Foundation of Nizhny Novgorod: history, dates

On the Dyatlovy mountains, in the confluence of two great rivers - the Wolves and the Oka, with the light hand of George Vsevolodovich Vladimir the new city was founded - Novgorod. Year of foundation - 1221.base of the lower Novgorod

Thanks to a well-chosen place, its strategically convenient location, the city was a “tidbit” for its enemies and, over the centuries of its existence, has been subjected to seizure, plunder and destruction seventeen times. But every time, like a phoenix from the ashes, it was reborn and rebuilt again. And after the overthrow of the Tatar-Mongol yoke, it is regularly found in the ancient annals, as one of the leading cities of Russia.

Where does the guard of the Russian land draw strength from the people who inhabited it, or a well-chosen place? Why is the riddle of the foundation of Nizhny Novgorod so excited by the minds of historians?


From the point of view of military tactics, the place was very advantageous: on the one hand, the steep crumbling bank of the Volga, and on the other deep ditch, to capture such a fortress is quite difficult.At the same time, the very designation "Nizhny" meant that there was another settlement nearby. The old town was higher on the river, and in general, the newly-founded town was located in the Nizov lands, as the local residents called the Vladimir lands.

Who were the first settlers?

Who lived on Dyatlovy mountains before Prince George arrived there and Nizhny Novgorod was founded, whether there was anything there at all is an interesting question, and historians have no definite answer (although there are “official” versions).

  • A version that the clergy and lovers of pathetics really like: this area belonged to the pagans - the Turkic and Finno-Ugric tribes that were ancestors of the Tatar-Mescheryaks (do you remember Meschersky Lake near Konstantin Paustovsky?) Inhabited the Volga basin since the ninth century. And George Vsevolodovich with the blessing of the Bishop of Suzdal suffered Orthodox savages. And it turns out that the place of foundation of Nizhny Novgorod was not empty, civilization flourished there with its rites, laws and religion.
  • The second option is also not entirely peaceful: in 1220, Prince Mstislav Vladimirsky tried to seize the Bulgarian settlement Oshel, or Ibragimov town, as it was called because of Murza’s ruler Ibrahim, who rebuilt a Muslim mosque in this settlement.As a result, Murza was killed, but the city residents defended. A year later, Prince George came here and nevertheless captured the city, razed it to the ground and founded a new city. A cathedral was laid on the site of the destroyed mosque, - this was the custom of the Russian governors - on the site of the pagan sites to build Orthodox churches.

Year of the foundation of Nizhny Novgorod

  • There is also an opinion that this area since the sixth century belonged to the Khazar Kaganate - the oldest state with vast territories from the coast of the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea to the Volga region and the borders of modern Azerbaijan. And on the site of Novgorod at that time a fortress was already built up to protect the borders. The rules of the Hannukov dynasty were then unknown, although it is not known who exactly of the rulers is.

The exact date is in question

The conclusion is that the date of the founding of Nizhny Novgorod - 1221 - to put it mildly, is more convenient than historically accurate, and after finding the treasure in 2007 on the territory of the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin is generally in question. What treasure? Silver bars weighing about three kilograms dated 11th century were found. This gives reason to believe that the date of the foundation of Nizhny Novgorod should be revised.

Legends of the foundation

The city has many beautiful legends and stories associated with different places. For example, the name of the Dyatlovy mountains comes from the sorcerer Dyatla, who lived here before the foundation of the of foundation of the lower NovgorodHe had a friend Starling, a Mordvinian by descent and, as the story goes, an ally of the Nightingale the Robber. The time has come to die the magician, and he asked Skvorts to bury him according to the customs of that time, and in gratitude gave him a prediction: "If there are numerous children of the Mordvin, live together and not quarrel, they will own lands for a long time, and if they quarrel, the Russian prince and He will build a hail at the mouth of the river, and there will be a hail of white stone, and his enemies will not overpower him.

And so it happened. After the death of Skvortsa-Mordvin, his children quarreled for the right to own land and were expelled by Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky, and his nephew George Vladimirsky built a new city, later called Nizhny Novgorod. Nizhny Novgorod city foundation

The founding of the city gave rise to another legend: Prince George took a fancy to a small river that flowed against the walls of the rebuilt city, and called it Pochayna. In its source there is a large stone with an erased inscription, and the holy man, who was in those places, predicted: when this stone moves from its place, water will come out and flood the whole city.And all this will happen on the day of the great torzhischa (fair).

Pride of the Russian Land

Since the founding of Nizhny Novgorod, several centuries have passed, and the city has not lost its originality and age-old Russian flavor and soulfulness. Many historical monuments continue their lives under the wing of the great city and with open arms wait for guests to tell them tales and legends about the inhabitants, defenders and secret of the founding year of Nizhny Novgorod.

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