Nizhny Novgorod is the biggest city in the Volga District with 1.3 million people residing on the banks of the Volga, the biggest river in Europe. Founded in 1221, Nizhny Novgorod is the major center of Russian national culture, including folk arts and crafts, literature and music. Nizhny Novgorod is the birthplace of Khokhloma, wood painting handicraft style and national ornament. Actually, one third of all national arts and crafts are based in the Nizhny Novgorod Region.
During the rise of the Russian Empire, Nizhny Novgorod used to be a commercial and economic center of the country located at the crossroads of trade routes linking Europe and Asia. The local fair functioned as an annual bottom line to the economic progress in Russia. Today Nizhny Novgorod is an attractive investment platform for business development.
Over 1,000 cultural heritage sites are preserved in Nizhny Novgorod. The historical center sits on the hills giving tourists an opportunity to enjoy the incredible scenery and magnificent views. The mighty Kremlin and romantic Volga embankments are very inspirational. Tourists are also invited to see numerous historical, cultural, and architectural monuments that will fit every taste – from merchant mansions to an engineering miracle – Shukhov hyperboloid tower. Tourist attractions include modern facilities as well: the Nizhny Novgorod cableway with the longest span between the support pillars in Europe, the biggest circus in Europe!
Nizhny Novgorod, the city with its own pace of life and national color, is a key to the mysterious Russian soul.
Vladimir Gilyarovsky, writer, journalist:
"It seems none of the Volga cities gives as strong and powerful an impression to the visitor as Nizhny Novgorod."
Ilya Repin, painter:
"This city regally posed over the entire east of Russia made our heads spin. How intoxicating were its vast expanses! We were breathless with excitement, and the living history of Russia arose in our minds, we saw its people, strong people of good nature, who truly appreciated life, its warmth and artistry. Those people would hate to settle somewhere or somehow…"
Feodor Chaliapin, opera singer:
"Nizhny captivated me at once with its unique beauty, walls and towers of the Kremlin, breadth of water expanses and meadows. A happy and joyful mood rises in my soul every time I arrive at the banks of the Volga."
Theodore Dreiser, American writer and public figure:
"I think Nizhny Novgorod is one of the finest and most exciting cities I have seen in Russia. I like it because it has the Volga River, because it is not so flat as Moscow or Leningrad, because it boasts the picturesque type of Russian dwellings. Despite all these specifically Russian features, it has the modern, busy, and lively feel of an American city."
Alexandre Dumas, French writer:
"At around 10, a loud noise was heard resembling rolling thunder, or more like a hum, or rumble preceding an earthquake. It was a crowd of thousands roaring.
On one of the Volga turns, a whole forest of masts brightened with flags rose to our view. Those were vessels steaming up and down the river and carrying goods to the fair.
To get at least some impression of all that bustle and noise holding sway along the bank of the river, one should remember Rue de Rivoli during the fireworks, when the Parisian bourgeoisie that have flooded the Place de la Concorde are returning home criticizing and scolding the Paris administration that out of mere avarice they do not set off fireworks all through the night."