Nizhny Novgorod, colloquially shortened to Nizhny, is a city in the administrative center of Volga Federal District and Nizhny Novgorod Oblast in Russia. From 1932 to 1990, it was known as Gorky, after the writer Maxim Gorky, who was born there. The city is an important economic, transportation, scientific, educational and cultural center in Russia and the vast Volga-Vyatka economic region, and is the main center of river tourism in Russia. In the historic part of the city there is a large number of universities, theaters, museums and churches. Nizhny Novgorod is located about 400 km (250 miles) east of Moscow, where the Oka empties into the Volga. Population: 1,250,619 (2010 Census); 1,311,252 (2002 Census); 1,438,133 (1989 Census).
The city was founded in 1221 by Prince Yuri II of Vladimir. The enormous red-brick Kremlin, one of the strongest and earliest preserved citadels in Russia, was built in 1508–1511 under the supervision of Peter the Italian. The fortress was strong enough to withstand Tatar sieges in 1520 and 1536.
In 1612 Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky organized an army in the city for the liberation of Moscow from the Poles. In 1817 Nizhny Novgorod became a great trade center of the Russian Empire. In 1896 at a fair, an All-Russia Exhibition was organized.
During the Soviet period, the city turned into an important industrial center. In particular, the Gorky Automobile Plant was constructed in this period. The city was given the nickname "Russian Detroit". During World War II Gorky became the biggest provider of military equipment for the front.
Nizhny Novgorod has a very nice Kremlin (City Fort).
View of Nizhny Novgorod from the Kremlin. In the foreground is the Church of Our Lady of Kazan. In the background on the right is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and behind it the new stadium, built for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The river in the center is the Oka, on the far right is the Volga River. (854k) The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (left) and the new stadium, built for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (830k) Pedestrian street Bolshaya Pokrovskaya. (790k) Theater (from 1896). (829k) Local Court. (670k) State Bank, build in 1913 for the 300 year anniversary of the Romanoff dynasty. (726k) Coat of Arms of the Russian Empire on the State Bank. (737k) The crest of Nizhny Novgorod, a deer, carved in stone on the State Bank. (783k) The crest of Nizhny Novgorod, a deer on the State Bank. (831k) Female Atlas statue. (695k) Atlas statue. (642k) Rozhdestvenskaya Street with houses built by wealthy merchants in the 19th century. (756k) Khram Rozhdestva Ioanna Predtechi, a Russian Orthodox church. (1029k) Khram Rozhdestva Ioanna Predtechi. (676k) Church of Our Lady of Kazan. (965k) Cathedral of the Archangel Michael. (627k) Icons in the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael. (984k) Icons in the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael. (855k) Icons in the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael. (904k) Icons in the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael. (896k) Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. (624k) Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. (697k) Large bell of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. (724k) Inside the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. (1166k) Inside the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. (1127k) Inside the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. (958k) Inside the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. (953k) Inside the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. (986k) Inside the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. (956k) Inside the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. (857k) Inside the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. (1176k) Church of Nativity of Most Holy Mother of God. (609k) St. Elijah's Church. (811k) Russian Orthodox cross on one of the churches. (416k) Nizhny Novgorod Fair. (652k) Legislative Assembly of Nizhny Novgorod Region. (843k) Lenin statue in front of the Marins Park Hotel. (737k) Lenin Square. (635k) Monument celebrating the meeting between Lenin and the Nizhny Novgorod intellectuals discussing the revolution. These meetings took place in 1893, 1894, and 1900. (719k) Monument to the liberation of Moscow from Polish occupation in November 1612. The obelisk broke during transport. (647k) Monument of Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky. The merchant Minin and Prince Pozharsky organized an army in Nizhny Novgorod to liberate Moscow from Polish occupation. (817k) Valery Chkalov Monument. The monument celebrates Chkalov's 63-hour flight from Moscow, Soviet Union to Vancouver, Washington, United States via the North Pole on an Tupolev ANT-25 plane (June 18–20, 1937), a non-stop distance of 8,811 km (5,475 miles). The flight pioneered the polar air route from Europe to the American Pacific Coast. (660k) Chkalov Stairs. They were built by German prisoners of war during WW II. (601k) Monument to Prince George and to Saint Simon of Suzdal, founders of Nizhny Novgorod. (1278k) Military hardware on display. The region around Nizhny Novgorod produced most of the military hardware in WW II. (710k)
The first attempt to replace the wooden fort with a stone Kremlin was recorded in 1374, but construction was limited to a single tower, known as the Dmitrovskaya Tower (this has not survived). Under the rule of Ivan III, Nizhny Novgorod played the role of a guard city, having a permanent garrison; it served as a place for gathering troops for Moscow's actions against the Khanate of Kazan. In order to strengthen the defenses of the city, construction works on the walls began again.
Construction of the stone Kremlin of Nizhny Novgorod began in 1500 with the building of the Ivanovskaya Tower; the main work commenced in 1508 and by 1515 a grandiose building was completed. The oak walls that formed the old fortifications were destroyed by a huge fire in 1513. The 2 km (1.2 miles) wall was reinforced by 13 towers (one of them - Zachatskaya - was on the shore of the Volga; not preserved, but was rebuilt in 2012). This "Stone City" had a permanent garrison with solid artillery weapons. With the fall of Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin lost its military significance, and later it housed the city and provincial authorities.
There are 13 towers along the Kremlin wall:
St. George Tower
Tower of St. Boris and Gleb
St. John's Tower
St. Nicholas Tower
View of the Kremlin. (737k) View of the Kremlin. (833k) Kremlin wall. (814k) St. George Tower. (581k) St. John's Tower. (1090k) Clock Tower. (920k) Clock Tower in foreground, Northern Tower in the back. (819k) Clock Tower (right) and Northern Tower (left). (846k) Yoke Tower. (991k) St. Nicholas Tower. (895k) St. Nicholas Tower. (890k) Pantry Tower. (790k) Demetrius Tower. (1156k) Demetrius Tower. (816k) Small church in the Kremlin. (764k)