Few other cities in the world display the same amount of churches as Yaroslavl. Once known as ‘the city of many churches’, you will find one with every step you take, especially when walking through the old and historic city centre
. Most of the religious buildings date back to the 17th century and the town planning reform of Catherine the Great. These churches still constitute a major part of the UNESCO listed city centre.
The Church of Elijah the Prophet
The number one tourist attraction is most probably the stunning Church of Elijah the Prophet, or Ilya Prorok as it is known locally. Whilst the entrance might not impress, the building’s interior will surely take your breath away. Inside the walls and ceilings are covered with frescos and paintings which almost could make the famous Sistine Chapel in Rome pale in comparison. This church has truly some of the brightest and prettiest interiors in all of Russia. The distinct, blue frescoes, known throughout the Golden Ring
region, cover every inch of the room, telling different biblical stories. In addition, they are probably amongst the best kept you will ever see, as they have been extensively restored during the last century, as well as remaining closed in the coldest months of the year.
The Miracle Churches
When the Bolshevik Revolution happened in Russia, several churches and religious buildings all over the country were destroyed. How so many of them survived in Yaroslavl is, therefore, quite the miracle. Some say that the reason for this is that the Bolsheviks worked from an alphabetic list, and as Yaroslavl began with ‘Ya’ (or ‘ia’ in Russian) it was at the end of the alphabet and they never made it to the city.
Exploring the Churches of Yaroslavl
Yaroslavl has over a thousand years of history to offer its visitors and some of the most amazing churches in Russia. With a hotel room at the Park Inn by Radisson Yaroslavl Hotel
it is easy to explore both these and the city’s other attractions, such as the Planetarium. In addition to this, the hotel is just 9km from the home ground of the KHL-hockey team, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, perfect for sport fans.
Should you want to explore other parts of Russia whilst here, the Park Inn by Radisson Yaroslavl is no more than 500 m from the train station.