Situated on the ancient trade route between Central Asia and northern Europe, Veliky Novgorod was Russia's first capital in the 9th century. Surrounded by churches and monasteries, it was a centre for Orthodox spirituality as well as Russian architecture.
The Novgorod Kremlin is the most ancient out of the preserved Kremlins in Russia, first mentioned in the chronicle of 1044. Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings is a Unesco World Heritage site.
In medieval time it was the largest centre of international commerce and was the only Hanseatic city of Russia.