Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin is the main sight of the city. The fortress was built according to the schemes made by Leonardo da Vinci. It makes Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin stand out from other Russian kremlins.
Currently all 13 Kremlin towers are reconstructed and are functioning. Koromyslova Tower (“Yoke Tower”) is of major interest from the historical point of view. The name is connected with a story of a brave woman, who was protecting herself with the yoke (in Russian “koromyslo”) against enemies. According to the legend, the courageous woman had died, and was buried under the wall of Kremlin, and the name of the tower commemorates her heroism.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is one of the most impressive sights in Nizhny Novgorod. It is not widely known that back in the 19th century, it was built on the raft. The reason for that was the Volga and Oka’s flooding the place of the construction. To deal with the flood issue, an oak raft was used to prevent the destruction of the cathedral’s foundation when the water raised.
It is rather obvious that the historical centre of the city is located on the hills – that is why there are plenty of marvellous stairs in this part of Nizhny.
The Chkalov stairs named after the famous Russian pilot are one of the longest ones in Russia. This 560-step stairs were built by German prisoners of war. Runners’ races are held there every year on June 12 (the Day of Russia) – and the fastest runner is awarded an auto.
The Chkalov Stairs have their smaller but no less beautiful copy, the Theatre Stairs which lead from the central, higher part of the city down to the Zelensky descent road; however, due to their location they are unnoticed by tourists rather. They were also built in the aftermath of the Second World War by German prisoners who worked there in recompense for the destruction of Nizhny Novgorod during bombardments.
In Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum, you have an opportunity to see one of the largest canvases in the world created by the famous academic painter Konstantin Makovsky: ‘The Appeal of Minin’. It has impressive dimensions - 6 x 7 m. The canvas reflects the events of 1612 when the honourable residents of Nizhny Novgorod Minin and Pozharsky gathered a militia to liberate Moscow from being captured by Poles.
On August 4, 1959 Nizhny Novgorod (at that time the city was known as Gorky) became a “closed city”, i.e. closed for foreigners, because defense factories were operating there during the Soviet era. Tourists from different countries sailed on cruise ships up the Volga only at night, without disembarking. Nizhny Novgorod became “an open city” again on September 6, 1991, but Sarov, a town located in Nizhny Novgorod region, is still closed not only for foreigners, but also for everyone else who is not registered there.
There is a deer on the arms of Nizhny Novgorod. How did it get there? Deers have been nowhere to be seen in Nizhny Novgorod region for ages. The deer is considered to be a symbol of strength and bravery, the triumph of good over evil. According to some experts, the arms of Nizhny Novgorod originally depicted an elk (which inhabit the region). Meat of elk is thought to have nourished Russian warriors during the war against the Khanate of Kazan. When Kazan had been occupied, Tsar Ivan IV ordered to carve that animal on the Nizhny Novgorod seal.
The greatest Russian poet Alexander Pushkin lived and worked here, in Nizhny Novgorod, for some time. During one of his visits he was mistaken for a government inspector. He was not a little amused by this, and subsequently told this story to Nikolai Gogol, who made his famous play The Government Inspector out of it.
Cheburashka, the cutest character of the famous Russian cartoon series, a funny animal-like figure, got his name thanks to Nizhny Novgorod. While being here, its creator Eduard Uspensky happened to come across the Russian slang word “cheburachnut’sya” (to fall down clumsily), what determined the name and the essence of the figure.
Few people know that Nizhny Novgorod is sometimes called “The Russian Hollywood”. There are certain grounds for that. This city is deeply appreciated by film directors, and, as a proof of that, here you can see the titles of only a couple of the films whose episodes were shot in the city: Dead Man’s Bluff, Silent Souls, Miss Millionaire, Ekaterina Voronina, The Night is Young, The President Hotel, The Barber of Siberia, A Rough Draft, The Method, A Cruel Romance.
“Small worlds” first appeared in Nizhny Novgorod. Street artists Ivan Seriy and Tatiana Konstantinova use space in damaged walls to create small worlds that are as small as a brick. Each of them is a story of ordinary people’s life. Recently, Ivan Seriy has founded a mini-gallery named FUTURO MINOR.