Nizhny Novgorod city, Russia

The capital city of Nizhegorodskaya oblast.

Nizhny Novgorod overview

Nizhny Novgorod (or simply Nizhny in everyday speech) is a large city in Russia, the capital of Nizhegorodskaya oblast and Volga Federal District, an important economic, transport, and cultural center. From 1932 until 1990, the city was called Gorky in honor of the famous writer Maxim Gorky.

Several matches of FIFA World Cup 2018 will be held in Nizhny Novgorod.

Nizhny Novgorod population is about 1,268,000 (2015), the land area - 411 sq. km.

The phone code is +7 831; the postal codes - 603000-603999.

Nizhny Novgorod city flag

Nizhny Novgorod city flag

Nizhny Novgorod city coat of arms

Nizhny Novgorod city coat of arms

Nizhny Novgorod city map, Russia

Nizhny Novgorod city map of Russia

Nizhny Novgorod history

From the 9th century, Slavic colonization took place in the upper Volga River, the region inhabited by Finno-Ugric peoples. By the end of the 11th century, the entire Upper Volga region, almost to the mouth of the Oka River, belonged to the ancient Rus’ state.

In 1221, Russian Prince Yuri Vsevolodovich of Vladimir, founded a wooden fort at the confluence of the Volga and the Oka rivers. The settlement was named Nizhny Novgorod (“lower newtown”).

In 1350, the town became the capital of an independent Suzdal-Nizhny Novgorod principality, which occupied a vast territory and competed with the Moscow principality. During this period, Nizhny Novgorod region was actively populated. In 1392 (but finally only in 1425), Suzdal-Nizhny Novgorod principality was annexed to the Moscow principality.

More Historical Facts…

During Ivan III and Vasily III, the town played a role of an outpost. It was a gathering place for troops during wars against the Khanate of Kazan. In 1500-1511, to replace an existing wooden fort, a stone fortress (kremlin) was built.

In 1612, during the Russian “Time of Troubles”, Kuzma Minin, a local merchant, gathered troops to expel Polish forces from Moscow. The commander of the troops was Dmitry Pozharsky. The new royal dynasty, the Romanovs, became the head of the country. The square in front of the Kremlin was named after Minin and Pozharsky. The remains of Kuzma Minin are buried in the citadel.

In 1817, Makarevskaya Fair moved to Nizhny Novgorod attracting millions of visitors annually. By the middle of the 19th century, the town was known as the trading capital of the Russian Empire.

Sormovo Iron Works was the largest industrial enterprise of the town. In 1914, Moscow-Kazan Railway Company began construction of the first bridge over the Volga River. The bridge was finished only in the Soviet era, in 1927.

Maxim Gorky, a famous Russian writer, was born in Nizhny Novgorod in 1868. In 1932, he was invited by Joseph Stalin to return to the USSR. Gorky accepted the invitation, and, after that, the city was renamed Gorky in his honor.

During the industrialization of the 1930s, several large engineering plants were built in the city, including one the largest Soviet automaker - Gorky Automobile Plant (GAZ). During the Second World War, Nizhny Novgorod was the largest supplier of military equipment. Nizhny Novgorod was closed to foreigners for a long time because of numerous military facilities located in the city.

Andrei Sakharov, a world famous Russian physicist and Nobel Prize winner, was exiled there to prevent any contacts with foreigners from 1980 till 1986. The “closed” status of Gorky came to an end in 1990, when the original name Nizhny Novgorod was returned to the city.

Nizhny Novgorod streets

Nizhniy Novgorod city street

Nizhniy Novgorod city street

Author: Denis Plekhanov

Nizhny Novgorod street

Nizhny Novgorod street

Author: Eugene Ivanov

Nizhny Novgorod street view

Nizhny Novgorod street view

Author: Sergey S. Kazenyuk


Nizhny Novgorod features

Nizhny Novgorod is located 417 km east of Moscow, in the center of the East European Plain, at the confluence of two major waterways of the European part of Russia - the Oka and Volga rivers. This location made the city an important shipping center of the country. The Oka divides the city into two parts.

Nizhny Novgorod is the fifth most populous city in Russia. The city is one of the largest Russian centers of river tourism. The historical part of the city rich in tourist attractions and is an important tourist center. UNESCO included Nizhny Novgorod in the list of Top 100 cities in the world which are of great historical and cultural value.

The climate is temperate continental with long cold winters and warm, relatively short summers. The average temperature in January is minus 8.9 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 19.4 degrees Celsius.

