Millennium of Russia Monument

Veliky Novgorod

This gargantuan 16m-high, 100-tonne sculpture was unveiled in 1862 on the 1000th anniversary of the Varangian Prince Rurik’s arrival, a moment heralded as the start of Russian history. It depicts 127 figures captured in heavy bronze, including rulers, statesmen, artists, scholars and a few fortunate hangers-on.

The women at the top are Mother Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church. Around the middle, clockwise from the south, are Rurik, Prince Vladimir of Kyiv (who introduced Christianity), tsars Mikhail Romanov, Peter the Great and Ivan III, and Dmitry Donskoy trampling a Mongol Tatar. In the bottom band on the east side are nobles and rulers, including Catherine the Great with an armload of laurels for all her lovers. Alexander Nevsky and other military heroes are on the north side, and literary and artistic figures are on the west.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Veliky Novgorod attractions

1. Veliky Novgorod Kremlin

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On the west bank of the Volkhov River, and surrounded by a pleasant wooded park, the kremlin is one of Russia’s oldest. Originally called the Detinets …

2. Novgorod State United Museum

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Within the kremlin walls is this must-see museum that houses three strikingly comprehensive exhibitions covering the history of Veliky Novgorod, Russian…

3. Cathedral of St Sophia

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This is the oldest church in Russia (finished in 1050) and one of the country's oldest stone buildings. It's the kremlin's focal point and you couldn't…

4. Belfry

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The belfry, with its enormous steel bells, has a small bell museum and an observation platform providing good photo opps of the Cathedral of St Sophia on…

5. Kremlin Wall Walk

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Walk part of the kremlin walls for views over the fortress, out to the beach and across the sparkling river. Tickets are sold at the belfry; you can get a…

6. Chamber of Facets


Part of a palace built in 1433, this Gothic chamber once housed Novgorod's Supreme Court and was the scene of many ceremonies and soirées, not all of them…

7. Kokui Tower

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The 41m-tall Kokui Tower was built in the 18th century, and a climb up its narrow stairs provides panoramic views across the kremlin complex and the city…

8. Fine Arts Museum

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A strong provincial collection of paintings by 18th- and 19th-century Russian artists, as well as temporary shows. The 3rd floor features Novgorod artists.