Nizhny Novgorod: Wikis


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Nizhny Novgorod (English)
Нижний Новгород (Russian)
—  City[1]  —
City of oblast significance[1]
Nizhny Novgorod Kanavinsky Bridge.JPG
View of Nizhny Novgorod near the Oka River
Map of Russia - Nizhny Novgorod Oblast (2008-03).svg
Location of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast on the map of Russia
Nizhny Novgorod is located in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast
Location of Nizhny Novgorod on the map of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast
Coordinates: 56°20′N 44°00′E / 56.333°N 44°E / 56.333; 44Coordinates: 56°20′N 44°00′E / 56.333°N 44°E / 56.333; 44
Coat of arms Nizhny Novgorod.gif
Coat of arms of Nizhny Novgorod
Flag of Nizhny Novgorod.svg
Flag of Nizhny Novgorod
City Day Second Sunday of September[2]
Administrative status (as of July 2009)
Country Russia
Federal subject Nizhny Novgorod Oblast[1]
Administrative center of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast[1]
Municipal status (as of September 2009)
Urban okrug Nizhny Novgorod Urban Okrug[3]
Head[4] Vadim Bulavinov[5]
Representative body City Duma[6]
Area 410.68 km2 (158.6 sq mi)[7]
Population (2002 Census) 1,311,252 inhabitants[8]
Rank 4th
- Density 3,193 /km2 (8,300/sq mi)[9]
Population (2009) 1,280,355 inhabitants[7]
Time zone MSK/MSD (UTC+3/+4)
Founded 1221[10]
City status since 1221[7]
Previous names Nizhny Novgorod (until September 1932),[10] Gorky (until October 22, 1990)[11]
Postal code(s) in the 603000–603998 range[12]
Dialing code(s) +7 831[7]
Official website

Nizhny Novgorod (Russian: Ни́жний Но́вгород), colloquially shortened as Nizhny, is the fourth largest city in Russia, ranking after Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Novosibirsk. Population: 1,311,252 (Russian Census (2002);[8] 1,438,133 (1989 Census).[13] It is the economic and cultural center of the vast Volga-Vyatka economic region, and also the administrative center of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and Volga Federal District.

From 1932 to 1990, the city was known as Gorky (Го́рький),[11] after the writer Maxim Gorky who was born there.

The city is an important economic, transport and cultural center of the nation.




A seat of medieval princes

After the destruction of the Mordvin Inäzor Obram administrative centre and fillfort named Obran Osh (Ashli) at the site of future stone Kremlin in 1220, a small Russian wooden hillfort was founded by Grand Duke Yuri II of Russia in 1221. Located at the confluence of two most important rivers of his principality, the Volga (Mordvin "Rav" or "Rava"), and the Oka, and Obran Osh was renamed Nizhny Novgorod. Its name literally means Lower Newtown, to distinguish it from the older Novgorod. Its independent existence was threatened by the continuous Mordvin attacks against it. The major attempt made by Inäzor Purgaz from Arzamas in January 1229 was repulsed, but after the death of Yuri II on March 4, 1238 at the Battle of Sit River the Mongols occupied the fortress and the remnants of small Nizhny Novgorod settlement which surrendered without any resistance in order to preserve what had been developed since Purgaz's attack eight years earlier. Later a major stronghold for border protection, Nizhny Novgorod fortress took advantage of a natural moat formed by the two rivers.

Along with Moscow and Tver, Nizhny Novgorod was among several newly-founded towns that escaped Mongol devastation on account of their insignificance, but grew into (great) centers in vassalic Russian political life during the period of the Tatar Yoke. With the agreement of the Mongol Khan, Nizhny Novgorod was incorporated into the Vladimir - Suzdal Principality in 1264. After 86 years its importance further increased when the seat of the powerful Suzdal Principality was moved here from Gorodets in 1350. Grand Duke Dmitry Konstantinovich (1323-1383) sought to make his capital a rival worthy of Moscow; he built a stone citadel and several churches and was a patron of historians. The earliest extant manuscript of the Russian Primary Chronicle, the Laurentian Codex, was written for him by the local monk Laurentius in 1377.

