Veliky Ustyug – a pleasant northern provincial town

Veliky Ustyug is a small town on the outskirts of the Vologda Oblast. It is unlikely that I would ever have been brought to this city if it had not been once declared the New Year’s capital of Russia. The estate of Father Frost, built near the city, made Veliky Ustyug a popular tourist destination, especially in the winter season.

So I came to visit Santa Claus for a few days. And one of these days I got out for a walk in Veliky Ustyug.

Further, my impressions of this northern Russian city.

In the meantime, there is no need to know about it. ”In the meantime, there is no need to know about it. ”In the meantime, there is no need to know about it. ”In the meantime, there is no need to know about it. ”In the meantime, there is no need to know about it. ”


  • Walking route along Veliky Ustyug
  • Krasnoarmeyskaya street
  • City residence of Father Frost
  • Sovetsky prospect
  • Museum of Christmas toys
  • Sukhona river embankment

In the meantime, there is no need to know about it. ”In the meantime, there is no need to know about it. ”In the meantime, there is no need to know about it. ”In the meantime, there is no need to know about it. ”In the meantime, there is no need to know about it. ”

Walking route along Veliky Ustyug

Winter days are short in the north. Therefore, I want to have time to see the city as much as possible during daylight hours. A map of the city center, which can be found in popular tourist spots, helps you plan your route.

The historic center of the city is part of the Veliky Ustyug State Historical and Architectural Reserve. Attractions in the city include old churches, several museums and historic houses from the 19th century.

To get a glimpse of all the main attractions of Veliky Ustyug, just walk along 3 streets – Krasnoarmeyskaya, Sovetsky Prospekt and the Sukhona River Embankment. The zigzag route of the walk can be planned using the map below.

Krasnoarmeyskaya street

My walk around Veliky Ustyug began with the Archangel Michael Church, around which the Archangel Michael Monastery was formed. The church stands in the center of the city, but is not squeezed by houses. The temple is beautifully built on a hill surrounded by trees.

Cathedral of Michael the Archangel in Veliky Ustyug

Then I headed down Krasnoarmeyskaya Street, towards the towering domes of the Assumption Cathedral.

Krasnoarmeyskaya street in Veliky Ustyug

At the intersection of Krasnoarmeyskaya Street with Sovetsky Prospekt, we go out to a square with a small square, which is called the Cathedral Assembly.

Sovetsky prospect in Veliky Ustyug near the monument to Semyon Dezhnev

There is a monument to Dezhnev, a famous Russian traveler and explorer who made a significant contribution to the development of the northern Russian lands.

Monument to Semyon Dezhnev in Veliky Ustyug

Behind the monument to Dezhnev there is a whole temple complex consisting of 4 churches standing next to each other. That is why the place is called the Cathedral Gathering.

In the next photo in the foreground is the Church of Ionna Ustyuzhny, now converted into an exhibition hall. Behind it you can see the domes of the Assumption Cathedral – the main temple of Veliky Ustyug. And on the right, the wall of the Prokopyevsky Cathedral got into the frame.

Church of Ionna Ustyuzhny and the domes of the Assumption Cathedral in Veliky Ustyug

City residence of Father Frost

Just one block from the monument to Dezhnev, there is another attraction – the City Residence of Ded Moroz (in the next photo it is on the left) and the post office of Ded Moroz (2-storey building in the photo on the right).

City residence of Father Frost in Veliky Ustyug

These sights are newly invented, based on the legend that Father Frost lives in Veliky Ustyug. However, it is quite suitable for entertainment in these northern regions.

The post office is more like a gift shop.


In a separate room, there is a wall-to-wall rack with letters to Santa Claus written by children from different parts of the country. These letters come here.


Sovetsky prospect

Sovetsky Prospekt is the central street of Veliky Ustyug. We move further along it.

Sovetsky Prospect is the central street of Veliky Ustyug

The avenue is built up with one- and two-storey houses. Most of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Houses of the late 19th - early 20th centuries in the center of Veliky Ustyug

On the one hand, Sovetsky Prospekt stretches along the bank of the Sukhona River. And on the other side of it there are small streets. For example, in the next photo, Red Lane, abutting the Church of the Presentation of the Lord.


On the avenue, you can also see large two-story houses of the once wealthy townspeople. As, for example, this house of the merchant Zhilin.

House of the merchant Zhilin in Veliky Ustyug

The Nikolskaya Church looks impressive on a large square. More precisely, it is a temple complex consisting of 2 churches – Nikola Gostinsky and Nicholas the Wonderworker. Currently, the churches are not functioning, since 1986 the Museum of Ethnography has been located here.

Nikolskaya Church in Veliky Ustyug - now the building of the Museum of Ethnography

There are really a lot of churches in Veliky Ustyug. Too much for such a small town. It is not surprising that some of them are given over to museums.

Museum of Christmas toys

Another former church, called the Church of the Myrrh-Bearing Women, houses the Museum of New Year and Christmas Toys.

Fir-trees in the Museum of New Year's toys in Veliky Ustyug

This is the only museum in Veliky Ustyug that I visited while walking. The museum is small, all exhibits can be viewed in 15 minutes.

Samples of Christmas trees in the Museum of Christmas toys in Veliky Ustyug

The museum’s exposition includes a collection of New Year’s toys from different years, starting from the 1900s, as well as samples of New Year’s trees and festive outfits.

Festive outfits at the Museum of New Year and Christmas toys in Veliky Ustyug

You can also find here some exhibits from modern times. For example, such a New Year’s composition of ceramics and glass called “Winter’s Tale”.


After the museum of New Year’s toys, I turned back. And he moved in the opposite direction along Naberezhnaya Street, which runs along the bank of the Sukhona River parallel to Sovetsky Avenue.

Sukhona river embankment

A large and beautiful 2-storey stone house stands out on the embankment. This is the main building of the historical, architectural and art museum of Veliky Ustyug.

The main building of the Historical, Architectural and Art Museum of Veliky Ustyug

Other houses on the embankment no longer look so presentable.


The embankment ends with a turn to Krasnoarmeyskaya Street, from which my route began.

Embankment of the Sukhona River in Veliky Ustyug

In one block further one can see the next churches of Elijah the Prophet and Leonty of Rostov.

Churches of Great Ustyug

The opposite bank of the Sukhona River is built up with wooden houses.

Bank of the Sukhona River in Veliky Ustyug

A typical Russian province with its own specific charm.


Among the houses on the shore, you can see another church – St. Sergius of Radonezh.

Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh in Veliky Ustyug

That was the end of my walk around Veliky Ustyug. I hope I have shown enough so that you can add your own impression of the city.

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