Yaroslav is among the oldest of all Russian provincial cities, that boasts a plethora of dazzling churches and a lovely riverfront.
There is a legend about the founding of Yaroslavl. In 1010, Yaroslav the Wise, son of the Kievan Prince Vladimir, took an interest in a trading post at the place where the Kotorosl River enters the Volga. The story goes that the locals set a sacred bear on him, but he killed the bear and founded a town on the spot, putting the bear on his coat of arms. Today’s Yaroslavl is an important Volga port and a city with a population of 635,000.
The city’s major attraction is the Spassky (or Savior) monastery that was founded in the 12th century. The monastery houses the oldest building in the city – Savior Transfiguration cathedral, which is almost 500 years old (the foundation is 800 years old). The domes are put non-symmetrically, there are different archs and various paintings on the different sides of the cathedral. If you walk from the monastery to the direction of Volga river you’ll see the white Church of Ilia the Prophet (Tserkov Ilii Proroka) with five green domes. It was built in 1647-1650, and is considered to be one of the main sights in Yaroslavl. The main attraction are the fresoes made by Yury Nikitin and Sila Slavin – the renowned masters from Kostroma, who decorated at least one church in every Golden Ring town in the 17th century.
Yaroslavl is a birthplace of many prominent Russians, including the founder of Russian national theatre F.Volkov, famous opera singer L.Sobinov, and the first female cosmonaut in history Valentina Tereshkova