Staraya Ladoga is a small village in Leningrad region with a long and great history. The main attraction of the village is the old fortress, which stands on the bank of the Volkhov River.
It is known that the local tribes, which started to inhabit this territory in the 7th and 8th centuries, invited the legendary Ryurik to rule in Ladoga. Since then it is considered to be the beginning of the Russian history. Ryurik the Varangian was the founder of the first tzar dynasty in Russia. Ladoga was situated on the important trading way, and all the merchants stopped in Ladoga. Ryurik understood that it could be a favourable place and so he started to build a fortress on the banks of the Volkhov. Although later he moved to Novgorod, another important center of the ancient Russia, the city of Ladoga became a big commercial and trade center of Russia. According to the chronicles the great Prince of Russia Oleg was buried near the Fortress, today this place is known as "Oleg's tomb".
1. The Fortress
In 1144 the building of the stone Kremlin was started in Ladoga. During the next two centuries the swedes tried to invade the place several times but they were unsuccessful, the Fortress became unassailable to the invaders.
In the middle of the 15th century the Fortress was rebuilt because of the invention of the fire-arms. It had the shape of the pentagon with 5 towers, the width of the walls was up to 7 meters. The Fortress was equipped in accordance with all the requirments of that time. It was separated from the mainland by the Ladozhka river, the Volkhov river and the deep moat, which could be filled with water if the Fortress were to be assaulted. At the beginning of the 18th century at the command of Peter the Great the administrative facilities and citizens were moved to Novaya Ladoga (New Ladoga), and the city became a small village of low economic significance.
2. The Church of St. George
The Church of St. George It is one of the oldest stone buildings which remained in the North of Russia. It retained in parts excellent wall paintings of the 12th century. One of the most marvellous frescoes of the ancient art is "The Miracle of St. George and the Snake", where the horseman kills the snake with the spear.
3. Nikolsky Men's Monastery
Staraya Ladoga. Nikolsky Monastery The Monastery of St. Nicholas is situated in the village of Staraya Ladoga, to the south of the Fortress. The date of the foundation is unknown. According to the legends the monastery was founded at the end of the 13th century to commemorate the victory of the prince Alexander nevsky over the Swedes.
4. Staroladozhsky Convent Women's Monastery of the Assumption
The Monastery is situated on the left bank of the Volkhov river, to the north from the Fortress. The Monastery was first mentioned in the chronicles in the 15th century. Originally it was a men's monastery , and it was transformed into a women's monastery some time later. Most of the survived buildings go back to the 19th century.
5. Men's Monastery of John the Baptist
The Church of St. John the Baptist on Mountain Malysheva is the only building of the Monastery that survived to present days.The monastery was first mentioned in 1276. The Monastery was rebuilt in 1695 at the command of Lev Ivanov, the priest of the Church of St. George.