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Kostroma crest

KOSTROMA

 

Kostroma (population 280,000) is located 186 miles from Moscow on the left bank of the Volga River at the confluence of the Kostroma River. It was first mentioned in the chronicles for the year 1213, but it may have been founded as early as 1152 by Yuri Dolgoruki. The first town was a fortified enclosure on the right bank. The town figured in the civil war between the sons of Vsevolod the Big Nest, Konstantin of Rostov and Yuri. It was sacked by the Mongols in 1238. After the town was rebuilt in 1246, the Grand Prince of Vladimir, Vasili, gave it to his youngest son, Vasili, younger brother of Alexander Nevski. In 1264 the Kostroma army defeated a Tatar force at Svyatoye Ozero. In 1271 Prince Vasili inherited the title of Grand Prince, but he continued to live in Kostroma until his death in 1276. In the 14th century the grand princes frequently hid out in the town. It was then joined to the growing grand principality of Moscow by Ivan I (Kalita). During this period a strong, oaken kremlin was constructed.
During the invasion of Tokhtamysh, the Tatar who replaced Mamai after the latter's defeat at Kulikovo in 1380, Dmitri Donskoi hid in Kostroma while assembling his army. In 1408 Grand Prince Vasili of Moscow also hid in the town from Khan Edigei's invasion. In 1433 Grand Prince Vasili Temny (the blind) hid there during the attack on Moscow by his uncle, Prince Yuri of Galich. In 1488 Vasili's army under command of Prince Striga-Obolenski defended successfully against Yuri's son, Dmitri Shemyaka.
During the Time of Troubles (1605-13), Kostroma was a center of the Russian resistance against the Poles and Cossacks. It was twice captured by Alexander Lisovski in 1608. In 1609 the troops of the second Dmitri the Pretender locked themselves in the Ipatiyevski Monastery for six months before being captured by a force of 10,000 besiegers. With the demise of the Gudonovs the monastery became the headquarters of their stauch enemies, the Romanov family. It was here that the young boyar, Mikhail Romanov, was hiding in 1613, when the All-Russia council (Zemski sobor) came to insist that he accept their election of him as the new tsar. He and his family continued to bestow rich gifts on the monastery as their family's special protectorate.
The town hero is Ivan Susanin, who saved Mikhail Romanov from a Polish detachment by leading them into a forest at the cost of his own life. The original monument was torn down by the Communists and replaced with a more revolutionary one in 1967.
In the 17th century Kostroma was the third largest town in Russia after Moscow and Yaroslavl. It continued to enjoy imperial patronage and was visited by Catherine the Great in 1767. Unfortunately most of the town, including the kremlin, burned down in a great fire of 1773. But this gave Catherine the Great a chance to exert her influencee on Kostroma's appearance. She decided to turn the city into a showpiece for her enlightened design principles. She sent many of her best designers from St. Petersburg, and within a few years Kostroma had been transformed and rebuilt according to then modern town planning methods with streets radiating from a single focal point near the river. Thus Kostroma is the only Russian city that today retains its original layout from this period. One will readily see the arcades of the central market that match so closely those also in Rostov and Novgorod. The city center remains as one of the finest examples of late 18th century architectural principles in Russia. Of particular interest are Susanin Square, the Ipatiyevski Monastery, and the outdoor museum, containing a number of fine examples of traditional wood-construction architecture. The great Uspenski Cathedral was rebuilt, only to be torn down by the Communists in the 1930's. Emperors Nicholas I, Alexander II and Nicholas II paid special visits to the city.
In the 1850's the town became the center of flax production for the making of sail cloth, of which a major purchaser was the British navy. It remains the center today and the two original mills are still standing. The original trade center arcades, built in the 17th century, is the oldest such center still standing in Russia.
The Ipatiyevski (St. Ipaty) Monastery is on the right bank of the Kostroma river near the Volga. It was founded by Grand Prince Vasili in 1275. There also is a legend that it was founded by a Tatar prince who became the founder of the Gudonov family. It was held by the family for generations and many members were buried in its crypt. Boris Gudonov built the Trinity Cathedral in 1586 and its frescoes were completed in 1595-6. The gold and carved wood iconostasis is particularly noteworthy. The monastery was fortified with stone walls during 1586-90. It was badly damaged in a gunpowder explosion in 1649 and restored in 1652 and again in 1835. The original bronze doors are noteworthy. Boris Gudonov's parents, Zakhary Chet, and Ivan Susanin are buried here. The cathedral belfry was built by Dmitri Gudonov in 1603-5 with 19 bells. Many other buildings remain including the Bishop's palace from 1588 and some of the monk's cells. The Green Tower in the gate of the western wall was built in memory of Mikhail Romanov. It houses the Church of the Archangel Michael. Several other new gates were added in the 18th and 19th centuries. Near the monastery, the Church of Ioanna Bogoslova (St. John the Divine) dates from 1681-7 with frescoes from 1735 and wooden iconostasis from 1770. The Church of Ioanna Zlatoust was built in 1791.
Next to the monastery is the Museum of Wooden Folk Architecture, the oldest such museum in Russia. Among the buildings are the Preobrazhenski Church (Transfiguration) of 1628 from Spas-Vezhi and the Cathedral of the Virgin of 1552 from Kholm and various peasant dwellings.
The Bogoyavlensky-Anastasinski Monastery (Epiphany) was built early in the 15th century. The Bogoyavlensky Cathedral was finished in 1559-65 and is the oldest remaining structure in the city. Ivan IV suspected the monks of siding with his cousin, Vladimir Staritski, and had them and townspeople killed. In 1608 the Polish troops of Alexander Lisovski besieged the place, which was a fortress as formidable as the town kremlin. Much of the monastery burned in a fire in 1847, after which it was given to nons and converted to a convent. Only one of the original six fortress towers remains as a belfry.
The Voskreseniya on the Debre Church (Resurrection) was built in 1652 and remains one of the finest examples of 17th century Russian architecture. The Church of Ilyinskaya na Gorodishche (St. Elijah in the city) dates from 1683. The Spasopreobrazhenskaya Church (Transfiguration) dates from 1685-8.
Among the most noteworthy private buildings are the mansion of General Borshchov and the fire tower.

