Rurikovo Gorodische is an archaeological monument of the 9th century. Excavations on the site of this ancient fortified settlement, two kilometers from the center of Veliky Novgorod, were first carried out in 1901. As legend has it, it was here, at the head of the Volkhov River on Lake Ilmen, where the first Varangian Prince Rurik, who had been invited to Russia in 862 by the tribes of the Ilmen Slovaks and Krivichs, ruled. Gorodische is a place where the legendary Prince Alexander Nevsky grew up, and also Moscow Princes Ivan III and Ivan the Terrible stayed.
Systematic archaeological excavations in the Rurikovo Gorodische resumed in 1975 and continue to this day. Varangian weapons, armor, crystal ornaments, Byzantine coins and birchbark letters have been found here. On the area of excavations you can currently see the ruins of the Blagoveshchensky (Annunciation) Cathedral of the XIX century. However, these places are more attractive by the stunning panoramas of Lake Ilmen and the giant St. George's (Yuriev) Monastery on the other bank of the Volkhov River. You can get there on pleasure boats, which depart from the Sofiyskaya Embankment.