In the year 2010 the city will celebrate its millennium. Yaroslavl, which is older than some modern countries in the world, remains a unique city with its own peculiar traditions and character. It is ancient and modern at the same time. Its look reflects the history of the whole country as well as the history of many Russian towns
Yaroslavl situated in the heart of central Russia is the administrative center of Yaroslavl Region, located 250 kilometers from Moscow and 850 km from St. Peterburg. The historical part of the city, a World Heritage Site of UNESCO, is located at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl Rivers. Its population is 613,088 (2002 Cesus). Today a modern transportation network connects Yaroslavl with Central Europe, Northern Russia, Siberia, the Far East, China, and Mongolia.
The Volga River flows across the territory of the Yaroslavl Region connecting the coastal areas of 6 seas: the Baltic Sea, the White Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Mediterranean .
The total area of the Yaroslavl Region is 36 400 km2 (8,994,440 acres) and includes a number of towns famous for their history and architectural ensembles (Rostov, Rybinsk, Uglich, Pereyaslavl-Zalessky, Myshkin, etc), 17 municipal districts and 92 urban and rural settlements.
Yaroslavl Region is located in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).
The Yaroslavl Region is located in the continental-temperate climatic zone. The average long-term temperature in January is -11.2 C (11.84 F); in July -+17.5 C (63.5 F). The average annual precipitation is 520-690 mm. The growing season is 150-170 days.
The emblem of Yaroslavl The flag of Yaroslavl The emblem of Millennium
According to the legend incorporated into the modern coats of arms both of Yaroslavl and the Yaroslavl Region, the mighty prince subdued the local pagan inhabitants by killing their sacred animal, a she-bear, in a hand-to-hand combat. The Russian historiography states that the city could have been founded within rather a long time period: from the year 988 to the year 1024, while most researchers deem the year of 1010, in which the fortress was established, to be most reliable.
The panoramic view of Yaroslavl from the Belfry of Spaso-Preobragensky Monastery
During subsequent centuries the city was involved into all dramatic events of the Russian history. Yaroslavl became the first faithful ally of Moscow in bringing the Russian lands together under the patronage of the ancient capital. The Yaroslavl principality was among the first ones to join the Moscow State voluntarily.
In the 15th century after joining the Moscow State, Yaroslavl was assigned an honorary role of “the Sovereign’s estate”. In the 17th century Moscow Tsars were leaving the city and its districts as percept to their direct heirs. Yaroslavl was the place to transfer the State Treasury in an emergency. People deemed dangerous to the authority were also kept there. Yaroslavl was among the first places influenced by the cruel rule of Ivan IV (the Terrible), but the repressions didn’t affect the city itself.
In 1612 a volunteer army lead by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky to fight Polish-Lithuanian intervention was being stationed in Yaroslavl, and Yaroslavl was made the capital of Russia for several months.
The 18th century was a crucial time for the city. With the erection of Saint-Petersburg the city economy was re-orientated from commercial to industrial basis. The reign of Peter the Great has radically changed social, political, and economical basis of the ancient capital and also determined the present status of the city as an industrial and cultural centre of Russia. “The Lay of Igor’s Host”, a remarkable masterpiece of ancient Russian literature, was found in Yaroslavl in the early 90-ies of the 18th century.
In the 19th century the city visage was taking its final form.
In the Soviet period the role of the “scientific city” was assigned to Yaroslavl. In the 20-ies and 30-ies of the last century the foundations were being laid for the formation of the new industrial resources of the State orientated towards the defense of the country (SC-1, the first synthetic rubber plant in the country, the rubber-asbestos complex, the Yaroslavl automobile plant, etc.).
A solid industrial base was being crated in Yaroslavl after the end of the Great Patriotic War. The development of the industrial potential of the city was taking place under the patronage of the Soviet Government. At the beginning of the 1960-ies N. Khruchshev unofficially visited the city. He expressed a high opinion of the rate of its industrial development. In 1971 the city of Yaroslavl was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour. In 1985, on occasion of its 975-year anniversary, the city was awarded the Order of October Revolution.
