The legend has it that these lands were the home of a Mordvin-Starling, who had 15 (or 18) wives and around 70 children. His friend, the magician Woodpecker, made him a prophecy that his descendants would lose this land if they did not live in peace and consent. And so it happened. In 1221, the Great Prince Yuri Vsevolodovich built a wooden fortress here at the confluence of Volga and Oka rivers. This settlement came to be known as Nizhny Novgorod and the hills are called the Woodpecker Hills. The name of the hero of this legend is connected with the fact that these lands were inhabited by two peoples, the Mordva and the Mari.
A stone Kremlin with 13 towers replaced the wooden one at the beginning of the 16th century. It became the outpost of the eastern border of the state and has endured about 10 sieges. The walls of the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin follow the shape of the underlying hills. The overall length of the Kremlin wall is 2 kilometers 45 meters, enclosing an area of 26 hectares.
Each of the Kremlin towers has its own name. For example, according to legend, the Beam Tower is so named because it is where a brave local woman Dunyasha killed over a dozen Tatar-Mongols with a beam. It must be noted that the towers have a clear division into passable ones, square in form, and round ones with dead ends. One of them, the Dmitryevskaya, has an exceptional wide top. It was widened in 1896 for the All-Russian Art and Industry Fair of Nizhny Novgorod, when additional space for a museum was required.
In the 17th century, the Kremlin lost its military functions of a fortress, and since the 19th century, it has served as an administrative building and a original museum. Today the Ivanovskaya tower hosts an exhibit titled «The Feat of People's Unity», the Zachatyevskaya tower displays «The Archaeological Past of the Kremlin» and the exhibit in the Dmitryevskaya tower depicts the history of Nizhny Novgorod.
Within the Kremlin's walls, the Cathedral of Archangel Michael, constructed in stone in 1628-1631 by the order of the Romanovs in commemoration of the Nizhny Novgorod militia of the 1612, has been preserved. Since 1962, the remains of Kuzma Minin have rested in the Cathedral. An obelisk, installed on the territory of the Kremlin in the 19th century, is dedicated to Minin and Pozharsky, the heroic leaders of the all-Russia volunteer army. An interesting fact: the widely known Monument to Minin and Pozharsky that was finally installed on Red Square in Moscow in 1818, was originally intended for Nizhny Novgorod.
The monument to Yuri Vsevolodovich and Bishop Simon, installed in the Kremlin, is dedicated to the events of the 13th century, when the Tatar-Mongol hordes set off for Russia. Yuri Vsevolodovich was the last of the Russian Great Princes of the pre-Mongolian era, and his defeat on the Sit» river became a part of history. In addition, a lot of war equipment has been installed inside the Kremlin: a T-34 tank, a legendary Katuysha rocket, and an armored car, in short, all of the war machinery produced by the factories in Nizhny Novgorod during the Great Patriotic War.
The Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin is visited not only by tourists but locals as well: the armory building hosts the Center for Modern Art. Apart from that, an art museum operates in the Kremlin, showcasing works by Shiskin, Vasnetsov, Briullov, Serebryakova, Rerikh. The Philharmonic Society has a concert hall in the Kremlin as well.
The Tourist Portal of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast / nnwelcome.ru
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