8 Destinations for Orthodox Tourists in Russia

Originally appeared at: Global Orthodox

As one of the larger Orthodox websites in Russia, "Foma", the Russian form of "Thomas", aims to tell its readers “the story of the Orthodox faith and the Church in the life of modern man and society”.

In this article, translated below, the writers give short descriptions of intriguing Orthodox sites that they recommend their readers to visit during summer holidays. As it is machine translated, we apologize in advance for any errors.

Our correspondents are constantly travelling around Russia, telling us about the most interesting places, in our country, to recommend to our readers. We have compiled in one article a list of 8 of the most interesting places to travel to.

1. Pushkin

No, it's not exactly the poet Alexander Sergeyevich; it's a suburb of St. Petersburg, which until 1937 was called Tsarskoye Selo, and was the summer residence of the Russian rulers for 200 years. The great poet did study here for a time, walking the streets, and now you too can walk here; enjoying the nice weather, the architecture, and the parks. Or if you prefer you can go to the different museums and learn a lot about Russian history; all without leaving St. Petersburg.

2. Kronstadt

If you're going to St. Petersburg, we recommend that you stop by Kronstadt - just 30 kilometers away (about 20 miles). There is the famous Maritime Cathedral, an incredible structure, which St. John of Kronstadt himself helped build. Both externally and internally, it is very similar to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, and so it is often called the "Russian Sophia". The two other main features of the Cathedral are that this is where the navy take their oath of office in a beautiful ceremony, and on the floor are images of sea creatures, something that is highly unusual for a church.

3. Vyborg

Near St. Petersburg is our final stop of the area, Vyborg, which is 120 kilometers (about 75 miles) from the Northern Capital. Here stands Russia's only surviving medieval castle, which was built back in the 13th century. A city with incredible architecture and history, it is best experienced first-hand.

4. Pereslavl-Zalessky

Pereslavl-Zalessky is a city on the Golden Ring of Russia. In addition to the ancient churches and monasteries (St. Nikita monastery alone is worth stopping by) there is an iron museum, the local Kremlin and the Lake Pleshcheyevo, on which Peter I built the training flotilla. There are also a lot of vend ace in this lake, a tasty fish which was served on the table of the tsar and the boyars, and which now one can taste at some of the local restaurants.

5. Gorokhovets

If one wants to see what Russia looked like in the 17th century - go to Gorokhovets in the Vladimir region. Once it was a famous trading town, where merchants built beautiful churches and monasteries. The first time after Peter the Great, the trading there was no good, but the buildings are still there, and worth a look.

6. Velikoye village

Planning a trip to the countryside, unless you have your own dacha (Russian summer house) there, is a strange idea to most Russians. But not if it is to the village of Velikoye in the Yaroslavl region. The name of the village is fitting as it has its own Kremlin; something unusual for small towns. The history of why it was built there can be found in our other articles or one can find out for oneself from the locals, which is much more interesting.

7. Kostroma

Royal abode, monastic Lavra, fortress, and cradle of the Romanov dynasty; the Ipatiev Monastery in the center of Kostroma was founded in the 14th century by the baptized Tatar Murza who had escaped from the Horde. And this is just a one of the many amazing stories that happened in the city and its surroundings.

8. Vladimir

There are many reasons to visit this city, in this accompanying article we chose 12 and briefly discussed them. In general, just one reason to visit would be enough: Vladimir has a cathedral that is more than 800 years old with frescoes by Andrei Rublev looking down from its walls. If that isn’t enough to convince you, read the other 11 reasons here.

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