Ivanovo Travel Guide
Ivanovo Travel Guide
Ivanovo is known as the calico capital of Russia because of the large textile factories that were founded here. Now it’s one of the gems of the Golden Ring, an industrial and commercial centre which grows every year. The city’s factories use the latest European technology for producing linen and cotton fabrics.
The history of Ivanovo began in the 19th century with the unification of two settlements, the village of Ivanovo and Voznesensky Posad. The first inhabitants of the local territories appeared many centuries before that. Today, archaeologists have found artefacts related to the so-called Fatyanovo culture on the site of the modern city. When scientists excavated mounds in the central part of the city, they identified objects of day-to-day life that belonged to members of the ancient Finno-Ugric tribes.
The first inhabitants of the village of Ivanovo settled on the banks of the River Uvod, near the road connecting Rostov the Great with Gorodets. The local museum contains documents which tell that in 1328, a village called Ivan existed on this site, which later became a large settlement.
Historians argue about the exact date of the foundation of Ivanovo. Some specialists propose 1561, when Ivan the Terrible, after his marriage to Maria Cherkasskaya, transferred this settlement to ethnic Circassians, the princes of Cherkassy. According to another version, the city's name appeared in honour of Ivan the Terrible for a generous gift.
During the Time of Troubles, the settlement was attacked by Polish and Lithuanian interventionists. In 1608-1609, there was a Polish camp here, where the Poles and Cossacks settled. In 1631, Ivanovo was transferred to the last representative of the Shuisky dynasty. During that time, the main occupation of local residents was the production of linen canvases and their colouring.
A new page in the history of Ivanovo began at the turn of the 16th -17th centuries. It was associated with the development of local crafts and trade. Its convenient geographical location and the spread of flax growing in the region contributed to the development of weaving, fabric dyeing and heeled canvases. At the same time, trade relations between the settlement’s inhabitants and Astrakhan became more active. Trade relations with Asia, India, the Caucasus and Persia also grew.
Where to Stay
Most tourists stay in Ivanovo for just one day, and the central hotels near the Uvod River would probably be the best idea. To experience the atmosphere of the 19th century, stay at the Onegin Hotel not far from Pushkin Square and the city’s main attractions. Arta is a modest hotel 1.6 km from the train station. Spa Hotel Best Western Russian Manchester is a luxury hotel with a panoramic restaurant, spa centre, spacious rooms and a swimming pool. The modern Hotel Rai offers designer rooms, delicious breakfasts and free parking on site. If you want to stay in a quieter place, have a look at Hotel Complex Sosnovy Bor, which is located in an ecological forest area. The town centre is 15 minutes’ drive from the hotel. You can also book a private apartment or a hostel via Airbnb or Booking.
Bars and Restaurants
Most cafes and restaurants are concentrated in the city centre. To try local and European dishes, take a look at Chaika, Ruff, Suare, Tanit or Chaliapin. At Aragvi, you can try Georgian cuisine and wines. If you prefer dancing and entertainment, visit Priboy. For a drink, visit Tet-A-Tet or Zaglyani.
What to See
- Svyato-Vvedensky Convent is one of Ivanovo’s Orthodox gems, located in the heart of the city. Today, more than 150 nuns live here. The construction of the temple has still not been completed to this day. People call it the Red Church because of the colour of the building. Patriarch Tikhon served here. During the Soviet era, the KGB archive was stored here. In 1991, the monastery complex was returned to the Orthodox Church. The monastery contains the relics of 168 Orthodox martyrs.
- The Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Ivanovo, also known as the White Church, was built in 1889, when the Russian style was especially popular in architecture recalling the traditions of the 17th century. The construction was carried out at the expense of M.N. Garelin, a famous Ivanovo manufacturer, and the project was developed by A.S. Kaminsky, who later started the restoration of other churches. In the Soviet years, the cathedral was closed from 1940 until November 1944. During this time, its rich decoration was destroyed. However, restoration began in the post-war years. An interesting fact relates to the interior of the cathedral. The iconostasis, formerly owned by A.V. Suvorov, was brought here in 1956 from the village of Sarajevo (Furmanovsky district).
- At the Stitching and Embroidery Factory, you can see and buy traditional folk embroidery and decorated curtains.
- The Ship House is the name of one of the houses in Ivanovo. Construction of the building was carried out in 1929-1930 on the order of the housing and cooperative association Second Workers’ Village. It was constructed by well-known architect Daniil Fedorovich Fridman. It’s a great example of constructivist architecture.
- St George’s Church is a new building with a golden dome built from 2005 to 2007. It’s a memorial to those who died in the Second World War.
- The Trinity Church near Pushkin Square is another modern religious building. It was built on the site of the previous church that was destroyed by the Soviets in 1931.
- Shchudrovsky Chamber is a famous ancient brick building and an authentic symbol of the city. It was built in the 17th century. It’s located near Revolution Square and forms part of the historical and local history museum. Initially, the building was built as a rural hut from Ivanovo. Inside the building are two rooms, one large, one small. The large room held a sizeable collection of books, which contained a record of dues collected from the peasants. The small room contained a cabinet of the clerk of the Cherkassky princes.
- The Museum of Art was opened in 1960. It contains paintings and sculptures by masters from Western Europe and Russia.
- The Bubnov Family House is a museum dedicated to Sergey Bubnov, a merchant and member of the city’s administration. Here, you will see how a typical merchant family lived in the 19th century.
- If you travel with kids, don’t forget to visit Ivanovo Zoo.
To get from Moscow to Ivanovo, you can take an overnight train which leaves late at night. Ivanovo Railway Station was built in 1932. Many bus routes connect it with the city centre. From here, you can get to Moscow, St Petersburg, Kovrov and Nizhny Novgorod. The bus station is in the south of the city. The most popular destinations by bus are Yaroslavl, Kostroma and Vladimir. The airport is 7 km from the centre. If you travel from Moscow, there are 5 flights a week to Ivanovo, the flight taking about one hour. Most schedules are available online.
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