Within the kremlin walls is this must-see museum that houses three strikingly comprehensive exhibitions covering the history of Veliky Novgorod, Russian woodcarving and Russian icons. The latter contains one of the world's largest collections of icons, with around 260 pieces placed in chronological order, allowing you to appreciate the progression of skills and techniques through the centuries. The English audio guide (R200) is recommended if you want to get the most out of a visit.
Downstairs in the history section (with minimal English signage), birch-bark manuscripts are displayed, some of them 800 years old. The letters, documents and drawings by people of all ages and social classes indicate that literacy was widespread in medieval Novgorod.
The woodcarving exhibits include everything from the mundane (kitchen utensils and furniture) to more elaborate religious objects.