Veliky Ustug - Home of Father Frost

The small town of Veliky Ust’ug, also spelled Veliky Ustyug, is located on the River Yug and the Sukhona River. It was founded in the year 1147 and currently has approximately thirty-three thousands residents. Veliky Ust’ug is a destination in Russia that is filled with magic, festivity and wonder, it is a town that is entrusted with the dreams of children and an atmosphere of possibilities.

Veliky Ust'ug is known for its eight hundred year old culture and tradition of producing detailed and finely crafted masterpieces of silver, wood, copper, birch bark, niello, soft and warm leather footwear and exquisite fretwork. The talented craftsmen have created a market of unique furnishings that have caused the town to be a popular destination for tourists, and a shoppers dream for handcrafted works of art. Not only does the town of Veliky Ustyug offer beautiful crafts, but has attracted many to come view the architectural marvels located here. Some of the recommended attractions in Veliky Ust’ug include the Ascension Church that was constructed in 1648, the 1668 Prokopiev Cathedral, the Troitse-Glendensky Monastery and the spectacular eighteenth century Assumption Cathedral. The Troitse-Glendensky Monastery in particular, is one of the few the surviving monasteries in the world, where visitors will be able to view what is considered to be a historical masterpiece, the iconostasis (icon painting).

But lets face it, it is going to take much more than a few buildings and crafts to convince a child that this is a wonderful town to visit. Fortunately, this town has something that no other destination in Russia has to offer, it is home to the Russian Santa Claus! The wooden palace of Grandfather Frost is located just outside Veliky Ust'ug and he enjoys entertaining guests in his hotel. Visitors can even get the opportunity to have their picture taken with him or buy a few gifts and souvenirs made especially for guests. Of course, the workshop is busy all year round, preparing for the end of the year and Grandfather Frost’s Post Office works tirelessly to process all the letters, postcards and Christmas wishes that it receives from all over the world. Each year, a range of festivals and events celebrate the New Year, and transforms the town into a wonderland of activity and beauty.

For a truly unique experience and a memorable vacation, tourists are recommended to visit this lovely town and the attractions in Valiky Ust’ug. There is something for the entire family, and it is definitely a better alternative than a trip to the North Pole and igloo accommodation.


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