The left bank of the Volkhov River in Veliky Novgorod is historically called the Sofiyskaya Storona. This name came from the oldest stone church in Russia, Saint Sophia Cathedral of 1045-1050.
The Sofiyskaya Storona with its slanting streets, which converge near the walls of the ancient Kremlin, resembles a cobweb. This is the historical core of Veliky Novgorod, where the main sights of the city are concentrated: the powerful towers of the ancient Kremlin, the Sofia belfry with a viewing platform, the unique museum with a collection of ancient icons and birchbark letters, the picturesque fountain "Sadko" and "The Millennium of Russia" Monument installed in 1862. Here you can see the sculpture of Sergei Rachmaninoff, the famous Russian composer, pianist and conductor. The Sofiyskaya Storona is also known for its numerous churches, including the Church of the Twelve Apostles on the Abyss of the 15th century and the Church of Theodore Stratilates. This part of Novgorod also houses the former Dukhov (Holy Spirit) Monastery of the XII century, one of the oldest in the city, and the XV century’s Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Kozhevniki.