Two weekends ago, we went to explore Pereslavl, a small city about halfway from Yaroslavl to Moscow. It was actually a friend of us who wanted to go there because she was craving herring and as it happened there was a herring festival in Pereslavl on Sunday.
However, just like when we went to the sheep festival in Tutayev or the pancake festival (Maslenitsa) in Yaroslavl, where we didn’t see any sheep or pancakes, it was quite hard to find herring at the festival as well. 🙂 But the city was definitely worth a visit too.
We first stopped at the Kremlin, where we admired one of the oldest buildings in Russia, the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour church dating back to 1152.
Pereslavl’s kremlin is still surrounded by its original earthen city walls, which you can see in the background of the picture. We took a stroll on top and admired the view.
The other churches (three more!) on the Kremlin square weren’t really worth mentioning (we’re getting spoiled!), except maybe for the tent-roofed Church of Peter the Metropolitan.
But the souvenir shops and stalls were quite nice. 🙂
We then kind of ‘party-crashed’ a meeting of officials from Yaroslavl and Pereslavl (as the friend we were travelling with is a member of parliament of Yaroslavl). The ‘party’ soon moved from a restaurant to a Dutch-inspired bar specialised in … herring!
As the resemblance to anything authentically Dutch was a bit off and a herring restaurant wasn’t really the best place to be a vegetarian like me (but did you see that cute Russian bouncing castle?), I was happy we soon moved on to our last stop before returning to Yaroslavl: the beautiful Nikolsky monastery.
A bit more about Pereslavl herring
You aren’t a veggie and I’ve left you hungry for more info about herring? Sorry about that. 🙂 Here you go: Pereslavl is known for its herring thanks to Plescheyevo lake, which is home to ‘ryapushka’ or freshwater herring. The lake is also a former resort for Russian tsars, who liked the herring so much they made it one of the main courses at their official dinners. The city of Pereslavl’s coat of arms features two golden ryapushka on a black background:
By the way, Plescheyevo lake is also where Peter the Great developed his obsession with the sea. When staying there on holiday as a teenager, he built a ‘toy flotilla’ of more than 100 little ships, including the so-called ‘Peter’s little boat’, which would be considered the forefather of the Russian fleet.
(At the statue of Peter the Great in Moscow)