 

This is a catalog of photography taken at Kostroma, Russia, during our visits in 1993, 1998 and 2003.

Link

Description

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Ipata'yev Monastery view from across the river

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Inside passage between outer wall and building left of entrance gate passage

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Outer wall with cathedral dome behind

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Closs up of cross wall between two sections

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Between outer wall and building to right of entrance gate

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Between outer wall and buildings to left of entrance gate

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Gate in wall opposite river side from outside

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Gate in wall viewed from other direction

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Entrance gate tower viewed from inside fortress, corner tower

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Gate tower on river side with cathedral behind

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Trinity Cathedral in trees

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Corner tower roof close up

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Corner tower w/ green roof

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Wooden church in museum of wooden architecture outside Ipata'yev monastery

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View through gateway in the cross wall of the Ipata'yev monastery - the large wooden church was moved here to enhance the museum.

 
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The cross wall inside the Ipata'yev Monastery and the Cathedral in the section beyond it.

 
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Curtain walls and two towers of the Ipata'yev monastery - on the right is part of a wooden church installed for the museum.

 
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The cross wall in the Ipata'yev monastery with cathedral behind it

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Covered walk on a curtain wall of the Ipata'yev monastery fortress

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Bell tower w/ tent roof

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Round tower close up

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Entrance gate

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Tower w/green roof, St John the Divine church w/silver dome beyond

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Same area of monastery curtain wall as in photo 04 with gate to right

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Wall from other side, left of center

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Trinity Cathedral domes

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New courtyard and gate in cross wall of the Ipata'yev monastery, Trinity Cathedral beyond

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Photo through gate in the cross wall toward the wooden church and outer wall

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Silver domes of St John the Divine church outside monastery, like 14

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Entrance to Romanov palace in the Ipata'yev monastery - now has a fine museum to the Romanov family

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The bell tower in the Ipata'yev Monastery in Kostroma

 
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Trinity Cathedral in the Ipata'yev Monastery.

