Nizhniy Novgorod is an ancient stronghold on the confluence of the Volga and the Oka rivers.
It was founded as a frontier post, and nowadays Nizhniy (as often called colloquially) is the fifth largest city of Russia and one of the main centers of river cruise tourism in the country.
Nizhniy Novgorod played an important role in the “Time of Troubles” (early XVII century) when national militia, gathered by the locals, expelled the invaders from Moscow.
The city prospered commercially, and in the XIX century it became the trade center of the state being the place of the biggest fair in Russian Empire. A Russian proverb of that time said:
«Moscow is the heart of Russia, St. Petersburg is its head, and Nizhniy Novgorod — its pocketbook.»
In Soviet times the city was renamed «Gorky» in honour of the great writer Maxim Gorky, who was born there. Until 1990 the city was “closed” to foreigners — USSR protected its military secrets in such a way.
Nizhniy Novgorod has numerous architectural monuments including the XVI century Kremlin, museums, churches and other places of interest.
UNESCO included Nizhny Novgorod in the list of 100 cities constituting world historical and cultural value.
Tourists in Nizhniy Novgorod are usually offered a bus city tour with a visit to the Kremlin and the Museum of Maxim Gorky – prominent Russian writer.