NOVGOROD VELIKY: HANSEATIC LEAGUE AND FIRST RUSSIAN DEMOCRACY(Travelling around Russia, p.9)

NOVGOROD VELIKY: HANSEATIC LEAGUE AND FIRST RUSSIAN DEMOCRACY(Travelling around Russia, p.9)


Hello, everyone, welcome to Weekendr Girl channel. It’s another weekend, it’s freezingly cold, only plus 8 degrees
Celsius in June, so if you ever had any disagreements with British weather,
welcome to Russia, but, to be precise, welcome to Novgorod. We’re exploring a bit of Russia’s European north, so if you are ready, stay with me, don’t
freeze to death and let’s get started. According to the Sofyian chronicles, the
city was founded back in eight hundred fifty-nine, the official date is eight
hundred sixty-two, according to the city’s charter, but the
archaeologists, ever the dream breakers, they said that latest excavations prove
us that the city is not older than the 10-11th century, and actually most of the oldest churches here, they date back to 11th-12th century, we are going to see them today. Those are one of the last remnants of traditional Russian
architectural style – long before the Italians came/were invited to our
country and built all those beautiful marvelous churches and cathedrals as they did in Moscow. But a visit to any old Russian city is nearly impossible
without visiting its Kremlin. The first local Kremlin was built in the middle of the 11th century, of course, it was later rebuilt and new buildings added but the first one dates back to 1044, and it was built upon the pagan burial grounds, which is strange,
but not unusual in Russia. The reason why this Kremlin was built so early is that Novgorod as a part of the route from Varangians to the Greeks, as a
very successful and very rich and prosperous City, it has always been at
wars. There were lots of wars, many-many wars, 26 with Sweden, 11 with the livonian order of brothers of the swords, but it more or less ended with signing a peace
treaty in 1323, if my memory serves me right, which actually finally defined
what the borders are between Sweden and the then Russia. Did it stop anyone from trying to occupy Novgorod or at least a part of it sovereign lands?
of course not, and during the Time of Troubles the city has been occupied for
about nine years (1609-1618) and of course, it resulted in some cessations
and we lost some of the lands, but Novgorod remained ours and that’s the
most important fact. Actually, Novgorod has quite a peculiar story,
speaking about Kremlin and history in general.
it is a very old city, it is a commercial city, it is one of the first
self-governed cities and it is sort of an analogue of Wales –
well, what Wales used to for the UK – because the heir to the Russian throne,
when he was of a sensible age, he was sent here to Novgorod to learn how to
govern his future lands the importance of the city was quite high and it
remained like that till, I think, the15th century because in 15th century
it became a part of Moscow princedom, at the times of Ivan the Third/ the
Great and later the influence became diminishing until it dwindled and almost disappeared after the time of troubles and intervention. What is it, the secret of Novgorod’s rise and fall? You will see just in a few secs. Although officially Novgorod the Great and several other cities like Smolensk, Pskov, Vologda – although they have never been
officially a part of the Hanseatic League, actually, they sort of were. The were the easternmost city/borders. That’s, actually, one of the major reasons of Novgorod’s supremacy and independency which lasted for so long. Novgorod was selling its furs in exchange for food and other agricultural
produce, which eventually led to the city’s downfall in sixteenth century: first, there was the
famine of 1580s, and later when the famine of 1600s came like all around Russia, the famine which resulted in the crisis of power in Russia and led to the time of
troubles. Novgorod almost lost its importance and then later Peter the
great built his lovely st. Petersburg and all the efforts of Novgorod to restore its
supremacy went down the drain, but nonetheless, it still is one of the most
beautiful northern cities. Its architecture is marvelous and Kremlin
is so beautiful, and food, oh the food! try visiting the Gourmetto restaurant, the Italian pasta and pizza are just superb – and what about me, well I’m my lunch and go somewhere else. See you there in Russia one more time, bye-bye, till later!

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