Rostov Veliky is a small town located 200 km to the north-east from Moscow. The word “veliky” means “large and great”. When you enter it for the first time and see this small silent place with two-storey old houses, grassy shores of the lake, you feel a kind of confused. However, in the 9th century, Rostov was a really large and crowded city, and through ages, it accumulated many treasures that make it famous and great. Here, you can have a boat lake tour and see the most picturesque views of the city, or enjoy the 16–17th century architecture of Archbishop's Yard, also called Rostov Kremlin. You can learn about its history and see some modern items of Rostov enamels, admire the legendary Rostov bell ringing and create your own chime over Nero Lake in Rostov Veliky.
If you have never rung the bells, you can participate in a workshop with a professional bell-ringer. A bell-ringer can play 20 bells, using the system of ropes. In the Russian Orthodox bell ringing, a clapper is swung and not a bell. The bigger ropes are played by foot - the left hand plays a melody and works two times quicker than the foot. The right hand is the quickest and plays eighth, sixteenth and thirty-second notes. For the bells ringing, you need coordination more than a musical ear.
Bell ringing is one of the ancient Russian arts. In the past, bells music followed a person through all his life. It was different and symbolic. Rostov bells were famous around the country. One of the bells in Moscow Kremlin is from Rostov. Also, Rostov bells are in many films, like “Peter I”, “War and Peace”, “The Karamazov Brothers”. Construction secrets of the bell gable and surface of the lake create a unique sound of Rostov bells. Specialists say that the sound of the bells has a healing effect and can clear your brain. In Rostov Kremlin, you can listen to the bells concert and meet the giant bells on the bell gable.
Nero Lake is 5000 years old. Legend has it that in the 10th century all the citizens of Rostov Veliky were baptized in this lake. Nowadays, it is not suitable for swimming because below the one-meter layer of water, there is a 20-meter layer of sapropel. However, you can enjoy the picturesque panorama of the city from the boat and beautiful views of the lake from the Water tower of Rostov Kremlin.
One of the oldest Russian cities, the centre of north-eastern Russia in the past, Rostov Veliky lost its political importance, but it preserved the cultural heritage and traditions, charm of nature and old architecture. It is a part of a popular tourist route “Golden Ring”. Admiring the bell ringing over Nero Lake in Rostov Veliky is one of its attractive traditions.
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