In the morning, we visited the Novgorod kremlin, which dates back to 1044. Its structures include the Cathedral of St. Sophia, the Millennium Monument, and my favorite, the Museum of Russian Icons. Novgorod (New Town), is Russia’s oldest city, founded on the Volkhov River by the Varangians (a Viking tribe) in 862 as a trading center. The city was along a network of waterways to Byzantium for trading fur and honey. It was also along the trade route to Scandinavia and eventually North America.  Novgorod was protected from Mongol invasion by its  dense forests and impassable marshes.

The Millennium Monument (below) was almost dismantled and shipped to Germany, but the Red Army regained control of the area and saved the monument. The Cathedral of St. Sophia is behind it.



Museum of Russian Icons






The Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior on Ilina Street, built it 1374





We also saw a few sites where I didn’t take photos:

Peryn Cloister with the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin dating back to the 13th  century, more can be seen here.

Yuriev Monastery by Lake Ilmen with its Church of St. George is cited as the oldest monastery in Russia. More can be seen here.

The next day we headed back to St. Petersburg just for one night. Then we headed to the airport for our journey back home. I have very fond memories of this trip. Things always go wrong on trips, you’re jet-lagged, you often have to spend intense time with your travel partners, and nothing can go flawlessly. Fortunately my dad and my cousin are great travel companions because of their easy going, adaptable, and patient personalities.