Discover the Historical Treasures of Kostroma
The beautiful historical city of Kostroma, considered to be as old as Moscow, is the administrative hub of the Kostroma Oblast in central Russia. Kostroma is one of the cities that form the Golden Ring and is situated in spectacular countryside where the Kostroma River flows into the wide, majestic Volga River. The population at the 2002 census was estimated to be 278,750.
Kostroma has an abundance of impressive monuments which reflect the varied styles of architecture through the ages. The picturesque residential suburbs and the beauty of the Upper Volga scenery have been an inspiration to many Russian artists.
The white stone walls and cupolas (dome-shaped ornamental structures) of the Ipatievsky Monastery rise up out of the ground where the Kostroma and Volga Rivers converge. This monastery was established in the latter part of the thirteenth century with the objective of protecting the city from invasion via the upper regions of the Volga River. During the second half of the fourteenth century, the monastery really flourished when a local family, Godunov, donated funds which were used to erect towers and stone walls. The Trinity Cathedral, which was built in 1652, forms the central structure of the monastery. The cathedral is a unique and striking building, with five tall columns supporting golden domes. The Godunov family burial vault is situated in the western part of the cathedral. The walls, piers and vaults of the cathedral have been decorated with awe-inspiring frescoes which were painted in 1684 by a team of eighteen artists under the direction of Gury Nikitin. The names of these artists are listed on the ornamental tier of the north wall. The Ipatievsky Monastery also incorporates the Bishop’s building, the Monk’s Cells building, the Church of St.Chrysanthus and St. Daria, as well as section where candles are manufactured. Many artistic works and icons decorated in precious stones were either donated to, or made at, the monastery. Ivan the Terrible presented the icon of St. Nicholas of Velikoretsk to the monastery in memory of his son Ivan Ivanovich. The whole complex of buildings that make up the Ipatievsky Monastery is incorporated into the Kostroma Museum of History and Architecture.
In addition to the magnificent Ipatievsky Monastery, there are a number of other churches, museums and places of interest to explore in the city of Kostroma, including the beautifully decorated fire-observation watchtower which was constructed in 1825. Many of the houses are built in a neo-classical style, some with intricate lacy carvings on the facades, adding to the charm of the city.
Visitors to Kostrama can look forward to spending many enjoyable hours exploring this unique Russian city and the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside - making memories that will last a lifetime.