Yaroslavl Oblast: Rostov Velikiy – Kremlin
This was an absolute and total WOW!! The most spectacular Kremlin besides the one in Moscow! Rostov Velikiy is one of the oldest and most important towns in Russia, founded in 862, with the settlement here dating back another thousand years. The most spectacular part in Rostov Velikiy is the Kremlin, a fully fortified walled old town. Inside is the Assumption Cathedral from the 12th century and the bell tower with some of the biggest bells in Russia – the largest bell, cast in 1688, weighs 32 metric tons or 71,000 pounds! Around the cathedral are about a dozen churches and monasteries, all imitating the silver onion domes of the main cathedral to some extent. Many building are connected by passageways and many hallways are decorated with absolutely surreal ancient frescos. Rostov Kremlin is where the iconic Soviet comedy “Ivan Vasilievich Changes His Job” was filmed – where a time machine swapped a boring low level Moscow bureaucrat for Ivan the Terrible – with the hilarious consequences. Walking around the passages of the Rostov Kremlin, it felt like I am in the movie!