Nizhny Novgorod

Welcome to Nizhny Novgorod

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Mother Russia has worn many guises over the years, from flashy New Russians via Soviet propaganda and Tsarist opulence and poverty, but perhaps beneath all this is an aspect of Russia's character that has long charmed its visitors: an impulse to make the everyday beautiful. This tradition is still going strong, as testified by Russia's notoriously sharply dressed women and a cultural love for glitter and glamor; but its roots go much further back. Think of typically Russian matryoshka dolls, of ornate lacquer crockery and brightly painted boxes, and in part, you're thinking about Nizhny Novgorod.
The region is home to a rich craft tradition that produces many of the items synonymous with Russia. Its intricately carved wooden houses and classical streets echo this; but as ever in Russia, times are a-changing, buildings are being renovated and new establishments are opening. Known locally as Nizhny, the city's proximity to Moscow makes it an ideal spot for Muscovites and tourists to get a glimpse of the “real” Russia, the one of colorful wooden houses, grey Volga skies and ancient Slavic fairy tales.
Nizhny smells of rivers because two big rivers – the Volga and the Oka – become one here. And if you stand at the point where the rivers meet, you’ll get swept up in a humid wind. In spring this wind smells of lilacs, in summer it smells of linden. The Kremlin complex has become the symbol of the city – it’s an example of Russian defensive architecture, built in the 16th century to protect residents, and thanks to it the city has been saved from numerous invasions. Today, it’s like a city within a city.
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