The earliest chronicle references to cultural development in Yaroslavl date back to 1212, by which time the town on the Volga founded by Prince Yaroslav the Wise at the beginning of the eleventh century has become firmly established on the political map of Notheast Russia. In the course of its history Yaroslavl suffered many setbacks, but with each century its position became more authoritative and its art more flourishing.
There are three main periods during which culture and the arts were particular flourishing in mediaeval Yaroslavl. The first had to do with the time when Yaroslavl was the capital of an independent principality (from 1212 to 1220) and from 1314 to 1330s) and when churches were built in the town predominantly on the orders of princes and the higher clergy. The second covers the sixteenth century when Yaroslavl became a major centre of trade on the route from Moscow to the White Sea and another one leading down the Volga to the Orient. The local school of icon painting developed at the time. The seventeenth century was the «golden age» of Yaroslavl culture. From the middle of this century the town`s population increased considerably, and its merchants began to play an extremely important role in the trade and commerce of the country as a whole. The tradepeople donated money to build many churches. The architectural monuments of the time with their beautiful wall-paintings made Yaroslavl famous as «Russian Florence» and became recognized as national masterpieces.
Yaroslavl is the gem of Golden Ring of Russia and a valuable sample of nearly all styles of Russian architecture of the last five centuries. 140 monuments and period houses are situated in the historical centre of the city, that is why it has been one of 23 objects of UNESCO World Heritage List in Russia since 2005. Thousand tourists from all over the would come to Yaroslavl to admire its beauty. The «Golden Ring» is the name of a tourist route popular with lovers of old Russian architecture. The route winding in and out of cities and villages in the north-eastern part of what used to be the State of Muskovy is hardly circular, but it is certainly «golden» in he sence that it is rich in historical monuments and towns that are museums in themselves.
The Chapel of Alexander Nevsky The Volga River
The most ancient building in the city is the Spaso-Preobrazhensky ("Transfiguration of the Saviour") Cathedral of the Spassky (St Saviour) Monastery constructed in 1506—1516 on the foundations of the original edifice dating back to 1216—1224. In the 16th century, the first stone wall was built around the monastery. It is from this monastery that an army of volunteers led by Minin and Prince Pozharsky set out to liberate Moscow from Polish invaders. In 1787, the monastery was closed and converted into a residence of the Yaroslavl and Rostov bishops. At that time, monastery buildings began to be reconstructed. New cells and the prior's chambers were built.
The Spaso-Preobragensky Monastery
The Church of Ilya the Prophet (1647-1650) is a remarkable monument of the Yaroslavl school of architecture of the 17th-century. Its main decoration is the frescoes created by the famed Kostroma artists Guriy Nikitin and Sila Savin in collaboration with Yaroslavl painters.
The Ilya the Prophet Church
St. John the Baptist Church in Yaroslavl is considered to be the acme of the Yaroslavl School of architecture. It was built in 1671-1687 on the bank of Kotorosl river in the Tolchkovo Sloboda (district) which at that time was the largest and wealthiest part of the town. It is recommended to see by UNESCO.
St. John the Baptist Church
You can see the Church of St. John the Baptist in Yaroslavl on the 1000 ruble banknote.
The ensemble in Korovnitskaya Sloboda on the right coast of the Volga River– is one of outstanding architectural ones in Yarostavl. It comprises the summer temple of Mother of God Vladimirskaya and the winter temple of Ioann the Zlatoust.
The Ensemble in Korovnitskaya Sloboda
The Tolga Monastery stands on the bank of the Volga River a little above and across from the city of Yaroslavl. The monastery is almost 700 years old but the present buildings date from about 1670. Legends hold that in 1314 Bishop Trifon of Yaroslavl, spending the night at the site awoke to see a pillar of fire which led him to an icon of the Virgin and the monastery was established at this location.
