Staraya Ladoga is the site where the history of Russian statehood began and for this is still in competition with Novgorod for the title of the first capital of Russia.
Overlooking the banks of the Volkhov River, Staraya Ladoga's gorgeous pastoral countryside is not only a welcome retreat from the hectic pace of modern life, but its ties to Russia's earliest beginnings are found in this treasured place of remembrance where ancient history has been thoughtfully preserved.
Today there is little to remind one of its former greatness, yet the towers of the Ladoga fortress, the white stone churches and burial mounds left here by tribes long one still stir the imagination.
About two hours and 110 kilometers east of St. Petersburg, Staraya Ladoga is a sleepy little town set against the lush rolling landscape of rural Russia. Visitors say the quaint homes and enchanting gardens are just as charming as the medieval churches, monastery, and convent that hold the stories of Russia's amazing pioneers.
The most popular attractions are St. George's Church, a temple that's famous for its ancient frescoes and the St. Nicholas Monastery, which has been undergoing restoration. Another landmark on the outskirts of town are the huge kurgans or burial mounds which are known as the resting place of the Viking Rurik, founder of Staraya Ladoga in 862.
A day trip to Staraya Ladoga is really worth a visit if you would like to get to know the rich history of one of the oldest settlements in northern Russia, and you want to enjoy a peaceful ambiance in a picturesque setting with clean country air, including tasting amazing Russian food.☺
Interested to go to Staraya Ladoga? If so, click on the links below or scroll down the page to learn more.
Right up until the 18th century Ladoga remained a stronghold, guarding the route up to the Volkhov from Lake Ladoga, and denying the Swedes, who long threatened north-eastern Russia, access to Novgorod. After the Northern War and the building of St Petersburg, Ladoga found itself far in the rear. Its strategic role had gone and the fortress gradually fell into decay.
Today it has become a very interesting historical place to see for everyone who wants to know more about the history of Russia. Among the things to see the following ones are the most popular sites:
A peek into the history of Staraya Ladoga tells us that between the years 862 and 864, this was the residence of the legendary Scandinavian Prince Rurik, the first capital city and the place of Russia's first steps into statehood. Although the Rurik Dynasty relocated to rule from the town of Veliky Novgorod in 864, Staraya Ladoga reigned as a primary trading post well into the 10th century.
In addition to being an important trade center, it became a major fortress town with a massive stone Kremlin built in 1114 while under the rule of the Novgorod Republic. After standing firm against an attack by the Swedes in 1164, the Church of St. George was built-in celebration and from there, the Church of St. Nicholas and the Assumption Convent were constructed, as Staraya Ladoga grew in and around its great Kremlin walls.
And Russia grew too, with more cities and more Kremlin walls to bolster its strength. By 1703, Peter the Great formed Novaya Ladoga (new Ladoga) at the mouth of the River Volkhov and gave Staraya Ladoga (old Ladoga) a new name and lesser status.
Tickets to all the sites can be purchased upon arrival on the spot at the ticket office.
There is no rail or bus service from St. Petersburg directly to Staraya Ladoga. Service does go to nearby cities and from those stops, you can take a taxi a short distance to Staraya Ladoga (about 7Km). Taxi service from St. Petersburg to Staraya Ladoga is an option but expensive and of course, you can go by car.
Address: 19, Volkhovsky Prospekt, Staraya Ladoga (settlement), Volkhov District, Leningrad Region
Open: May 1 to May 31, daily 9 am to 7 pm. June 1 to Aug 31, daily, 9 am to 6 pm. Sept 1 to October 31, Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm. November 1 to April 30, Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 4 pm.
Telephone: +7 (81363) 73-524
Admission: 20Rubles for the Grounds; 150Rubles for the Museum; 80Rubles for the Church of St. George.
Photo and video: free/included
Accessibility note: Indoor exhibits are not wheelchair accessible. The grounds are partially wheelchair accessible.
Please note that there is no tourist information office in the city, so for more info contact us or visit the website given.
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