Yaroslavl, has definitely been my favorite Russian City thus far. Not only is the historical part of the city a UNESCO Heritage site, but the over arching atmosphere, architecture, and openness of the area been extremely unique to the region.
As shown above, the crest of Yaroslavl is a large bear holding an ax. This is because the area was once owned by a mystical tribe alongside a sacred bear. Yes, a sacred bear once was the main authority on an entire region in Russia which has lead me to the conclusion that the Russian stereotype that Russia is overrun by bears is all Yaroslavl’s fault.
Now the legend of the bear really starts in 1004 when Prince Yaroslavl “discovered” the region. The tribe, in an attempt to save themselves, released a sacred bear to fight the young prince off. I somehow assumed fighting a bear would be a difficult task but apparently the prince just struck the bear in the head with an axe. Thus, the gorgeous symbol of Yaroslavl was born. A bear holding a giant axe.
Don’t get me wrong, Yaroslavl is a gorgeous city and have amazing churches and sights but I think this statue of a bear is my favorite spot.
Some of my favorite historic sites in Yaroslavl:
The Church of St. Elijah the Prophet
Церковь Ильи Пророка
Built in the 17th Century, this Church was able to withstand the aftermath of the Soviet Revolution due to the fact that it was used as a Anti-Religion museum. According to Legend Yaroslavl was founded by Yaroslavl, the wise, on Elijah’s day.
The Cathedral of Assumption
Oddly enough this Cathedral was built in 2005 after the original, a wooden cathedral, was destroyed by the Soviets. The original Cathedral was built in 1215. Amazingly, this giant cathedral was built in less than five years.
The Eternal Flame
A polished marble and stone monument, stands before the Cathedral in honor of those lost in World War II, also know as the great Patriotic War in Russia. About 20,00 people from Yaroslavl died on the fronts during this war and thus this gorgeous monument was created in 1968.
Because of Yaroslavl’s Location there is a beautiful pathway where the Kotorosl and Volga intersect. In the evening they play classic music and sync the water in the foundation. It’s a wonderful place to relax and take in the sun.