The strongest fortress of Muscovy

Kuzma Minin appeals to the people of Nizhny Novgorod to raise a volunteer army against the Poles.
Church of the Nativity of Our Lady, built by the Stroganovs
Minin Square

After the city's incorporation into Muscovy (1392), the local princes took the name Shuisky and settled in Moscow, where they were prominent at the court and briefly ascended the throne in the person of Vasili IV. After being burnt by the powerful Crimean Tatar chief Edigu in 1408, Nizhny Novgorod was restored and regarded by the Muscovites primarily as a great stronghold in their wars against the Tatars of Kazan. The enormous red-brick kremlin, one of the strongest and earliest preserved citadels in Russia, was built in 1508–1511 under the supervision of Peter the Italian. The fortress was strong enough to withstand Tatar sieges in 1520 and 1536.

In 1612, the so-called national militia, gathered by a local merchant, Kuzma Minin, and commanded by Knyaz Dmitry Pozharsky expelled the Polish troops from Moscow, thus putting an end to the "Time of Troubles" and establishing the rule of the Romanov dynasty. The main square before the kremlin is named after Minin and Pozharsky, although it is locally known simply as "Minin Square." Minin's remains are buried in the citadel. (In commemoration of these events, on October 21, 2005, an exact copy of the Red Square statue of Minin and Pozharsky was placed in front of St John the Baptist Church, which is believed to be the place from where the call to the people had been proclaimed.)

In the course of the following century, the city prospered commercially and was chosen by the Stroganovs (the wealthiest merchant family of Russia) as a base for their operations. A particular style of architecture and icon painting, known as the Stroganov style, developed there at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The historical coat of arms of Nizhny Novgorod in 1981 was: A red deer with black horns and hooves on a white field. The modern coat of arms circa 1992 is the same, but the shield can be adorned with golden oak leaves tied with a ribbon with colours of the Russian national flag.

Great trade centre

This building formerly housed the Great Russian Fair

In 1817, the Makaryev Fair, one of the liveliest in the world, was transferred to Nizhny Novgorod, which thereupon started to attract millions of visitors annually. By the mid-19th century, the city on the Volga was firmly established as the trade capital of the Russian Empire. The world's first radio receiver of engineer Alexander Popov and the world's first hyperboloid tower and lattice shells-coverings of engineer Vladimir Shukhov were demonstrated at the All-Russia industrial and art exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod in 1896. According to official Imperial Russian statistics the population of Nizhny Novgorod as of 14 January 1913 was 97.000 (rounded to the nearest thousand).

The largest industrial enterprise was the Sormovo Iron Works which was connected by the company´s own railway to Moscow station in the upper part of Nizhny Novgorod. The private Moscow — Kazan Railway Company´s station served the lower part of the town. Other industries gradually developed, and by the dawn of the 20th century it was a first-rank industrial hub as well. Henry Ford helped build a large truck and tractor plant (GAZ) in the late 1920s, sending along engineers and mechanics, including future labour leader Walter Reuther.

The Soviet Era

Shukhov towers built in Nizhny Novgorod suburbs near Dzerzhinsk in 1927–1929

There were no bridges over the Volga or Oka before the October Revolution in 1917. The first bridge over the Volga was started by the Moscow-Kazan Railway Company in 1914, but only finished in the Soviet Era when the railway to Kotelnich was opened for service in 1927.

The famous writer Maxim Gorky was born in Nizhny Novgorod in 1868 as Alexei Maximovich Peshkov. In his novels he realistically described the dismal life of the city proletariat. Even during his lifetime, the city was renamed Gorky following his return to the Soviet Union in 1932 on invitation of Joseph Stalin. The city bore Gorky's name until 1991. His childhood home is preserved as a museum, known as the Kashirin House (Russian: Домик Каширина), after Alexei's grandfather who owned the place.

During much of the Soviet era, the city was closed to foreigners to safeguard the security of Soviet military research and production facilities, even though it was a popular stopping point for Soviet tourists traveling up and down the Volga in tourist boats. Unusually for a Soviet city of that size, even the street maps were not available for sale until the mid-1970s. Mátyás Rákosi, communist leader of Hungary died here in 1971.

The physicist and Nobel laureate Andrei Sakharov was exiled there during 1980-1986 to limit his contacts with foreigners.

