Beautiful day in Kostroma

Last Sunday we visited the beautiful little town of Kostroma, some 80 km from Yaroslavl. Just like Yaroslavl, Kostroma is part of the Golden Ring, a ring of beautiful historic towns north-east of Moscow.

Looking for the must-see St Ipaty monastery, we first went by the beautiful church of the Theophany Convent and the house of Snow Maiden Snegurochka, Father Frost’s grand-daughter and companion (see also my New Year’s post).

We then found the St Ipaty monastery (at the other side of the Volga) and visited its Trinity Cathedral with 17th century frescoes and some exhibitions with icons and other church treasures, including books (my favorites, of course) among which even a music book.

After a stop at the monastery’s café, where they had delicious but somewhat weird pirozhki (bread buns, here filled  with either apples, cherries, raisins or pickled cucumbers (!), but more often containing cabbage or mushrooms), we went to the open air museum of wooden architecture.

The ‘museum’ is actually a very nice park with typical wooden buildings like houses, windmills and churches. It reminded us a bit of Bokrijk in Belgian Limburg. 🙂 We had a very enjoyable walk and even took a ride in a rowboat on the small lake.

The last stop of our Kostroma outing was Susaninskaya Ploschad, the main square in the center of the city. It was already constructed in the 18th century but was completely renovated only 3 years ago on the occasion of the Romanov dynasty’s 400-year anniversary. (It was in Kostroma that in 1613 the first Romanov tsar, who was then living at the St Ipaty monastery, was offered the Russian crown.)

Some of the highlights of the square are the trading arcades (which, just like some 150 years ago, still house shops today), the fire tower and the guard house.

We ended the day with a stroll along the Volga river and dinner on the cosy terrace of a restaurant located in a courtyard. The only thing I regret about our day is that we didn’t get a chance to visit the nearby moose farm. Guess we’ll have to go back soon! 🙂

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