The Soviets closed the monastery in 1926 and used the building for various purposes including an educational center, a World War II hospital and a correctional center for juvenile delinquents. It was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1987. There has been considerable restoration done and it is now operated as a nunnery.
The Tolga Monastery and The icon of the Mother of God Tolgskaya
The Yaroslavl Art museum – the largest museum of arts in the Russian province, the winner of the first competition "the Window to Russia". It was founded on December, 5th, 1919. In the richest collection (over 70 thousand units of storage) – there are the samples of the XIII-XXI-st centuries representing the world of spirituality of Ancient Russia and brilliant classical art, traditions of district bourgeoisie and a variety of modern culture.
The museum is situated in the centre of Yaroslavl, in one of picturesque places of old Yaroslavl – on the Volga quay near to fine architectural ensembles of XVII-XIX centuries.
The main building of the museum is the Governor`s house on the Volga quay. There are more than 36.000 works of art, sculpture, graphics, decorative and architectural ceramics in the museum.
The department of Old Russian art settles its off in Metropolitan`s Chambers on the Volga quay too.
The historical building of the Governor`s house The Governor`s garden
Yaroslavl is the site of the Volkov Theatre, the oldest theatre in Russia. Feodor Volkov, the son of a local wealthy merchant, founded the theatre in 1750. It was the first professional public theatre in Russia which later became an important training centre for actors. The current building was constructed in 1911 in the neo-classical style.
The first Russian Theatre The monument of Feodor Volkov, its founder
Other notable Yaroslavl residents:
- Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, was born in a nearby village and went to school in Yaroslavl;
- Andrei Khomutov, a member of the Soviet national hockey team that won countless World Championships and the 1981 Canada Cup;
- Nikolai Nekrasov and Leonid Trefolev, poets;
- Leonid Sobinov, an opera singer;
- Konstantin Ushinsky, a founder of the Russian pedagogics;
- Boris Vinogradsky, MD,FACS, a surgeon, now working in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, Chairman of the Board of the Russian American Medical Association;
- Elena Grosheva, the Olympic Gymnast (Silver Medalist, Atlanta 1996);
- Denis Grebeshkov, a Hockey player for the Nashvill Predators, NHL;
- Lyubov Ivanovskaya, a Russian triathlete;
- Artemy Troitsky, a rock critic.
Dynamic, open to the world and creative – these words describe Yaroslavl. But that is not everything the city can boast of. Today Yaroslavl is the economic and political center of the Upper Volga area to the north from Moscow. Offices of the largest economic corporations are situated in the city. Yaroslavl provides contemporary infrastructure and facilities for business development. The city is always open for investors – they will not meet bureaucratic obstacles here. This city makes a lasting impression on people from all parts of the world. It is the city of great opportunities. The opportunities that are worth using. According to Expert Rating Agency, in 2004-2005 the Yaroslavl Region was rated 25th among the 89 Russian Federation Subjects in terms of innovation potential.
The Yaroslavl Region also boasts of a rich scientific and technological potential, oriented mainly towards research in the interests of the local economy. The Yaroslavl Region hosts 20 scientific-research organizations, 33 schools of higher learning, of which nine are local and 24 are branches of institutions based elsewhere with a student body amounting to 56,000. Among them are Yaroslavl Demidov State University, Yaroslavl Ushinsky State Pedagogical University, Yaroslavl State Technological University, Yaroslavl State Medical Academy, Yaroslavl State Agricultural Academy, Rybinsk State Aviation Technology Academy, Yaroslavl State Theatre Institute to name just a few.
Yaroslavl State University is one of the youngest and at the same time one of the oldest universities in Russia. Being born twice - in 1918 and in 1970, it considers the beginning of its history to be the year of 1803, when Alexander I at the instance and on the money of the famous manufacturer and patron P.G. Demidov founded the Academy of Higher Sciences in a provincial city on the Volga river, later changed into Demidov Law Lyceum, and then – Yaroslavl State University.