An end to the "closed" status of the city has accompanied the reinstatement of the city's original name in 1990.[11]


Nizhniy Novgorod Oblast ranks seventh in Russia in industrial output, while the processing industry predominates in the local economy. More than 633 industrial companies employ nearly 700 000 people, or 62% of the workforce involved in material production. Industry generates 83% of the regional GDP and makes 89% of all material expenditures. The leading sectors are engineering and metalworking, followed by the chemical and petrochemical industries and the forestry, woodworking, and paper industries. The first three sectors account for about 75% of all industrial production.

Nizhniy Novgorod Oblast has traditionally been attractive to investors. In 2002, Moody's rating agency confirmed a Caa1 rating based on the region's long-term foreign currency liabilities [1].

The region maintains trade relations with many countries and has an export surplus. The largest volume of exports goes to Ukraine, Belarus, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Belgium, and France. Imports come mainly from Ukraine, Germany, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Austria, the Netherlands, China, and the United States.

The stock market infrastructure is quite well developed in Nizhniy Novgorod, and the exchange business is expanding. Companies and organizations registered in the region include 1153 joint-stock companies, 63 investment institutions, 34 commercial banks, 35 insurance companies, 1 voucher investment fund, 1 investment fund, 17 nongovernmental pension funds, 2 associations of professional stock market dealers, and 3 exchanges (stock, currency, and agricultural). Nizhny Novgorod Region is noted for having relatively highly developed market relations.

Information technology

Nizhniy Novgorod is one of the centers of the IT Industry in Russia. It ranks among the leading Russian cities in terms of the quantity of software R&D providers . In Nizhniy Novgorod there are number of offshore outsourcing software developers, including Devetel Ltd., MERA Networks, RealEast Networks, and Teleca, that specialize in delivering services to telecommunication vendors. Also Intel has opened a software R&D center with more than 500 engineers in Nizhniy Novgorod.

There are 25 scientific R&D institutions focusing on telecommunications, radio technology, theoretical and applied physics, and 33 higher educational institutions, among them are Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy, Nizhny Novgorod State University, Nizhny Novgorod Technical University, as well as Nizhny Novgorod Institute of Information Technologies (former MERA Networks training center), that focuses on information technologies, software development, system administration, telecommunications, cellular networks, Internet technologies, and IT management.

Nizhniy Novgorod has also been chosen as one of four sites for building an IT-oriented technology park—a special zone that has an established infrastructure and enjoys a favorable tax and customs policy.

Engineering industry

The engineering industry is the leading industry of Nizhniy Novgorod economy. It is mainly oriented towards transportation, i.e., the auto industry, shipbuilding, diesel engines, aircraft manufacture, and machine tools, with the auto industry being the leading sector (50%). Largest plants are:

  • JSC "Gorky Automobile Plant" - personal cars, trucks, armored personnel carriers, and other autos;
  • JSC "Krasnoye Sormovo" - river and sea ships, submarines;
  • JSC "Sokol" - airplanes, jets;
  • JSC "Nitel" - TV sets;
  • JSC "RUMO" - diesel generators;
  • JSC "Krasnyy yakor" - anchor chains;
  • JSC "ZeFS" - metal-cutting machines.


Construction of metro bridge, April 2008
One of the three bridges spanning the Oka
Riverside terminal

Gorkovskaya Railroad (Горьковская железная дорога), which operates some 5,700 km of rail lines throughout the Middle Volga region (of which some 1,200 are in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast), is headquartered in Nizhny Novgorod. Overnight trains provide access to Nizhny Novgorod from Moscow. Since December 2002, a fast train transports passengers between Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow in less than five hours. One can continue from Nizhny Novgorod eastward along the Trans-Siberian Railway, with direct trains to major cities in the Urals and Siberia, as well as to Beijing.

Nizhny Novgorod Strigino Airport has direct flights to major Russian cities, as well as to Frankfurt (three flights a week by Lufthansa). The air base Sormovo was an important military airlift facility, and Pravdinsk air base was an interceptor aircraft base during the Cold War. S7 Airlines goes to Moscow Domodedovo airport daily.

Nizhny Novgorod is an important center of Volga cargo and passenger shipping. In the summer, cruise vessels operate between Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Astrakhan. In 2006 a small number of Meteor-class hydrofoils resumed operations on the Volga river.

The city is served by Russian highway M-7 (Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod – Kazan – Ufa), and is a hub of the regional highway network.

Public transport within the city is provided by a small subway system (Nizhny Novgorod Metro), tramways, marshrutkas or minibuses, buses and trolleybuses. Electric and diesel commuter trains run to suburbs in several directions.

