Novgorod


Novgorod
/nov"geuh rod'/; Russ. /nawv"geuh rddeuht/, n.
a city in the Russian Federation in Europe, SE of St. Petersburg: a former capital of Russia. 228,000.

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City (pop., 1999 est.: 231,700), northwestern Russia.

Located on the Volkhov River north of Lake Ilmen, it is one of the oldest Russian cities. First mentioned in the chronicles of AD 859, it came under Rurik in с 862. It was of great importance in the 11th to 15th centuries, when it was the capital of the principality of Novgorod. It prospered by trade with Central Asia, Byzantium, and the Hanseatic League. The centre of the Novgorod school of painting, it was ruled by Alexander Nevsky in the 13th century. It became a rival of Moscow, was destroyed by Ivan IV in 1570, and declined with the rise of St. Petersburg. It was held by the Germans in World War II and suffered heavy damage. Many historic buildings were later restored, and it is a centre of tourism.

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Russia
also called  Velikiy Novgorod 
 city and administrative centre of Novgorod oblast (region), northwestern Russia, on the Volkhov River just below its outflow from Lake Ilmen. Novgorod is one of the oldest Russian cities, first mentioned in chronicles of 859. In 882 Oleg, prince of Novgorod, captured Kiev and moved his capital there. In 989, under Vladimir, Novgorod's inhabitants were forcibly baptized. In 1019 Prince Yaroslav I the Wise of Kiev granted the town a charter of self-government; the town assembly, or veche, elected their prince, chiefly as a military commander. After 1270 the veche elected only a burgomaster, and sovereignty resided in the town itself, which was styled Lord Novgorod the Great. The town was divided into five ends, each with its own assembly and each responsible for one-fifth of Novgorod's extensive territorial possessions. It flourished as one of the greatest trading centres of eastern Europe, with links by river routes to the Baltic, Byzantium, Central Asia, and all parts of European Russia. Trade with the Hanseatic League was considerable since Novgorod was the limit of Hanseatic trade into Russia. Prosperity was based upon furs obtained in the forests of northern Russia, much of which came under Novgorod's control. “Daughter” towns were founded by Novgorod in the 12th century at Vologda and Vyatka.

      During the 12th century, Novgorod was engaged in prolonged struggles with the princes of Suzdal and gained victories in 1169 and 1216. Although the town avoided destruction in the great Tatar invasion of 1238–40, Tatar suzerainty was acknowledged. Under Alexander Nevsky, prince of Vladimir, Novgorod's defenders repulsed attacks by the Swedes on the Neva River in 1240 and by the Teutonic Knights on the ice of Lake Peipus in 1242. During the 14th and 15th centuries, Novgorod was involved in a long, bitter struggle for supremacy with Moscow and frequently sought help from Lithuania. Although the city survived Muscovite onslaughts in 1332 and again in 1386 by Dmitry Donskoy, it was defeated by Vasily II in 1456. It continued to oppose Moscow and again sought Lithuanian assistance, but in 1471 Ivan III the Great defeated Novgorod and annexed much of its northern territories, finally forcing the city to recognize Moscow's sovereignty in 1478. Opposition by its citizens to Moscow continued until Ivan IV the Terrible in 1570 massacred many of them and deported the survivors. In 1611 Novgorod was captured by the Swedes, who held it for eight years. From the reign (1682–1725) of Peter I the Great, the city declined in importance, although it was made a provincial seat in 1727.

      During World War II, the city suffered heavy damage, but the many historic buildings were subsequently restored. These include the kremlin on the Volkhov left bank (the Sofiyskaya Storona). It was first built of wood in 1044, and its first stone walls date from the 14th century. Within the kremlin, the St. Sofia Cathedral, built in 1045–50 on the site of an earlier wooden church, is one of the finest examples of early Russian architecture, with magnificent bronze doors from the 12th century. From the 15th century date the Granite Palace (1433), the bell tower (1443), and the St. Sergey Chapel. The Chapel of St. Andrew Stratilata was built in the 17th century. Across the Volkhov (the Torgovaya Storona) stands the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, dating from 1113. In and around Novgorod are many other surviving churches, including the 12th-century cathedrals of the Nativity of Our Lady and of St. George, the 14th-century churches of the Transfiguration and of St. Theodore Stratilata, and the 17th-century Znamensky Cathedral. Novgorod's many medieval monuments and 14th-century frescoes were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992.

      Modern Novgorod is important as a tourist centre and as a major producer of chemical fertilizers. It also has metal and woodworking industries. Pop. (2006 est.) 217,706.

      oblast (region), northwestern Russia, extending across the morainic Valdai Hills, which rise to 971 ft (296 m); the lowland basins of Lake Ilmen lie to the west and of the upper Volga River to the east. Much of the oblast's terrain is in swamp of peat bog or reed and grass marsh, with innumerable small lakes. The remainder (about 60 percent) is mostly in mixed forest of spruce, oak, pine, and birch, and soils are usually infertile. Agriculture is poorly developed, with under one-tenth of the area plowed. Dairying, especially to supply the Leningrad market, is the principal activity, with some cultivation of flax, rye, oats, and potatoes. Since 1870, much swamp has been drained for pasture and improved forest. Much peat is cut for fuel. Machine-building, metalworking, chemical, and food-processing industries have been developed. Aside from Borovichi, Staraya Russa, and the oblast headquarters, Novgorod city, settlements are small and engaged in processing timber and flax. Area 21,400 square miles (55,300 square km). Pop. (2006 est.) 665,365.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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