 
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Another side of the Trinity Cathedral in the Ipata'yev monastery

 
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Close up of domes of the Trinity Cathedral in the Ipata'yev Monastery

 
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Corner tower of the Ipata'yev Monastery

 
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Ipata'yev Monastery from across river

 
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Close up of wooden church moved into the Ipata'yev monastery

 
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Tower over entrance gate to Ipata'yev monastery

 
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Decorative tile in Ipata'yev monastery

 
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Plaque showing the Kostroma heraldry on a wall in the museum in the Ipata'yev monastery.

 
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Fortress wall of Ipata'yev monastery

 
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Trinity Cathedral in the Ipata'yev monastery at Kostroma

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Trinity Cathedral from the other side

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Entrance stairs of Trinity cathedral - like 28?

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Gate tower, northwest wall of the Ipata'yev monastery

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Wooden church at outdoor architectural museum

 
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Bogoyavlenski-Anastasinski (Epiphany)Convent church

 
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Bogoyavlenski (Epiphany) Convent church,

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Bogoyavlenski Convent church

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Upper part of gate tower at Bogoyavlenski convent

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Upper part of tower at Bogoyavlenski convent

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Bogoyavlenski Convent church

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In Bogoyavleski Convent

 
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In Bogoyavlenski Convent

 
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In Bogoyavlenski Convent

 
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In Bogoyavlenski convent

 
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Bogoyavlenski Convent church

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Bogoyavlenski Convent church, black and golden domes

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Bogoyavlenski (Epiphany) Convent church, black domes

 
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Bogoyavlenski Convent church, gold domes, closeup

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Bogoyavlenski Convent church photo similar to number 38

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Details of black and golden domes of the Bogoyavlenski convent

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Bogoyavlenski Convent church, altar and sacristy

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Altar in Bogoyavlenski convent church

 
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Sarcophagus in church

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Nun's quarters at Bogoyavlenski convent

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Bogoyavlenski Convent domes, similar to 41, grey sky

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Market stalls in central Kostroma, design of Catherine II period

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Row of market stalls in Kostroma

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Market stall courtyard

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Tower over market gate church in Kostroma

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Fire tower in central Kostroma

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Fire tower in downtown Kostroma

 
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Fire tower

 
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Fire tower in Kostroma with porch on opposite side

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Market square, church over gate similar to photo 49

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Market gate tower from far side

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Downtown street in Kostroma

 
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Apse of church

 
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Downtown Kostroma - older style store building.

 
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Market stall arcade in downtown Kostroma

 
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Upper part of tower in Kostroma

 
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Church in Kostroma

 
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Church in Kostroma

 
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Store in downtown Kostroma

 
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Statue of local and national hero Ivan Susannin - the peasant who led the Polish invaders who were looking for Mikhail Romanov into a forest sacrificing his own lifee - listen to Glinka's opera "One Life for a Tsar".

 
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Kostroma City Museum

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Stairs to second floor in the Kostroma city museum

 
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A part of the medieval city rampart that remains along the Volga river side of town - government buildings now in this area.

 
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Bridge over the Volga at Kostroma

 
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Voskreseniya (Resurrection) Church by river

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Voskreseniya Church by Volga river on south side of Kostroma

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Entrance stairway to Voskreseniya church

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Voskreseniya Church - tent covered stairway

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Voskreseniya Church, upper domes

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Voskreseniya Church, view from hotel above, toward Volga river

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Detail of tiles of Voskreseniya Church

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Voskreseniya Church near Volga river south part of Kostroma

 
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Voskreseniya Church

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Voskreseniya Church

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Voskreseniya Church

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Romanov throne in palace in the Ipata'yev monastery

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Romanov throne in palace

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