Set on the upper Dnepr River, this grand city offers 16th-century fortress walls and towers to explore, excellent architecture, onion-dome churches and well-landscaped parks. The highlight is the magnificent Assumption Cathedral sitting pretty on the hill, but art and music are also well represented in the hometown of composer Mikhail Glinka and 19th-century arts patron Princess Maria Tenisheva, whose estate of Flyonovo makes for an interesting side trip.
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