Yaroslavl is the administrative center of Yaroslavl region of Russia. The population of the city is 635,600 people. Yaroslavl is located 260 km northeast of Moscow. It stretches several miles along the confluence of Volga and Kotorosl rivers. Yaroslavl is considered a real pearl in so-called ‘Golden Ring’ of ancient Russian cities.
Yaroslavl was founded in 1010. InAt that time Russian Prince Yaroslav the Wise founded a fortress in order to strengthen his power. Prior to it, Ugro-Finnish tribes were living in the area. According to a legend, local clans responded to the intervention by setting a sacred bear to attack Prince Yaroslav. Yaroslav killed the bear and founded a town on the place. The town was called Yaroslavl after Prince Yaroslav. At that time it was a part of Russian state with Kiev being the capital.
In 1218 Yaroslavl became the capital of an independent principality and an important trade center. Under Tartar Yoke in XVIII and XIV centuries, Yaroslavl was burnt to ashes and almost destroyed. After it was restored and rebuilt in the XV century, it became an important commercial center again.
In 1463 Yaroslavl became a part of the Moscow Principality. In the XVI and XVII centuries Yaroslavl established trade links with the eastern Russia and Europe. By the XVII century Yaroslavl was the second largest city in Russia after Moscow. However, after the foundation of a new sea port of Saint-Petersburg Yaroslavl lost its former strategic importance.
The City Today
Today Yaroslavl is a large city famous for multiple cultural establishments. One of the main streets is Svobody Street that connects the railway station with the Red Square. Soviet Square is the administrative center of the town. Not far from there is the embankment of Volga River.
There are several educational establishments, including Demidov University, Polytechnical University, Medical Academy, International University for Business and New Technologies and others.
Every year thousands of tourists visit Yaroslavl to see unique architectural ensembles and monuments of the town. There is no other Russian city possessing so many beautiful masterpieces of medieval wall painting. There are many old houses and churches in the town. The historical part of the city is located at confluence of Volga and Kotorosl rivers. There are many Orthodox churches, a Russian Old Believers Church, a Lutheran Church, a mosque and a synagogue.
Among the famous churches, there is the Church of Saint Elijah the Prophet with five green domes built in 1650, the Spassky (Savior) monastery founded in the XII century and located at the confluence of Kotorosl and Volga rivers, red brick Church of the Epiphany built in 1684-1693 and Spaso-Preoprazhensky (Savior Transfiguration) Cathedral, which is almost 500 years old. Nowadays, there is a Museum of History of Yaroslav region that houses an exhibition of ancient Russian paintings, crafts and old books. Churches of St. Nicholas Nadein and Elijah the Prophet house some of the Golden Ring’s most impressive frescoes.
There is also the Art Museum, and History Museum in Yaroslavl. There is the oldest and the first professional theatre in Russia in Yaroslavl — the Volkov Theater that was founded in 1750.