Tourismwise, Ivanovo is not a very attractive city. Although first mentioned in 1561 the city has nothing left from old times. Currently there is no road bypassing Ivanovo. Therefore, when driving from Suzdal to Kostroma or from Kostroma to Nizhny Novgorod, one has to go through the city. For many years Ivanovo was the center of Russian textile industry where female population noticeably exceeds that of males. Thus, Ivanovo was nicknamed “the city of fiancées”.

Lenin square.

Revolution square.

The Sheremetev Park Hotel - the best in Ivanovo.

IVANOVO oblast – ИВАНОВская область


The town of Plyos is a much more remarkable place to visit. It is located half way between Ivanovo and Kostroma on the Volga River. One just has to take a short detour from the main road. Plyos is a quiet town of wooden houses, old churches and nice riverfront.

Isaac Levitan, Russia’s most famous landscape artist used to come here to paint on location. The Levitan House Museum displays his works.

The 1699 Assumption Church sits on the hill overlooking the town.

Next to the church is the 1786 administrative building and a bust of Prince Vasily who founded the town in 1410. The bust was installed in 1910 to mark the 500th anniversary of the event.

The 1817 Resurrection Church.

kineshma – кинешма

Kineshma is a relatively old town, first mentioned in chronicles in 1429. It is located on the Volga River 100 km from Ivanovo. In 1609 Kineshma was seized, looted and ruined by Polish invaders. Nearly all inhabitants were killed. The chapel standing on the edge of the central square was built over the mass grave. Every year a remembrance mess is held in the chapel.

The statue of Fyodor Boborykin who headed the people's militia in 1609.

The central square in 2017 before and in 2021 after renovation.

The 1745 Assumption Cathedral stands on the high Volga River bank.

Next to it is the 1838 Trinity Cathedral.

The bigger domes - Trinity, the smaller ones - Assumption. The belfry was built in 1798.

The 1805 Annunciation Church.

The 1694 Transfiguration Church.

The drama theatre.

The famous Russian playwright Alexander Ostrovsky.

The Tranquil Wharf floating hotel. Owners call it "a botel".

vichuga – вичуга

The town of Vichuga is 75 km east of Ivanovo. Since late 19th century Vichuga has been a center of textile industry. One of the factories is still operational. Since the town has no prominent sights of interest, tourists and travelers usually bypass it. As of summer 2021, the renovation of the central Vichuga was in full swing.

Vichuga boasts one of the first bas-relief images of the USSR coat of arms.

The 1904 Resurrection Church.

This mosaic commemorates local weavers who in 1935 set world records in labor productivity.

Another well preserved mosaic depicts scenes of the glorious Soviet past.

The old textile factory.

A small WWII memorial.

soimitsy – соймицы

Passing by the village of Soimitsy, make a detour to see wooden lace decorations.

Yrievets – юрьевец

The small town of Yurievets founded in 1225 stands on the Volga River 60 km east of Kineshma. There is quite a number of old buildings and churches in Yurievets. As of August 2021 the town was in early stages of restoration, renovation and beautification. It makes sense to visit Yurievets two-three years later.

The WWII memorial is on the hill overlooking the town.

The view of Yurievets from the memorial.

The central square awaits hard surface and the 1840 St. George belfry awaits restoration.

Lenin also needs some sand-blasting and fresh paint.

Behind the belfry is the 1737 Entry to Jerusalem Church.

The 1825 Assumption Church with columns is in a bad shape.

The 1815 Nativity Church looks OK.

The 1720 Epiphany Church.

The renovated river front.

For lovers of abandonment there are a lot of unrestored churches in Ivanovo Oblast.