Veliky Novgorod is one of the most beautiful and ancient Russian cities. In the Novgorod Land, like nowhere else, you have a truly unique opportunity to experience the history of the Russian nation and feel the breadth of the Russian soul- thanks to the outstanding monuments, included into the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites, a great number of holy relics and memorable places, inseparably connected with lives of many eminent Russian geniuses.
Veliky Novgorod is fairly called the Birthplace of Russia. The year 862, when Novgorodians invited Prince Rurik to govern their lands, is considered the date of birth of Russian statehood. Furthermore, the Novgorod Republic, with its characteristic independence and freethinking, is one of the oldest examples of realization of democratic order. Mass literacy, the first Russian school and the first book in the Russian language- the Novgorod Land is the very place where the Russian literacy was born. In the centre of the city, in the Novgorod Kremlin, you can visit the oldest Orthodox stone temple of Russia- the Cathedral of St. Sophia, which together with other Christian relics, attracts Orthodox pilgrims from all over the globe to Veliky Novgorod. The connection between of Novgorod and name of Russian geniuses is unbreakable, too-Fyodor Dostoevsky, Sergey Rakhmaninov, Gavrila Derzhavin, Sergey Diaghilev and many others lived and worked here. The past and present role of Veliky Novgorod in the Hanseatic League has a special place in the history of the city. Novgorod the birthplace of the epic merchant Sadko- was the one and only city, where the trade between Russia and the medieval Hanseatic cities was taking place. In 1993 Novgorod became the first Russian member of the Hanseatic League of the New Time, and in 2009- when the city celebrated its 1150th anniversary- Veliky Novgorod hosted the 29th International Hansa Days of New Time.
Novgorod is beautiful in summer and winter. If you have 1 free day during your stay in St.Petersburg we recommend travelling to Novgorod.