|2998 The view of the Nizhny Novgorod Main Trade Fair building |
from the belfry of Nizhny Novgorod Seminar
Located about 400 km east of Moscow, where the Oka empties into the Volga, Nizhny Novgorod (known from 1932 to 1990 as Gorky, after the writer Maxim Gorky, who was born there) was founded in 1221 by Prince Yuri II of Vladimir. Originally the name was just Novgorod (Newtown), but to distinguish it from the other, older and well-known Novgorod to the west, the city was commonly called "Novgorod of the Lower lands". Later it was transformed into the contemporary name of the city that literally means "Lower Newtown".
It 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. After the city's incorporation into the Grand Duchy of Moscow in 1392, the local princes took the name Shuisky and settled in Moscow. After being burnt by the 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. The fortress was strong enough to withstand Tatar sieges in 1520 and 1536. In 1612, the so-called national militia expelled the Polish troops from Moscow, thus putting an end to the Time of Troubles and establishing the rule of the Romanov dynasty. In the course of the following century, the city prospered commercially. A particular style of architecture and icon painting, known as the Stroganov style, developed there at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
In 1817, the Nizhny Novgorod Fair, one of the liveliest in the world, was transferred to Nizhny Novgorod, and started to attract millions of visitors annually. By the mid-19th century, the city was firmly established as the trade capital of the Russian Empire, and by the start of the 20th century the city was also a first-rank industrial hub. During much of the Soviet era, the city was closed to foreigners to safeguard the security of Soviet military research and production facilitie. Andrei Sakharov was exiled there during 1980-1986. An end to the "closed" status of the city accompanied the reinstatement of the city's original name in 1990.
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. After Bolshevik devastation, the only ancient edifice left within the kremlin walls is the Archangel Cathedral. There are more than six hundred unique historic, architectural, and cultural monuments in the city. On the other hand, there are about two hundred municipal and regional art and cultural institutions. A singular monument of industrial architecture is a 128-meter-high open-work hyperboloid tower.
About the stamps
The first two stamps are part of a series dedicated to Russian Kremlins, about which I wrote here. The third stamp is part of the series FIFA Football World Cup 2018 - Russia, about which I wrote here.The last stamp is part of the series Weapon of the Victory. Automotive vehicles, about which I wrote here.
Nizhny Novgorod - Wikipedia
Sender: Tatyana Apostolova / Putyunya (postcrossing) RU-5528830
Sent from Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novgorod Oblast / Russia), on 13.03.2017
Photo: A. Lifanov