Russia Geography Veliky Ustyug

Veliky Ustyug

According to official documents, Veliky Ustyug is only sixty years younger than Moscow. The town of Ustyug is first mentioned in the Russian chronicles in 1207. Later, during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, it was awarded the appendage of Veliky or “Great.”

The town stretches out along the banks of the River Sukhona, which merges with the River Yug nearby to form the Northern Dvina. Standing on a major trade route and waterway, Ustyug was an important medieval centre of commerce and craftsmanship. Politically, even in the early period of its history, it gravitated towards Moscow.

Many churches, belltowers, trading arcades and historical mansions line the embankment of the River Sukhona. The town is famous for its traditional arts and crafts, including niello on silver, enamels, filigree and wood and bark carvings. The northern frosts and snows and this special air of creativity and folk traditions make Veliky Ustyug a natural centre of Yuletide festivities in Russia and the traditional home of Father Christmas.

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