Today Yaroslavl Demidov State University is the leading higher educational institution of the Upper-Volga region with 7000 students. It is a classical multi-discipline educational institution training students in 52 specialities and directions (preparing bachelors and masters).
The university contains nine faculties: the Law Faculty, the Mathematics Faculty, the Physics Faculty, the Economics Faculty, the History Faculty, the Faculty of Information and Computer Science, the Faculty of Socio-Political Sciences, the Psychology Faculty, the Biology and Ecology Faculty. In addition to classical five-year special education some faculties offer an opportunity of providing education according to the programmes of preparing bachelors and masters degrees.
The teaching process is provided by a professional team of teachers, most of them having the degree of candidates and doctors of science. One can continue education at a post-graduate course for candidates and doctors of science in more than 40 specialities. Dissertations are defended at candidates and doctors’ councils of the university.
The university has the University College providing secondary vocational education in nine specialities.
The development of fundamental science has always been the top-priority task for the university. Today it occupies the leading position both by the scientific staff qualification and by the volume, breadth and results of scientific research. The main themes of researches, developed by the university, are funded from the federal budget, Russian state foundations, international organizations. The university has recognized scientific schools in many specialities. The university scientists regularly participate in scientific conferences, symposiums and workshops of different levels. Students and post-graduates take an active part in scientific research.
The university is noted for its successful international cooperation. It has long-term partnerships with higher educational institutions of other countries. Among them there are the higher educational institutions of the USA: Susquehanna University (Pennsylvania), Middlebury College, Business School of the University of Vermont, and also the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, the University of Poitiers in France. International cooperation includes student exchange, teacher probations, business visits. Students and post-graduates have an opportunity of distance learning in Stanford University (the USA) programs, which the President of Russia has mentioned in his speech in Stanford on 24th, June, 2010: “I cannot but say that Russia and Stanford have had long-standing relationships. A great number of Russian students have covered Stanford Programms direct from Russia, including remote studying. And the software tools have been created in Yaroslavl University”.
Within the framework of the European Community Programme Tempus the international project aimed at improving the quality of management at the university is realized. Foreign partners in this project are Sheffield Hallam University (UK) and the European Foundation for Quality Management.
Yaroslavl State Medical Academy (YSMA) has been founded in 1944. And now it has more than half-a-century history. At present, YSMA is the big regional center of an excellent quality medical education and bio-medical research. It is also the leader in medical training and post-graduation education, retraining specialists of practical healthcare, medicine, pharmacy, and high-skilled academic staff for the central regions of Russia.
There are several educational faculties and divisions in YSMA, these are:
- General Medicine Faculty,
- ediatric Faculty,
- Pharmacy Faculty,
- Faculty of Post-Graduate education and professional retraining of specialists of the healthcare,
- Division of Advanced Education,
- Pre-Education (preparatory) Division.
At present about 4500 students and specialists are studying at YSMA (including foreign
students and specialists). Medical training and education are conducted by 58 departments that have all the necessary equipment in order to provide a high quality education according to available Russian and international modern standards of education. At YSMA, highly qualified specialists of all local hospitals and medical institutions and professionals from other regions of Russia are trained.
The academic staff of YSMA consists of more than 500 persons. Among them, more than 400 have the M.D. and Ph.D. titles (including 310 candidates of sciences, assistant and associated professors and 70 doctors of sciences and full professors). Many of them are members of different Russian and foreign international societies and are well-known scientists and clinicians not only in Russia but all over the world.
Modern informational technologies are actively employed in YSMA. All departments have permanent Internet access. These resources are opened both for students and for faculty members, besides there are special courses for those who wish to extend and improve their qualification in modern informational technologies. There is a big library with two reading halls and facilities that are equipped in order to use data bases and Internet resources.
