Ivanovo is a small town known in Russia as a «city of brides» and red Manchester, and it is also included in the popular Golden Ring route. Ivanovo is the third city in Russia (after Moscow and St. Petersburg) in terms of the number of monuments of constructivism of the 20-30s of the 20th century. It is worth to visit Ivanovo to see the quiet Russian province and buy tablecloths and napkins of local production.
Founded in 1561 by the order of Ivan the Terrible, the village Ivanovo has been famous for its textile production since the 17th century. Flax has been grown on the fields around Ivanovo since the ancient times. And wool was in abundance too, so that weaving and finishing fabrics have become a profitable business for local landlords. They were the masters of the first weaving manufactories in the XVIII century. And in 1871 Ivanovo became the textile center of the Russian Empire. A steam engine was used at the manufactories of Ivanovo for the first time in Russia.
For its nicknames — the city of brides and red Manchester — Ivanovo is obliged to the textile industry. As the English Manchester city became the leading center of cotton fabrics production in Europe, just the same way Ivanovo has been providing people with bright fabrics for more than 400 years. And the «brides», that is, women, have always been the main labor force in the weaving industry. So, for many years the Ivanovo region ranks the first in Russia in terms of the difference between the male and female population. Since 1996 the Ivanovo coat of arms is adorned with a Russian beauty spinning wool and dressed in a red sarafan and kokoshnik.
At the beginning of the XX century the concentration of industrial enterprises made Ivanovo the center of the revolutionary struggle, and it is no wonder that the city still enters the «red zone» of Russia. It was here that the first working council arose during the 1905 revolution. So, we can assume that the «the Soviet power of Workers and Peasants» originated in Ivanovo. For many years the factories of the city employed not only citizens of the USSR, but also workers from other socialist countries. The children of Mao Zedong used to live and study at the Ivanovo International Children’s Home for many years.
Ivanovo city stands on the bank of the Uvod River. There are other rivers here too — Talca, Harinka and Stradanka. Industrial enterprises of the city always used a lot of water, so Uvodskoe reservoir, which was connected by a channel with the Volga River, was built in 1937 in the north of the city.
The city is included in the popular route «Golden Ring». This is the third city in Russia (after Moscow and St. Petersburg) in terms of the number of constructivism monuments of the 20-30s of the 20th century, and it truly amazes all its guests with these magnificent facilities. The whole working settlements have been preserved here, which were built, like the houses of the future, and huge factories — monuments of industrial architecture of the XIX century. It is worth to visit Ivanovo to see a quiet Russian province, private houses and manors of the XVIII-XIX centuries.
It is worthwhile to visit Ivanovo because of the rich art collections in museums. Many Ivanovo manufacturers, having accumulated their initial capital, began spending money on art objects, thanks to which local museums present unhacked expositions today. In addition to the monuments of architecture of the twentieth century, when walking around the city center, it is worth paying attention at the House of Kurbatov — a unique example of civil architecture. Since 1800 this wooden house built of pine logs, has been standing on Postysheva Street, 7. Remarkable platbands and pilasters with columns are made of the same wood.
The temples preserved in the city and the surrounding villages please the eye. For example, the bell tower of the Holy Trinity Church in the urban settlement Lezhnevo, a former palace village, built in 1823, is visible from a distance. The bell tower is still adorned with the clock, mounted in 1870 and made by Russian masters.
One can find interesting places in Ivanovo where Russian cuisine is served. In addition to traditional soup, borsch and okroshka (a cold soup of Russian origin), one can also eat snack, such as: herring with potatoes and onions, taste soup-solyanka (a thick, spicy and sour soup), beef tongue and pork baked in a pot. And pumpkin pancakes are considered to be the branded dish of Ivanovo.
In the warm season Ivanovo attracts with its parks and squares. In particular, in the Art Park one can pat ears or rub nose of badger-dog sculpture. This small dog sculpture is very beloved by the inhabitants of the city and they believe that it brings good luck. There are many flowers, greenery and benches in the park. Beaches, the hire of catamarans and water bicycles are available in the Kharinka Recreational Park. And in winter one can go skating, sledging and snowtubing.
And, certainly, it is worth remembering Ivanovo’s souvenirs! These are all kinds of textile products of local production. One can bring beautiful tablecloths, napkins and bed linen from here. In addition to fabrics, one can find truly Russian wooden souvenirs: matryoshkas and dishes, which are cut by local craftsmen. So, Ivanovo is a worthy and at the same time a modest rival of other cities that make up the Golden Ring.
The distance from Moscow to Ivanovo is almost 300 km. The easiest way to get to Ivanovo from Moscow is by car. The trip will take approximately 4-5 hours along the A-113 motorway. The railway station of Ivanovo is located near the city center. Trains come from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Ufa and Samara. It is also possible to get from Moscow to Ivanovo by the train Moscow-Kineshma and spend 7 hours. There is also the Ivanovo Yuzhny airport, which receives «Rusline» air company’s flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg. The flight time from Moscow is 1 hour.