What to visit

The Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin

  • Address: Nizhny Novgorod, pl. Minin and Pozharsky, 6a, ter. The Kremlin
Description History

Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin is not like other Kremlins in Russia. It stands on a steep slope of the hill with an exceptional 82 m difference in altitude between its extreme top and its lowest point.

The Kremlin was constructed in early 16th century on the former site of degraded wooden fortress as the walls of the latter were not fit for artillery purposes. The towers stand out well beyond the walls` line and this technology was supposed to protect the fortress defenders from the hostile fire. At the same time they could fire at the attacking enemy even in case those managed to come very close.

For all the numerous sieges the stone Kremlin of Nizhny Novgorod was never taken by the enemy.

Today this Kremlin is open for visitors. The entrance is free, and at a modest charge visitors may climb up the Kremlin walls and also visit several museums located on its territory, such as branches of Nizhny Novgorod History and Architecture Museum inside the Kremlin towers  and Nizhny Novgorod Art Museum in the former Governor`s residence as well as the Arsenal Contemporary Art Centre.

Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin was built in stone within the first 15 years of the 16th century. The project was headed by Italian engineers, and Russian stonemasons performed the works. For the construction years, all the surrounding villages were taxed with a designated so called "egg" tax as a huge amount of fresh eggs was required in order to knead them with a mortar so that the stronghold stonework came out solid enough.

The stonework was performed exceptionally well, and Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin was not taken by the enemy neither during any of Kazan campaigns nor at the Time of Troubles.

Until the conquest of Kazan area Nizhny Novgorod played an important role in the country`s defence network, however by the 18th century it had lost most of its strategic value. In 1705, by the order of Peter I all the Kremlin cannons were removed and Catherine the Great even signed a decree to demolish the old fortress. Fortunately, due to the local negligence this decree of hers was never implemented.

In the course of the 20th century, as the Kremlin had been left with no repair for many years, it was in a deplorable condition, also due to riverside landslides and vandalism of local residents. In the 1930`s it was suggested to demolish a section of the Kremlin wall, and the Kremlin itself was proclaimed a "monument of bloodthirsty feudalism". Yet the educated community of the city actively protested against the Kremlin demolition, and later on the outburst of the Second World War turned all such urban development plans void and irrelevant.

In the 1950s the city started large-scale restoration works under the guidance of architect Svyatoslav Agafonov. The works took about three decades, and today Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin can be rightfully called the main attraction of the city.

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The Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin

The Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin is unlike any Kremlin in Russia. Set on a steep slope, it has a record height difference between the top and bottom points - 82 m.

Erected in the early 16 century. on the site of an old, dilapidated wooden kremlin, th

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