Yaroslavl established about 1010 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise at the bank of Volga River. In the 17th century Yaroslavl was the biggest trade and industrial town of Russia. Those were the times, when many new buildings were built there, the town had its own, peculiar school of architectural styles and construction. The Yaroslavl churches of the 17th century differ by great dimensions, multiple domes, picturesque asymmetry created by side-chapels, vestibules and porches. The churches are strongly decorated by tiles and figured carving. On the whole, this is the style called "the Russian style", unique and inimitable. A.N.Benua, a prominent art historian, called this style "the true Russian style of disappearing magnificent Russian culture".
The inner walls of Yaroslavl churches display multiple wall-paintings, very picturesque, symmetric and musical, having nice, cheerful and bright combination of clean, and open shades: blue, red and golden. The wall-paintings of the church of Ilya the Prophet are the best, as well as those of the Church of John the Baptist in village Tolchkovo. These churches are extremely interesting from the point of view of their architectural styles. Moreover, there are some other interesting monuments related to the 17th century, these are the architectural ensemble in Korovniki, the Church of Nikola Mokry, the Palace of Metropolitan and the Church of Saviour in Town. The embankment of Volga River is very beautiful, this place is admired by local citizens. The former Saviour Ressurection Convent (Cathedral and walls built in the 16th century) is located in place, where river Kotorosl flows into Volga. That was here, when in the 18th century, Ioil, the last Archimandrite of the convent, found the manuscript of "The Lay of Igor's Host" in the library of convent. This is the most significant literature monument of the ancient Russian culture. These days the walls of ancient convent preserve the collection of icons, embroidery, church plates and ancient church books. There is also the Art Museum in town located on Volga embankment. The museum collection includes icons, including the icon of Saviour dated by the 12th century, the pictorial image of Yaroslavl the Wise, the Tolgskaya Icon of the Virgin, the finest collection of Icons of the 17th century, which all belong to the Yaroslavl school of icon painting. The display shows provincial portraits and Russian paintings of the 18-19th centuries.
There is no any other Russian city which possesses so many beautiful masterpieces of medieval wall painting. The Yaroslavl masters enriched the traditional Chistian themes with the elements of folk art and features derived from the life around them thus reflecting a new understanding of ideals close to craftsmen and merchants. They were closely connected with the life of their people they came from and painted in frescoes the scenes of everyday life : harvest time, ploughing, hunting, construction of a church, feasting, made illustrations of the popular literature subjects and thus depicted a varied life of Russia.
CITIES OF RUSSIA
Nizhny Novgorod I
Novgorod the Great I
Rostov the Great I