Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Yaroslavl: I was there

Yaraslavl- named after Yaroslavl the Wise (11th century Rus ruler), pop. 650,000, 150 miles northeast of Moscow. Second largest city in Russia during the 17th century.

Yes, I was there in 2004 and enjoyed my visit, esp the Baltic Restaurant, walking the Volga embankment, strolling the downtown city park, viewing pastel-colored buildings on the side streets, and so on. While driving through the city, I saw a Chevy Impala which, upon closer inspection, had a NYPD logo on the sidedoor. Strange...

As usual, Kommersant provides a pretty good rundown of the city and its prospects, including this description:

During the planned reconstruction carried out in 1936-1937
and 1965, construction work went on mainly in the east and
south in order to preserve the historic part of the city.
New streets, parks, and squares were built and monuments
were improved and restored...

The central part of the city preserves the radial-ring
structure that formed spontaneously in the 17th century
along with the regular development according to the plan of
1778; thus, the main streets fan out from the central
square towards the former gates in the city wall. No other
Russian city has so many beautiful works of medieval fresco

Perhaps the city was able to save its churches because,

There is an anecdote that the Soviets had an
alphabetical list of towns slated for "reconstruction"
-- and they never got to the "ya's" (Yaroslavl begins
with the last letter in the Russian alphabet, the ya).

In 2010 the city will celebrate its 1000 anniversary. However, the centerpiece for the celebration, reconstruction of the Dormition Cathedral , is proving problematic (a UNESCO conflict). BTW, UNESCO has the city's historical center listed as a world heritage site.

Also, an interesting website: photographic documentation of churches in the Vologda region (just north of Yaroslavl).

Googling 'Yaroslavl', this Yaroslavl State University website describing the city always appears first. But I like this well-written history better.

Some familiar-looking pictures to me.


Post a Comment

<< Home

History Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com