Staritsa Town - Straddling the Volga River

Staritsa is a town located just 77km from Tver in the Tver Region of Russia. Straddling the Volga River, Staritsa has a small population of around 9,000. This fascinating town is steeped in history and is well-known for its remarkable caves.

Staritsa was founded in the year 1297 as Gorodok. It was later moved to a more elevated position on the bank of the Volga River and renamed Novy Gorodok. From the 1400s the little town became known as Staritsa. Staritsa is the Russian expression for “Former river-bed”. The town came under Muscovy rule in the year 1485 and thus the town's Golden Age was ushered in. During the 1400s the region was under rule of Andrey the son of Ivan III. His son Vladimir then took over. Vladimir along with his children were put to death as Ivan the Terrible believed he was plotting against his rule. Assumption abbey is a great example of the opulence of the time. Staritsa become the hub of a regional subdivision in the year 1775. Between October 1941 and January 1942 Staritsa was under German occupation.

It is clear to see Staritsa's past when looking on one side of the Volga. Here you will see the site of the original settlement along with ground walls and mounds. The left bank is a contrast with the Assumption Abbey. This limestone cathedral was constructed in 1530 and the refectory in 1570. Nearby are numerous other churches dating back to the 1700s and 1800s. Dominating the scene is the Cathedral of St. Boris and St. Gleb. This impressive Neoclassical structure was built between 1805 and 1820.

A chief attraction in Tver's Staritsa is the famous caves. Speleologists have been exploring the quarries dating to the 18th and 19th century. The caves, created by locals, are frequently twisted into elaborate labyrinths. The passages together measure some 5km in length. Volunteers are making extensive efforts to preserve the quarries as local heritage sites in Staritsa. Be sure to spend a day in this remarkable town, viewing the old structures and exploring the caves, whilst traveling in the Tver region.


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