Free shuttle buses run from several points in the city to the MEGA shopping complex, which opened in October 2006 in Fedyakovo, a few kilometers to the east of the Nizhny Novgorod city line.[14]

City layout

Nizhny Novgorod is divided by the Oka River into two distinct parts. The Upper City (Russian: Нагорная часть, Nagornaya Chast) is located on the hilly eastern (right) bank of the Oka. It includes three of the eight city districts into which the city is administratively divided:

Historic center of Nizhny Novgorod, including Church of the Nativity and Kremlin walls on the hill
  • Nizhegorodsky (the historical and administrative center of the city);
  • Prioksky;
  • Sovetsky.

The Lower City (Russian: Заречная часть, Zarechnaya Chast) occupies the low (western) side of the Oka, and includes five city districts:

All of the today's lower city was annexed to Nizhny Novgorod in 1929–1931.

The city has many industrial suburbs, such as Kstovo, Dzerzhinsk, and Bor. The town of Semyonov, to the north of Nizhny Novgorod, is known as a craft center for Khokhloma wood painting. Another suburb, Balakhna, is noted for its medieval architecture.

Main sights

Much of the city downtown is built in the Russian Revival and Stalin Empire styles. The dominating feature of the city skyline is the grand Kremlin (1500-11), with its red-brick towers. After Bolshevik devastation, the only ancient edifice left within the kremlin walls is the tent-like Archangel Cathedral (1624-31), first built in stone in the 13th century.

Cultural features

Planetarium and circus

There are more than six hundred unique historic, architectural, and cultural monuments in the city; that gave grounds to UNESCO to include Nizhny Novgorod in the list of 100 cities of the world which are of great historical and cultural value.

There are about two hundred municipal and regional art and cultural institutions within Nizhny Novgorod. Among these institutions there are eight theatres, five concert halls, ninety-seven libraries (with branches), seventeen movie theaters (including five movie theaters for children), twenty-five institutions of children optional education, eight museums (sixteen including branches), and seven parks.

Nizhny Novgorod art gallery

The art gallery in Nizhny Novgorod is a large and important art gallery and museums of human history and culture.

Nizhny Novgorod has a great and extraordinary art gallery with more than 12,000 exhibits, an enormous collection of works by Russian artists such as Viktor Vasnetsov, Karl Briullov, Ivan Shishkin, Ivan Kramskoi, Ilya Yefimovich Repin, Isaak Iljitsch Lewitan, Vasily Surikov, Ivan Aivazovsky, there are also greater collections of works by Boris Kustodiev and Nicholas Roerich, not only Russian art is part of the exhibition it include also a vast accumulation of Western European art like works by David Teniers the Younger, Bernardo Bellotto, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Pieter de Grebber, Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, and lot more.

Finally what makes this gallery extremely important is the amazing collection Russian avant-garde with works by Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov and so on. There is also collection of East Asian art.


Pechersky Ascension Monastery
New Fair Cathedral (Aleksandr Nevsky Cathedral)
Saviour (Old Fair) Cathedral

Other notable landmarks are the two great medieval abbeys. The Pechersky Ascension Monastery features the austere five-domed cathedral (1632) and two rare churches surmounted by tent roofs, dating from the 1640s. The Annunciation monastery, likewise surrounded by strong walls, has another five-domed cathedral (1649) and the Assumption church (1678). The only private house preserved from that epoch formerly belonged to the merchant Pushnikov.

There can be little doubt that the most original and delightful churches in the city were built by the Stroganovs in the nascent Baroque style. Of these, the Virgin's Nativity Church (1719) graces one of the central streets, whereas the Church of Our Lady of Smolensk (1694-97) survives in the former village of Gordeevka (now, part of the city's Kanavinsky District), where the Stroganov palace once stood.

Other notable churches include:

There is also a mosque in Sennaya Square, where the Muslim populations of the city go for Friday prayers, Islamic activities and activities which are organised by the mosque. There is also a small shop to buy halal meats. Most of the Muslims in this city are Tatars.

The centrally located Nizhny Novgorod Synagogue was built in 1881-83; disused during the Soviet era, it was renovated and reopened ca. 1991.