Strigino International Airport (IATA: GOJ, ICAO: UWGG) is located in the western part of Avtozavodsky district, 18 km south-west of the center of Nizhny Novgorod. Flights to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Izhevsk, Kirov, Penza, Perm, Samara, Saratov, Sochi, Surgut, Ulyanovsk as well as Dubai, Yerevan, Nha Trang, Prague, Tashkent are available.

Parks and forests cover one-fifth of the city. “Switzerland”, the biggest park, occupies 380 hectares. In total there are more than 15 parks in Nizhny Novgorod.

Nizhny Novgorod views

Chkalov staircase and the kremlin in Nizhny Novgorod

Chkalov staircase and the kremlin in Nizhny Novgorod

Author: Sergey Bulanov

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Nizhny Novgorod

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Nizhny Novgorod

Author: Evgeniy Balashov

Nizhny Novgorod mall

Nizhny Novgorod mall

Author: Diman Lazarev


Nizhny Novgorod attractions

There are more than 600 unique historic, architectural, and cultural monuments in Nizhny Novgorod. The historic center of the city, despite significant restructuring, has a significant number of historic civil buildings of the 18th - early 20th centuries, including a lot of monuments of wooden architecture.

Bolshaya Pokrovskaya (“Pokrovka”) is a historic street in Nizhny Novgorod. You can find a large number of beautiful houses of the 19th century here. In Soviet times it was called Sverdlova Street (“Sverdlovka”). Different bronze sculptures are placed all along the street.

Narodnogo Edinstva Square is located about a hundred meters from the Volga River, near the walls of the kremlin. Here you can find a monument to Minin and Pozharsky - a reduced copy of the monument standing on Red Square in Moscow. It is the beginning of another pedestrian street - Rozhdestvenskaya Street. The most popular attractions of the street - Church of the Nativity.

Nizhny Novgorod kremlin, a two-kilometer brick fortress with 13 towers, is the center of the city. Originally there were a lot of churches in the kremlin. Today, there is only one church - the Cathedral of Archangel Michael built no later than the middle of the 16th century, rebuilt in 1628-1631. It is the oldest building in the kremlin.

More Attractions…

In 1949, in the Lower Volga embankment, a big stairs named after Chkalov was built. It rises from the waterfront to Chkalov monument, Minin and Pozharsky Square, and St. George’s tower of the kremlin. A large number of tourists and locals gather here to enjoy views of the waterfront and the Volga. Also, next to the stairs, a variety of concerts and festivals are often held.

Nizhny Novgorod cable car is a cable ferry across the Volga River, between Nizhny Novgorod and the town of Bor. The main purpose was to provide an alternative form of passenger transport in addition to the river taxi, electric trains, and buses. Recently, it has become very popular among tourists.

Nizhny Novgorod museums

There are a lot of different museums on the territory of Nizhny Novgorod. The most popular museums are:

  • Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin,
  • Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum located on the territory of the kremlin,
  • A.M.Gorky Museum (Minina Street, 26),
  • A.D.Sakharov Museum (Gagarina Street, 214),
  • Russian Museum of Photography (Piskunova Street, 9a),
  • The open air museum “Russian Steam Locomotives” (Gorokhovetskaya Street),
  • Museum of Wooden Architecture (Gorbatovskaya Street, 41).

Nizhny Novgorod theaters

  • State Drama Theater named after Gorky. One of the oldest Russian theaters (1798) (Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street, 13),
  • State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet named after Pushkin (Belinski Street, 59),
  • Nizhny Novgorod Puppet Theater (Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street, 39a),
  • “Comedy” theater (Gruzinskaya Street, 23),
  • State Youth Theater (Gorky Street, 145).

Nizhny Novgorod city of Russia photos

Nizhny Novgorod places of interest

Nizhny Novgorod architecture

Nizhny Novgorod architecture

Author: Sergey Bulanov

Nizhny Novgorod mosque

Nizhny Novgorod mosque

Author: Sergey Bulanov

Church of the Icon of the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow in Nizhny Novgorod

Church of the Icon of the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow in Nizhny Novgorod

Author: Sergey Bulanov


Let's go on a tour of Nizhny Novgorod streets - the Church of the Cathedral of Blessed Virgin Mary


The comments of our visitors

Mrs. Croft
Pictures and History
I appreciated the short history and pictures, they were just what I was looking for as an overview of Nizhny. Great photos!

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