YSMA has good social facilities and infrastructure (including five hostels, sport centers, student healthcare center, summer camp on the Volga river and the garden of medical plants).
Education of foreign students both on budget (governmental) and contract basis started in YSMA in 1992, now YSMA has a unique experience in this area. Several international programs are available for foreign students: education in Russian (with special preliminary extended course of the Russian language) and the education in English-medium (first 3 years) with the following subsequent education in Russian.
It is important to note that both programs strictly adhere to the State Educational Standards of Russian Federation, and are based on deep-routed traditions of qualified Russian education.
Now many foreign students are getting their education at YSMA. They represent more than 30 countries (including citizens from Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, Pakistan, Greece, Tunis and other countries).
Therefore, YSMA is a big and well-known educational, research and scientific center in the fields of fundamental, clinical medicine and pharmacy. Professional staff in Yaroslavl State Medical Academy are supporting new progressive methods and activities, and keep their rich traditions in the area of qualified education and scientific research at the same time.
The building of Government of Yaroslavl Region is the venue where the first Russian ESGE-course is to be held
Sport is actively supported and developing in the city. Shinnik Yarosalvl is a football club based in Yaroslavl. It plays in the Russian First League. The city also hosts the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl - ice hockey team, which became the champion of Russia in 1996–1997, 2001–2002, and 2002–2003. It presents Yaroslavl in Continental Hockey League and is based in modern ice arena «Arena 2000 Lokomotiv». Thousands of cirizens enjoy watching hockey matches and skiing there.
The Arena 2000 Lokomotiv
The 1000-year Anniversary Celebration in Yaroslavl in 2010
In July 2003 the President of the RF has signed the decree “On celebration of the 1000-year anniversary of the foundation of Yaroslavl”.
In February 2004 the President set up a federal organization committee for the preparation of the anniversary celebration, with Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref at the head.
In May 2008 the State Committee for the preparation of 1000-year anniversary's celebration was headed by the President of the Russian Federation Dmitri Medvedev.
Volga river embankment is a favorite place to walk not only of citizens but the first faces of the country.
In September 2006 the Government of the RF approved the plan of the basic measures, connected with the preparation and realization of the 1000-year anniversary of Yaroslavl celebration. More than 550 million Euros from budgets of all levels, including assets from the federal budget, were allocated for the realization of the whole project.
By the end of 2010 Yaroslavl and the Yaroslavl Region will have received about 2 billion Euros for the development of transport and social infrastructure, the construction of dwelling houses, trade centers and hotels, an exhibition hall and a congress-hall, also for the foundation of new enterprises with the participation of international companies.
The Volga river embankment
In Yaroslavl by 2010 about 200 thousand square meters of dilapidated and breakdown houses have been resettled. Total volume of investment required is 120 million Euros.
By 2010 the Uspenski Cathedral (Cathedral of the Assumption) will have been constructed on the place of an earlier destroyed temple in the historical center of Yaroslavl. Patron Viktor Tyryshkin has financed this project; investing about 20 million Euros for its realization. The Cathedral is of about 2000 square meters area and 60 meters high.
The Uspenski Cathedral: a model and the result
In Yaroslavl on the occasion of the 1000-year anniversary two water parks, a zoo, a race track and several new museums will be constructed and opened, the historical center of the city will be restored.
The Kirova street is a pedestrian zone.
The President of Russia and members of the RF Government, heads of foreign countries, heads of the Russian regions and the leading Russian and international companies, working in Russia, will visit Yaroslavl to celebrate its 1000-year anniversary.
During 2010 Yaroslavl expects to host about 1.5 million tourists.
Author: I. Kashina, T. Kasatkina
Photos: S.Kashin, specially for this project
Based on the information from: www.en.wikipedia.org, www.uniyar.ac.ru, www.kremlin.ru. www.pravoslavie.ru, www.thebestofrussia.ru, http://www.russian-goldenring.ru, www.city-yar.ru, www.adm.yar.ru, yma.ac.ru