A singular monument of industrial architecture is a 128-metre-high open-work hyperboloid tower built on the bank of the Oka near Dzerzhinsk as part of a powerline river crossing by the eminent engineer and scientist Vladimir Shukhov in 1929.

A staircase connecting the Kremlin with the Volga river offers a panoramic view of the surroundings. The staircase itself was constructed in the late 1940s by German prisoners of war forced to labour around Gorky.


Nizhny Novgorod is home to the following educational facilities:

  • N. I. Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod
  • Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University
  • Nizhny Novgorod State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering
  • Nizhny Novgorod State University of Linguistics
  • Nizhny Novgorod Commercial Institute
  • Nizhny Novgorod State Pedagogical University

There are also twenty research institutes located in the city.


The city ice hockey team Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod play in the KHL. The city is represented at football by FC Volga Nizhny Novgorod who play in the Russian First Division. The other footbal team from Nizhny Novgorod, FC Lokomotiv Nizhny Novgorod who had played in the Russian Premier League and Intertoto Cup became defunct in 2006. The city field hockey team are HC Start. The city bandy team Start plays in the highest division of the Russian Bandy League.[15] In 2002 they reached the final against Vodnik. Both matches were played in Arkhangelsk due to warm weather. After that an artificial ice was built.

Notable people


  • Population (Jan 2009): 1,272,599 [16]
  • Births (2008): 12,969
  • Deaths (2008): 20,757

International relations

Volga riverside view

Twin towns — Sister cities

Nizhny Novgorod is twinned with:


The climate in the region is continental, and it is similar to the climate in Moscow, although colder in winter, which lasts from late November until late March with a permanent snow cover.

Weather data for Nizhny Novgorod (1971 - 2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 5.5
Average high °C (°F) -6.6
Average low °C (°F) -13.0
Record low °C (°F) -41.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 40
Source:[18] 19.06.2009


  1. ^ a b c d Order #1-od, Article 3.2
  2. ^ Charter of Nizhny Novgorod, Article 2.2
  3. ^ Resolution #116, Urban Okrugs, Item 1
  4. ^ Charter of Nizhny Novgorod, Article 26.1.2
  5. ^ Official website of Nizhny Novgorod. Vadim Yevgenyevich Bulavinov, Head of the Administration of Nizhny Novgorod (Russian)
  6. ^ Charter of Nizhny Novgorod, Article 26.1.1
  7. ^ a b c d Official website of Nizhny Novgorod. Overview of the city (Russian)
  8. ^ a b Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек (Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2009-08-19.  
  9. ^ The value of density was calculated automatically by dividing the 2002 Census population by the area specified in the infobox. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox does not necessarily correspond to the area of the entity proper or is reported for the same year as the Census (2002).
  10. ^ a b Charter of Nizhny Novgorod, Article 1.2
  11. ^ a b c Decree of October 22, 1990, Article 1
  12. ^ Russian Post. Postal Code Search (Russian)
  13. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров. (All Union Population Census of 1989. Present population of union and autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts and okrugs, krais, oblasts, districts, urban settlements, and villages serving as district administrative centers.)" (in Russian). Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года (All-Union Population Census of 1989). Demoscope Weekly (website of the Institute of Demographics of the State University—Higher School of Economics. 1989. Retrieved 2007-12-13.  
  14. ^ How to get to MEGA
  15. ^ Video from a game in the Russian Cup against Zorky from Krasnogorsk:
  16. ^
  17. ^ "List of Twin Towns in the Ruhr Destrict". © 2009 Retrieved 2009-10-28.  
  18. ^ "" (in Russian). Retrieved September 8 2007.  
  • Munro-Butler-Johnstone, Henry Alexander, A trip up the Volga to the fair of Nijni-Novgorod, Oxford: J. Parker and co., 1876.
  • Fitzpatrick, Anne Lincoln, The Great Russian Fair: Nizhnii Novgorod, 1840-90, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan, in association with St. Antony’s College, Oxford, 1990. ISBN 0-333-42437-9


