Kostroma – кострома

Kostroma was founded in 1152 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky, the same guy who founded Moscow and some towns of the Golden Ring. The pride of Kostroma is the 14th century monastery of Saint Ipaty where the Romanovs royal dynasty started. Young noble Mikhail Romanov was in exile in the monastery of Saint Ipaty (banished by rivals for the Russian throne) when he was elected tsar in 1613. This marked the end of the Time of Troubles Russia lived through in 1604-1613.

All successive Romanov rulers came here to stay at the monastery's Romanov Chambers.

The 1590 Trinity Cathedral.

The cathedral contains old 17th century frescoes.

The bell tower chimes concerts every hour.

During the Time of Troubles (1604-1613) Kostroma was a center of Russian resistance against the invading Poles. A local peasant named Ivan Susanin deliberately guided a Polish detachment hunting for Mikhail Romanov into a swamp and to their deaths. Ivan has been a national hero ever since. His statue towers over the edge of Susanin square where it starts sloping down to the Volga River.

Another noticeable feature of Susanin square is the 19th century fire tower which is still in use and under UNESCO protection.

The 18th century trading arcade includes the 1766 Merciful Savior Church.

The historic center dates back to the 18th century.

Prince Yuri Dolgoruky the founder of Moscow and Kostroma.

Collection for homeless pets.

Collection for pets injured by motor vehicles.

Young Kostroma.

The river passenger terminal.

A floating hotel next to the terminal.

The guests enjoy an unobstructed river view.

The good old Lenin overlooks the central Kostroma from probably the highest Lenin pedestal in Russia.

KOSTROMA oblast – КОСТРОМская область

galich – галич

The town of Galich located north of Kostroma was founded in 1159. It has an official status of a historic town. Up to the early 20th century Galich was an important trade center. Huge trading arcades disproportional for so small a town are a graphic proof that Galich had better days in his history.

Galich's coat of arms.

The 1798 Entry to the Temple Church.

chukhlOMA – чухлОМА

The town of Chukhloma located 50 km north of Galich was founded in 1381. The memorial stone installed in the town center in 1981 to mark the 600th anniversary testifies to the fact.

The 1730 Assumption Church.

A provincial movie theatre.


Ten kilometers further north travelers can visit the 14th century Saint Abraham Monastery (Авраамиев Монастырь). The monastery itself is not as impressive as the story behind it. The land around the monastery, villages and their inhabitants in the early 17th century belonged to George Learmonth - a Scottish soldier of fortune who joined Russian Army in 1613 and eventually settled down in Russia. The land in Kostroma province, villages and people were gifted to George Learmonth for his good service and combat exploits by Mikhail Romanov who was elected tsar in 1613. The last Scottish name of Learmonth gradually took the Russian form of Lermontov. Mikhail Lermontov - one of direct descendants of George Learmonth - is considered to be one of the greatest Russian poets. George in his turn descended from Laird Learmonth of Ercildoune, otherwise known as Thomas the Rhymer. George Learmonth was buried in the Saint Abraham Monastery after his death in 1633. Unfortunately, the exact location of the tomb is unknown. In 1997 one of descendants of the Learmonth clan also named Mikhail Lermontov built a wooden chapel in the monastery to commemorate his Russian\Scottish forebears.  For more details on Mikhail Lermontov see the Penza Oblast page. Below are some views of the Saint Abraham Monastery.

The Lermontov\Learmonth chapel.

The Intercession Cathedral.

The relics of Saint Abraham are kept in the basement of the Intercession Cathedral.

The Intercession Church in the nearby village of Nozhkino (Ножкино).

Soligalich – солигалич

The town of Soligalich located 50 km north of Chukhloma was founded in 1335. A good example of a provincial town.

The 1668 Our Lady Nativity Church.

The 1661 Epiphany Church.

The 17th century Resurrection Church.

The 1821 Transfiguration Church.