Explore the Hanseatic City of Veliky Novgorod
Veliki Novgorod Home of Russia

Veliky Novgorod is Russia's oldest city, amedieval centre of trade and crafts and a strong partner of the Hanseatic League. Sights from ancient times are numerous: the Kremlin, Saint Sophia Cathedral; Rurikovo gorodishche - the place where Rurik settled and started his dynasty of Russian  kings and tzars;frescoes by Theophanes the Greek -just to mention a few. Modern Veliky Novgorod also offers shopping and a variety of restaurants.

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In 862 citizens of Novgorod called for reign the Varangian Prince Rurik.  This date is considered to be the foundation of the Russian state, and the monument to the Millennium of Russia located in the Novgorod Kremlin reminds about it.

The oldest city of Russia, the cradle of Russian democracy, medieval center of trade and crafts, the largest partner of the Hansa League in the XII-XV centuries is all about Veliky Novgorod.

A city with a long history now positioning itself as the Birthplace of Russia is the tourist’s center, comfortable, attractive and safe not only for residents but also for numerous tourists.

Veliky Novgorod is the Hansa city

For centuries, Novgorod was the leading partner of the Hansa League. The Hansa office, one of the largest in Europe, was located on the Yaroslav Yard (the medieval Marketplace). It consisted of Gothic and German yards. These yards had all necessary infrastructures for long-stay of Hansa merchants in Veliky Novgorod.

In 1993 Novgorod became the first Russian member of the Hansa League of New Time. And in 2009, for the first time in Russia, Veliky Novgorod hosted the 29th Hansa Convention during its 1150th anniversary celebration. The 29th Hansa convention gathered about 500 thousands of guests and participants, including official delegates from different Hansa cities. Since 2010 Veliky Novgorod is a member of the Hansa Presidium.    

Veliky Novgorod is the head of the Russian Hansa League

In order to use the unique historical experience of regional and international cooperation and the modern movement of Hansa, in 2010 Novgorod became the initiator of the creation of the Russian Hansa League, which brought together 11 Russian cities - official members of the International Hansa. Members of the Russian Hansa League - Veliky Ustyug, Vologda, Ivangorod, Tot’ma, Kingisepp, Tikhvin, Torzhok, Belozersk, Tver, Pskov, Veliky Novgorod.

Establishment of a formal coalition between Russian cities will allow to implement joint projects in various fields, mainly in tourism, will promote and strengthen cultural, scientific, social and economic ties. In addition, it was decided to conduct an annual Russian Hansa Convention in city-founders, in the frames of which to organize festivities in the medieval style, artisan fairs, concerts and exhibitions.

The first Russian Hansa Convention held in Veliky Novgorod in June, 2011 had a real success. In 2012 Belozersk will host the Russian Hansa Convention, in 2013 – Pskov, in 2015 – Tver, in 2017 – Ivangorod.

Hansa fountain in Veliky Novgorod

The Hansa fountain complex having a form of a circle or a “bargaining table” with the pictures of coats of arms of the countries – members of the Hansa League of New Time has been opened on the Yaroslav Yard in 2009 as a symbol of the Old and the New Hansa unity.

During the Hansa Convention a tradition to flip a coin into the fountain for memory and to lean one’s hand to a coat of arms of one’s country for luck has appeared. Focusing on the experience of European cities, the city administration has decided to remove the coins periodically from the fountain, which will be used for the development of tourism and improvement of the city. A solemn ritual of coins excavation has been designed, Novgorod legends and stories became the basis of a scenario. A boyar, a treasurer and guards who occasionally play a theatrical performance near the fountain became the main heroes of the action.

St. Nicholas Cathedral in Veliky Novgorod is a symbol of the Hansa ties

St. Nicholas Cathedral was built in 1113-1136 and consecrated in honor of especially revered in Russia St. Nicholas. In 1992, the cathedral has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Almost as old as Veliky Novgorod, standing in its heart, on Yaroslav Yard, for over nine centuries, by the end of the 20th century St. Nicholas Cathedral was in need of urgent and costly restoration. The economic status of Russia of 1990s did not allow to find the funds for these purposes. Hansa city-partners put their shoulder, as it happened many times in the history of the Hansa relations.

In 1993, at a meeting of the Hansa Committee in Stade (Germany) was made a decision to collect people’s donations for the restoration of a unique 12th century St. Nicholas Cathedral in Novgorod as a sign of Hansa cities solidarity. The citizens of 100 Hansa cities from Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, and Belgium took part in the historical monument salvation.

Novgorod gratefully keeps the Hansa cities names, whose residents have invested in the project of salvation of the famous monument of world importance. At the main entrance to the temple you can read the names of these cities. In 2013, the year of the 900 years from the date of laying the first stone in the construction of the St. Nicholas Cathedral.

Pictures of the Hanseatic City of Veliky Novgorod

Impressions of Veliky Novgorod

Veliky Novgorod

City government of Veliky Novgorod
Mrs. Elena Sycheva
Dessjatinnaja 20/10
173007 Veliky Novgorod

Krestetskaya Stickerei

Krestetsky line is an authentic folk craft, a material manifestation of the spiritual culture of the Russian people, which came to represent the Novgorodian land.