  • Городская Дума города Нижнего Новгорода. №91 23 ноября 2005 г. «Устав города Нижнего Новгорода», в ред. №54 от 27 мая 2009 г. Вступил в силу с 1 января 2006 г., но не ранее официального опубликования после государственной регистрации, за исключением подпункта 13 пункта 10 статьи 43, вступающего в силу в сроки, установленные федеральным законом, определяющим порядок организации и деятельности муниципальной милиции. Опубликован: "Нижегородский рабочий", №234/15894, 30 декабря 2005 г. (City Duma of the City of Nizhny Novgorod. #91 November 23, 2005 Charter of the City of Nizhny Novgorod, as amended by the #54 of May 27, 2009. Effective as of January 1, 2006, but not earlier than the official publication date following the state registration, and with the exception of subitem 13 of item 10 of Article 43, which takes effect during the timeframe to be set by a federal law legislating the organization and functioning of the municipal militsiya).
  • Государственно-правовой департамент Нижегородской области. Приказ №1-од от 16 января 2009 г. «Об утверждении реестра административно-территориальных образований, городских и сельских населённых пунктов Нижегородской области», в ред. Приказа №3-од от 1 июля 2009 г «О внесении изменений в реестр административно-территориальных образований, городских и сельских населённых пунктов Нижегородской области». Опубликован: "Нижегородская правда", №№18(25048)–24(25054), 2 февраля – 7 марта 2008 г. (State Legal Department of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. Order #1-od of January 16, 2009 On the Adoption of the Registry of the the Administrative-Territorial Formations, Urban and Rural Localities of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, as amended by the Order #3-od of July 1, 2009 On Amending the Registry of the the Administrative-Territorial Formations, Urban and Rural Localities of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. ).
  • Правительство Нижегородской области. Постановление №116 от 4 мая 2005 г. «О перечне муниципальных образований Нижегородской области», в ред. Постановления №499 от 16 июля 2009 г. «О внесении изменения в постановление Правительства Нижегородской области от 4 мая 2005 г. №116». Опубликован: "Нижегородские новости", №109(3281), 18 июня 2005 г. (Government of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. Resolution #116 of May 4, 2005 On the Registry of the Municipal Formations of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, as amended by the Resolution #499 of July 16, 2009 On Amending Resolution of the Government of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast #116 of May 4, 2005. ).
  • Президиум Верховного Совета РСФСР. Указ от 22 октября 1990 г. «О переименовании города Горького в город Нижний Новгород и Горьковской области в Нижегородскую области». (Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. Decree of October 22, 1990 On Changing the Name of the City of Gorky to the City of Nizhny Novgorod and the Name of Gorky Oblast to Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. ).

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Nizhny Novgorod on the Oka
Nizhny Novgorod on the Oka

Nizhny Novgorod (Russian: Ни́жний Но́вгород), colloquially shortened to Nizhny, is Russia's fifth largest city, ranking after Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. It had a population in 2005 of 1,297,600. It is the economic and cultural center of the vast Volga economic region, and also the administrative center of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and Volga Federal District.

From 1932 to 1990 the city was known as Gorky (Го́рький), after the writer Maxim Gorky. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, the old name was restored.



The city was founded by Grand Duke George II of Russia in 1221 at the confluence of two most important rivers of his principality, the Volga and the Oka. Its name literally means Newtown the Lower, to distinguish it from the older Novgorod. A major stronghold for border protection, Nizhny Novgorod fortress took advantage of a natural moat formed by the two rivers.

Along with Moscow and Tver, Nizhny Novgorod was among several newly-founded towns that escaped Mongol devastation on account of its insignificance and grew up into important centers of Russian political life during the period of Tatar yoke. For a short period of time it was the capital of the Suzdal Principality and competed with Moscow for the power in the region. However the competition with Moscow was lost and in 1392 the city was incorporated into Muscovy. Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin was built in 1508-1511 (under supervision of the Italian fortress engineers) and became one of the strongest Russian citadels. There is a legend saying that the project was initially developed with participation of Leonardo da Vinci. However there is no documented proof of Leonardo's work for that project, the only thing the legend is based on - the striking resemblance of Leonardo's sketches and the actual kremlin schemes. The fortress was strong enough to withstand Tatar sieges in 1520 and 1536.

In 1612, the so-called national militia, gathered by a local merchant Kuzma Minin and commanded by Knyaz Dmitry Pozharsky expelled the Polish troops from Moscow, thus putting an end to the Time of Troubles and establishing the rule of the Romanov dynasty.

In 1817, the Makariev Fair, one of the liveliest in the world the 16th-18th centuries, was transferred to Nizhny Novgorod, which thereupon started to attract numerous visitors and by the mid-19th century it turned Nizhny Novgorod into trade capital of the Russian Empire.

