The city is considered to be the birthplace of the Snow-maiden, granddaughter of Father the Frost (Santa Claus). It was here that the daughter of Santa Claus was born in the fairy tale of Alexander Ostrovsky, a prominent Russian playwright.
Since old times, Kostroma was famous for its craftsmen, who made beautiful household utensils and toys. Today, you can buy original home decorations made of wood, clay, and ceramics. Hand painted ceramic dishes are especially popular among visitors.
One of the gems of Kostroma is St Ipaty Monastery. It was patronized by the Romanov Dynasty. St Ipaty Monastery was founded in the 14th century by the Ternov family of feudal lords, who were the forebears of the Godunovs. Here in 1613 young Mikhail Romanov was blessed to become the Tsar of Russia.
The History of Kostroma
The city was founded in 1152 by prince Jury Dolgoruki. In the middle of 16th century it was a fortress on the left bank of the Volga River.
The name “Kostroma” is explained by historians in different ways. According to one of the legend the city was named after the Kostroma River, which flows in the city. But the most popular idea goes back to the times when on the banks of the Volga River people used to make large “kostry” (translation to English - “bonfires”) and later put them down the river. According to Slavic Folklore ancient Russ celebrated it on St John Day.
There is a remarkable event taking place in 1613 in Kostroma when the first Tsar from Romanov Dynasty- Mikhail Romanov was elected the Tsar of Russia.
In the middle of 17th century Kostroma became the fourth city after Moscow, Yaroslavl and Kazan.
In the old days, the town was known as “the flax capital of the north” because Western Europe was supplied with the world’s finest sail-cloth from it.
There are many old churches in Kostroma: the Resurrection Church-on-Debre with the marvelous carved iconostasis of the Three Saints Chapel, the Church of the Transfiguration, the Church of St. Elijah-at-the-Gorodishche, the Church of St. John the Divine.
In the 1770s Russian towns including Kostroma were re-planned. Many buildings and palaces were built such as Special Stalls (the Krashyye Stalls, the Bolshiye Stalls, Fish Stalls, Oil Stalls, and Tobacco Stalls) for trade. There is a splendid Mansion (Palace) of Borshchov who was the participant of the War 1812 and others.
What you will See on Kostroma Tour
- Holy Trinity St Ipaty Monastery - the cradle of the Romanov dynasty, an object of Russian cultural heritage. You will enjoy the graceful Trinity Cathedral. The cathedral's frescos are the finest surviving examples of 17th century frescos.
- Church of the Resurrection on Debrya - one of the most visited attractions. The church was built at the expense of the residents. It has got a festive view with its rich tiles, bright colors, and skillful carvings. Pilgrims come here for the sake of worshiping to the ancient icons of the XVII century.
- Bogoyavlensky Convent dates back to the 15th century. It was founded by Nikita Kostromskoy, a disciple of Sergius of Radonezh, the wonderworker. The convent's main building is the Epiphany and St Anastasia the Roman's Eparchial Cathedral which incorporates the Epiphany Cathedral.
- Ostrovsky Pavilion - one of the symbols of Kostroma. This stylish snow-white rotunda is located on the bank of the Volga River. You will enjoy magnificent views of the Volga. The pavilion is named after the Russian playwright Alexander Ostrovsky.
- Snow-Maiden’s House - the birthplace of the fabulous granddaughter of Father Frost. The house is part of the entertainment complex with gift shops, restaurants of Russian cuisine and playgrounds.
- Kostroma Sloboda - an open-air museum of wooden architecture. Inside there are many beautiful examples of 18th century wooden churches, houses, huts and steam-houses which were bought here from neighboring villages. The most famous exhibit is the Church of the Mother of God from the village of Kholm, the oldest wooden church.