Veliky Ustyug is a city in the Vologda Oblast, one of the oldest in the Russian North. Since 1999, when the first residence of Grandfather Frost was founded, at the mention of Veliky Ustyug, the majority have an association with winter holidays. For two decades, Father Frost's possessions have grown with new objects, and his patrimony has become a real amusement park.
The second important tourist destination of the area is associated with Orthodox architecture. Often temple and monastic buildings are located in Veliky Ustyug and its environs in groups. The most striking examples of such complexes are the Cathedral Courtyard and Dymkovskaya Sloboda. The interior decoration of churches, as well as their icons and iconostases, also deserves attention.
What to see and where to go in Veliky Ustyug?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
Estate of Santa Claus
The official home of the main domestic New Year's character is located 12 km from Veliky Ustyug. The votchina occupies 42 hectares. Near the river, and the buildings themselves are built in a pine forest. The "Trail of fairy tales" is laid on the territory. Snowmobiling, shishkabol games, visits to several thematic zones are available. There are more activities in winter, but there is also something to do in summer. Among other things, the "School of Magic" works.
City residence of Father Frost
Unlike the estate, it is located directly in Veliky Ustyug. It occupies a mansion building in the central part of the city. It used to be the main home of Santa Claus until he moved to a pine forest. The greatest interest among the guests is the throne room. There are costumed photo shoots. For many years, the “Book of Good Deeds” has been maintained, where visitors write down what good they have done over the past year.
Santa Claus mail
Located directly in the city. The exterior of the post office has been worked out to the smallest detail, including a log base and carved windows. It is here that letters from children come from all over the country and even from abroad on the eve of the New Year holidays. Some of them are sent to the exhibition at the residence of Father Frost. Tourists can buy souvenirs in the shop or send a postcard with a unique stamp to their loved ones.
Veliky Ustyug Museum-Reserve
The local history museum was opened in the city in 1910, and received the status of a museum-reserve in 1988. The main building stands on the coast of the Sukhona. The funds are more than 90 thousand units of storage. The permanent exhibition tells about various aspects of the development of the city, including architecture and local crafts. The collection includes icons, rare coins, ancient books. Thematic temporary exhibitions are held.
Museum of New Year and Christmas toys
Opened in 1998. It occupies the building of the former church. In addition to Christmas decorations of different types and different years of production, the collection includes figurines of Santa Clauses and Snow Maidens and postcards. The museum has several Christmas trees. Each is decorated in accordance with the fashion of a particular decade. One of the halls is reserved for the attributes of the New Year from other countries and tells about foreign traditions of the celebration.
It has existed in its current form since 2007. The depository is part of the versatile Veliky Ustyug Museum-Reserve. Its specificity is such that the funds are available for inspection by tourists. There are also closed sections. Interactive classes and master classes are held on the basis of the depository. There are restoration workshops, there is a lecture hall, which is sometimes used for temporary exhibitions.
Santa Claus Fashion House
It occupies a spacious building in the center of Veliky Ustyug. He has a real sewing workshop. Tourists have access here during excursions, so you can watch the process of creating a Santa Claus costume. The insertion hall is reserved for the exposition "Elegant Fairy Tale". Master classes are held where guests make holiday souvenirs for themselves or loved ones. The tour around the Fashion House lasts about an hour.
The oldest part of Veliky Ustyug. The cathedral courtyard includes a complex of temples built in the period from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The architecture is typical of ancient Russian urban planning. The main temple is the Assumption. It is a copy of the Moscow cathedral of the same name, as well as the first such stone building in the Russian North.
Founded in the 13th century. Stone buildings appeared several centuries later: a big fire destroyed the wooden ones. Closed in 1919. On the territory of the monastery there were a museum, a technical school, an infantry school. The main building is the five-domed cathedral of the same name. There are also three churches, chambers for the rector and cells for the brothers. Although it is not active, this monastery ensemble is well preserved.
Trinity Gleden Monastery
From Veliky Ustyug to the monastery about 4 km. The complex stands at the confluence of the South and Sukhona. Founded in the 12th century. It was destroyed several centuries later in internecine wars and rebuilt. Trinity Cathedral is the main monastery church. It is famous for its iconostasis. The carving was done by Totma masters, and the gilded robe was made at the local artel. His icons are particularly elegant, there are also sculptural inserts.
Ensemble of the former Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery
It was founded in 1422. In 1764 it ceased to exist. The ensemble includes two churches: the Transfiguration and the Presentation. They are several centuries younger than the monastery and were used for their intended purpose until 1928. Subsequently, their premises were transferred to the Veliky Ustyug Central Archive, which is still located here. The old fence was dismantled in the middle of the century before last, after the closure, the bells were also removed.
Church of Simeon the Stylite
Dated to the middle of the 18th century. The temple is notable for its location, away from the central part of the city and other Orthodox buildings. Another feature is that the architecture has the features of Western European Baroque, which you will not find anywhere else in Veliky Ustyug. There are two limits, and the western facade overlooks the Sukhona River. A tiered bell tower topped with a spire was erected at the church.
Church of St. Nicholas
In the past, this place was a shopping area. The temple was consecrated in the 18th century. It was divided into two parts - summer and winter. Nearby stands a bell tower in three tiers. Some time after the revolution, the premises of the church fell into disrepair. Restoration took place only in the 80s. Since 1986, the collection of the ethnographic museum has been based here. The exhibitions are mostly devoted to folk art and the traditions of Veliky Ustyug.
Church of the Ascension
Built in 1648 on the initiative of one of the richest merchants in the city. Initially, the temple had 11 chapters, now their number has been reduced to 5. The Church of the Ascension attracts the attention of tourists with its decor and icons. The city has a museum of ancient Russian art, which contains icons from various churches in the area. In addition, the exhibition includes recreated interiors of the past and wooden sculptures.
Another complex consisting of separate temples. The first of them was erected at the end of the XIV century. The architecture of the area changed, and today there are only the temple of Sergius of Radonezh and the temple of Dmitry Thessalonica. There are also auxiliary buildings on the territory. You can’t go inside, tourist groups can admire the external architecture and listen to the historical information from the guide.