Under the Soviet rules the trade connections of the city were abandoned and Nizhny Novgorod turned to become an important industrial centre instead. During the communist time the city was closed to foreigners to safeguard the security of Soviet military research. The physicist and the Nobel laureate Andrei Sakharov was exiled there during 1980-1986 to limit his contacts with foreigners.


The city is divided by the river Oka into two major parts: the Upper city (Nagornaya chast) on the hilly right side and the Lower city (Nizhnyaya or Zarechnaya chast - what literally means "the part over the river") on the left bank of the river. The Upper city is the old historical part of Nizhny Novgorod, whereas the Lower city is larger, newer and consists of more industrial districts.

The Upper city is administratively divided into three districts (rayons):

  • Nizhegorodsky (the central historical part, plus the part along the river Volga)
  • Prioksky (is situated along the river Oka)
  • Sovetsky

The districts of the Lower city:

  • Kanavinsky (Kananvino)
  • Sormovsky (Sormovo)
  • Avtozavodsky (Avtozavod)
  • Moskovsky
  • Leninsky

Get in

By train

Trains are probably the best and the most convenient way to get to Nizhny Novgorod. Most of the Trans-Siberian trains (including the legendary train No.1 between Moscow and Vladivostok and the train from Moscow to Beijing) pass via Nizhny Novgorod.

Note: In train timetables the old name of the city, "Gorky(Горький)", is still used as the destination name instead of Nizhny Novgorod.

By train from Moscow:

The fastest option is to take Burevestnik express which commutes between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod twice per day (departure from Moscow's Kursky station at 1400 and at 1655). It will take around 4 and a half hours to get Moskovsky station in Nizhny. There are also comfortable overnight trains departing from Moscow's Kazansky station at 2225 and from Kursky station at 2355. Of course it is possible to use other trains going eastward departing from various Moscow's stations.

By train from Saint Petersburg: the night train "Volga" departs everyday at 1732 and arrives to NN at 0850 next morning.

There are also direct train connections with Kazan, Samara, Kirov, Yaroslavl and other cities of the region (there are mainly night trains). As well as with Vladivostok, Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, Irkutsk, Astrakhan, Simferopol, Novorossiysk and many others.

By plane

The international airport of Nizhny Novgorod (GOJ) is situated in Strigino district what is about 30-40 minutes by taxi from city centre (if there are no traffic jams). The airport is very small. There are several daily flights to Moscow, also there are connections with Baku (Azerbaijan), Frankfurt (Germany), Kaliningrad, Novosibirsk, Surgut, Vienna (Austria), Yekaterinburg and Yerevan (Armenia). Most of the flights are operated by the Russian airlines, but there are also regular flights by Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines.

You can get to the airport by buses number 11, 20, T-29 or by taxi (normal price from city centre will be around 700 roubles - appr. 30 USD).

By car

Nizhny Novgorod is situated on M7/E30 road. The road is quite ok and it usually takes about 4 hours to get to Nizhny from Moscow. However the traffic jams in the suburbs of Moscow can make the way longer. The story about speed regimes and the road police will follow soon ...

By bus

There are regular state-owned daily bus connections with Moscow (from Kanavinskaya bus station in Nizhny to metro Schelkovskaya in Moscow) but the buses are very slow (it can take up to 10 hours with several stops in all the towns along the road) and rather uncomfortable. There are also faster private daily and overnight buses between Kursky railway terminal in Moscow and Moskovsky railway terminal in Nizhny Novgorod.

Also there are buses to Chuvashia, Mari El, and Mordovia (from main bus station near pl. Lyadova).


The Kremlin is worth a wander around and contains a church, war monument with eternal flame, a reasonable art museum and impressive views along the Volga River.

