Millions of people all over the world are fond of travelling. They travel to see other countries and continents, to discover different ways of life, to meet different people and to practise foreign languages. It goes without saying that travelling broadens the mind. While travelling, we can see and learn a lot of things that we can never learn staying at home and watching TV or reading books. That's why a lot of foreign people come to Russia to get acquainted with Russian culture, with Russian customs and traditions.
Russia has always been a country of mystery and attraction for foreigners. There are a lot of villages and towns in Russia famous for their specific crafts: painted boxes in Palekh, wooden tableware in Khokhloma and toys in Dymkovo. Thousands of foreigners visit Russia to enjoy typical Russian log houses, decorated with wood carving.
Tourists like to visit old Russian towns and cities famous for their ancient architecture. They are especially attracted by Russian orthodox cathedrals, churches and monasteries. One of the most interesting old cities in Russia is Novgorod, or Novgorod the Great, as it was called in the old times. It is a treasury of architecture, painting and applied art created over the 11th to 17th centuries. The first records of the city on the Volkhov River date back to the year 859. Now Novgorod has expanded far beyond its former limits. It is an important industrial and cultural centre, located on the busy highway linking Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The focal point of the city is the Detinets, or the Kremlin. The present-day Kremlin stems largely from the 15th century. Several alterations made in the 16th and 17th centuries were minor and did not affect its appearance. Novgorod's contribution to the development of Russian culture is outstanding. No other city excels Novgorod in the number of ancient monuments of architecture. The Novgorod Museum of History, Architecture and Art shows visitors the history of medieval Novgorod. Its artistic value lies primarily in its collection of medieval icon painting.
Ofcourse, every foreigner should visit St. Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great at the mouth of the Neva River. Now it is an important industrial, cultural and educational centre.
St. Petersburg is indeed a wonderful city: at every turn there is something to catch your eye. The Winter Palace, St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Admiralty building attract thousands of tourists from every corner of the world. Petersburg's many museums house some of the world's most famous art collections. The Hermitage and the Russian Museum, for example, contain the richest collections of pictures in the world.
The city is called the Northern Venice because there are more than a hundred rivers, arms and canals there with artistically decorated bridges. It's also famous for its beautiful white nights.
There are a lot of Hero-cities in our country. And I would recommend my foreign friends to visit one of them. Volgograd is a legendary city, because here in 1943 the Soviet Army won the great and glorious victory over the fascists. The city was completely ruined during the war, but now it is a beautiful city again. It stands on the banks of the great Russian river Volga. The symbol of Volgograd is the Mamaev Hill. It was the centre of fighting during the heroic defence of Stalingrad. Now there is a great memorial there. Besides, you can visit the Stalingrad Battle Panorama Museum, which is situated on the bank of the Volga. The centre of Volgograd is the Square of the Fallen Heroes. In the middle of it there is a granite obelisk and the common graves of the heroes of the Civil War and the Great Patriotic War. At the foot of the memorial you can see the Eternal Flame. Now Volgograd is a big industrial and cultural centre.
There are a lot of other interesting towns and cities in Russia, which are all worth visiting