the beginning of the 13th century, and in the 15th-19th centuries there was already the largest center of flax growing and weaving in Tsarist Russia. It was mentioned by V. Lenin among the 100 largest industrial centers of the country. From those times, even the so-called Velikoselsky Kremlin remained near the village – an ensemble of two churches, a bell tower and adjacent Trading Rows. Radial layout, more than 150 valuable architectural monuments.

A few minutes drive from Velikoye Village is a town that, according to legend, bears the name of the coachman Gavrila, in honor of whom the first Coachman Museum in Russia was created here. Gavrilov-Yam appeared in the 16th century on a very busy road connecting Yaroslavl and Vladimir. The city has become a large settlement since the 19th century, when the local serf A. V. Lokalov from the neighboring village of Velikoye, having become rich and redeemed to freedom, founded the most modern linen manufactory at that time. In the museum, created by enthusiasts, one can trace a century and a half of the development of the enterprise. Gavrilov-Yam is known for one of the largest hand-made ceramics in the country, which can be purchased in the exhibition hall.


The city of two famous Russian princes Pereslavl-Zalessky stands on the shore of Lake Pleshcheyevo. The first prince – Yuri Dolgoruky – founded it five years later than Moscow. And the second – Alexander Nevsky – was simply born in it. A witness of those times is the beautiful white-stone Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral of the 12th century in the city center. It was in it that the great commander and prince was baptized.

The matter was not limited to the princes. The next famous inhabitant of the city was the future emperor. In 1688, young Peter decided to choose Lake Pleshcheyevo to build his “amusing” flotilla, laying the foundation for the Russian fleet. The first provincial museum in Russia, “The Boat of Peter the Great”, which is over 200 years old, is still open to visitors.

The city became one of the founders of the museum boom at the end of the last century. Two dozen of the most diverse museums. This is probably no coincidence, because the surroundings of the city are the territory of the Pleshcheyevo Lake National Park, in which the natural and cultural heritage, a real Russian cultural landscape, are most closely intertwined. And, of course, one should not forget to look into one of the many farm shops and author's cafes.


Known since the 12th century, Bezhetsk has retained its charm, because it ended up in a traffic dead end with the construction in the 1940s years of the Rybinsk reservoir.

For the last three centuries, the basis of its wealth has been the production and trade of flax.

Today, Bezhetsk is also famous for two geniuses of the place: poetic and musical. Lev Gumilyov and Anna Akhmatova often and for a long time visited the estate of Slepnevo in the vicinity of the city in the summer. Dozens of immortal poems have been created here. In Bezhetsk, their son, Lev Gumilyov, a famous historian and geographer, the author of the theory of ethnogenesis, spent his childhood and adolescence.

Vasily Andreev, the creator of the first orchestra of Russian folk instruments, was born in Bezhetsk into a merchant family. The musician is rightly called the “father of the Russian balalaika.” It was he who introduced the whole world to this symbol of Russia.

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