  • Jet fighter flight on Sokol Airbase in MiG Jets, Nizhny Novgorod, MiGFlug & Adventure GmbH, Badenerstrasse 286, 8004 Zurich, +41 44 500 50 10 (), [1]. Very nice but expensive experience. The customer can fly itself under close watch of the pilot. Supersonic flights and stratospheric Edge of Space flights are possible €12,500 for a MiG-29 Fulcrum flight including transfer from Moscow and all preparations.   edit
  • Chocolade (Shokolad, Шоколад) - 124, Belinsky Str. (Белинского, 124).
  • Etazhi (Этажи) - 63, Belinsky Str. (Белинского, 63) - [2].
  • Respublika (Республика) - the big mall right in front of Moskovsky station. [3]
  • Mega - the mall in Fedyakovo (the city southern suburb on the road to Kazan). Auchan, IKEA, OBI etc. [4]
  • Fantasy (Fantastika, Фантастика) - 178, Rodionov Str. (Родионова, 178). [5]
  • Tinkoff, Belinskii Street, Etazhi Shopping Complex (Bus stop : Opera Theatre (Operny teatr) or Poltavskaya Street). variety of food including Japanese cuisine. Its cheaper to go on weekdays from 12 - 4 pm to order their "business lunch" which is like a bento meal. moderate to high.  edit
  • McDonalds, - one in Gorky Square, one in front of Moskovsky railway station, one near Park Kultury of Avtozavod, one in Fedyakovo shopping mall....  edit
  • Hotel Oka, Gagarina avenue, 27 (Bus stop : Hotel Oka (Gostinitsa Oka)), (831) 275-94-49, [6]. offers a variety of room options and very close to the city centre. located next door to a newly opened supermarket 3300 Roubles.  edit



If you are planning to spend in Russia more than several days and you are going to communicate with your Russian colleagues by mobile (and send SMS to your home country) it would be reasonable not to spend on roaming and to buy a local SIM-card. There are five GSM networks in the city: three major Russian mobile networks ("big three": MTS, Beeline and Megafon), Tele 2 and NSS (HCC). Also there is a network working in AMPS/DAMPS standard and there was one in NMT-450 (not sure if it's still there). The prepaid tariffs are more or less the same in all GSM networks. A SIM-card can be purchased in numerous shops, kiosks, and special salons. Usually it costs you just to pay some 3 or 4$ for your future calls.

However if you come to Nizhny Novgorod with a SIM-card bought in Moscow or Saint Petersburg be aware that you will be charged higher prices for your calls since providers consider this as inner-Russian roaming (basically the country is divided in several huge roaming zones). Mobile numbers registered in Nizhny Novgorod are of the Volga region zone.

There are payphones in the streets however you can buy phonecards only in the post-offices and in few newspaper kiosks.


There are several wi-fi spots for free internet access in the city. For example, there is wi-fi coverage in the cafe at KARO cinema on the top floor of "Shokolad" (Chocolade) shopping-mall in Belinsky Str. Free Wi-Fi (with the purchase of a meal/drinks) is also available at a cafe called "Artbus" ("Артбус", the Russian word for "watermelon"). Be aware, though, that this cafe has a monthly bandwidth limit, so if you try to use the Wi-Fi there toward the end of the month, you may not succeed.

Internet cafes

In the Upper city (Nagornaya chast' Нагорная часть): ...

  • Stalker - 100 meters from Poltavskaya bus- and tram-stop in Belinsky Str., the exact address is 226 Gorky Str. (ул.Максима Горького, 226).
  • Shlyuz (Шлюз) - close to Sennaya Square, on campus of Linguistic University. It's more like a game club; the address is 36 Bolshaya Pecherskaya (ул. Большая Печерская, 36). Open 24/7. (??)
  • Also there is 24/7 internet access available at the main post-office in Gorky Square.

In the lower city (Zarechnaya chast' Зарэчная часть):

  • Gorodets
  • Makaryev Monastery
Routes through Nizhny Novgorod
MoscowKostroma  W noframe E  KirovYekaterinburg
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:



From Russian нижний (nížnij), lower) Новгород (Novgorod), Newtown)

Proper noun

Nizhny Novgorod


Nizhny Novgorod

  1. Fourth largest city in Russia.



  • Gorky (name from 1932 to 1990)

See also

Simple English

There is also a town Velikiy Novgorod with Novgorod in its name
File:Nischni Nowgorod Kreml
Kreml of Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod (Russian:Ни́жний Но́вгород, often shortened to Nizhny) is the fourth largest city in Russia. The first three are Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Novosibirsk. Nizhny Novgorod had a population of 1,311,252 in 2002, and one of 1,438,133 in 1989. It is the economic and cultural center of the vast Volga-Vyatka economic region, and also the administrative center of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and Volga Federal District.

From 1932 to 1990 the city was known as Gorky (Russian: Го́рький} after the writer Maxim Gorky.

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