Nizhniy Novgorod Oblast: Nizhniy Novgorod

Nizhniy Novgorod is one of the largest cities in Russia, with nearly 1.5 million population. Located at the confluence of Volga and Oka river, it sits on a hilly terrain that makes it look somewhat like San Fransisco, with bridges spanning rivers in many directions. The city has been and still is an the industrial heart of USSR and Russia, and this is where all the heavy industries retreated during WWII. The GAZ auto factory in located here. There are many cathedrals and churches locate on both end of both rivers, and the historic upper town is a pedestrian area, lined up with Stalin-era ornate buildings and monuments. Relaxed and a little provincial, the city is a pleasure to roam around, even in the rainy weather. But the most interesting is clearly the Kremlin (next post)