Brief History of Novgorod in Dates

Author: Dimitry Paranyushkin (on 02 Sep 2009)

What is Novgorod.
Novgorod was considered to be the second main city after Kiev in Russia in the mid centuries. It was a rich and a powerful city, and the State of Novgorod was as large as the present Sweden.

The power of Novgorod.
The power of The Novgorod State was based on the international trade. Novgorod was the main Russian port

Sofia Novgorodskaya in Novgorod Detinets

for many centuries and was important for Baltic sea trade, so the city participated in the Hansa Union (the union of the richest Baltic ports). Also, one of the main routes for medieval Europe lead through Novgorod, and it was on the way from Northern Europe to Rome Empire and Constantinople.
THE FIRST AND THE ONLY REPUBLIC IN RUSSIA. Novgorod was the city of trade, that is why merchants got power and decided to get rid of the nobles. So, the republic was proclaimed. It became the first and the only republic in Russia. Soon after that, Tartar army occupied most of the country and Novgorod was the only city, which wasn't captured by Tartars. Novgorod is situated in the north of Russia and was separated from the rest of country by the swamps, so tartars weren't able to reach the city.
BECOMING A PART OF MOSCOW STATE. From the very beginning of Russian history, Russia was divided into small princedoms, which fought

Yaroslavovo Dvorishche, Novgorod

against each other. In the 15 century princedom of Moscow was becoming more and more powerful and was constantly taking the new territories. Novgorod army was defeated and Novgorod was joined to the State of Moscow.
Afterwards city was becoming less and less powerful and finally, when St. Petersburg was built, Novgorod lost its importance of the only Russian port near the Baltic Sea.

Nowadays, Novgorod is a small, calm town in province, with splendid old Russian architecture, interesting museums, clean river next to the Kremlin, fresh air, many trees, and nice and helpful people.
Novgorod has the feeling of Russia, that no other city has.

Important dates in history of Novgorod.
859 - The Town of Novgorod was first mentioned in the Russian chronicles. "Novgorod" means "New Town" in Russian, but
nowadays it is hard to guess what was the Old Town, perhaps the first settlement on this place.
1014 - Novgorod got independence. Generally Novgorod was the part of Kievskaya Rus' Kingdom (first Russian state), but the small town soon became a rich city and obtained enough power to proclaim independence and set up an own state.
1044 - New stonewalls of Detinets were built. Detinets is local title for a town castle (Kremlin). Stone castle in Novgorod was one of the first in the country, and only the most powerful cities in Russia could afford it.

Sofia Novgorodskaya

1045 - The Church of Saint Sofia was built in Detinets. This church soon became the main cathedral of Russian North, due to its beautiful architecture and great size (see the photo on the left).
1136 - A republic was set up in the state of Novgorod. Princes from the very beginning had ruled Novgorod, but soon people got tired of nobles and proclaimed a republic.
They had special type of elections: there was a big square where people of Novgorod gathered and shouted for their candidates. The candidate who was accepted louder became a Ruler. Princes were still invited, but only as military leaders hired with their own armies to protect the city.
1240 - Prince Alexander who was invited to Novgorod to protect it worked his money out. Swedish army tried to capture Novgorod, but army of the Alexander defeated them near the Neva River. Alexander got the new title - Alexander Nevsky (later the first and the main avenue in St. Petersburg was called in his name: Nevski Prospekt).
1242 - Alexander Nevsky saved Novgorod one more time. State of Teutonic order, which bordered Novgorod republic, decided to get rid of the neighbors. Huge army of well-equipped skilled knights attacked Novgorod, but Alexander Nevsky defeated them near Chudskoe Lake.
1478 - Novgorod became part of Moscow kingdom and republic was wiped off. Kingdom of Moscow was becoming more and more powerful; it had already joined many cities and towns all over Russia. It was turn of Novgorod to join. Novgorod could not keep the republic and the first republic in Russia was cut down.
1611-1617 - Swedish army controlled Novgorod. It was hard time for Russia: there was a civil war, and at the same time Poland, Sweden and Turkey attacked it. Russia had lost Novgorod, but later managed to take it back.

THe monument "1000 years of Russia", Novgorod, Detinets

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1862 - The monument of "1000 years of Russia" was built in the Detinets. Novgorod considered to be the oldest town, where first prince of Russia ruled, so they decided to built monument in this city (the photo on the right).
1941 - Nazy army captured Novgorod.
1944 - City was liberated by Soviet army. It was completely demolished, like many other cities in Soviet Union, but government included Novgorod in the list of the top 15 soviet cities to restore. Novgorod was important cultural center and morale of people would be greatly increased by restoring it.
1992- Historical part of Novgorod was included in the List of World's historical heritage.
2001- Novgorod city guide appeared in WayToRussia.Net guide to Russia.




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