The main pearl of Veliky Novgorod is the Hagia Sophia Cathedral - the Wisdom of God, a place that literally personifies the city for many centuries. The oldest monument of old Russian architecture, built in the years 1045-1050 by Prince Vladimir, became the central city temple. Probably, it was here that the Novgorodian chroniclers worked without straightening, cherishing letters in the library as well. On the walls and frescoes literate townspeople left inscriptions and even poems - living human traces of long-gone centuries.
And modern Novgorodians love to tell the legend of the pigeon, which looks around the neighborhood from the main dome of Sofia. When Ivan the Terrible in 1570 put down the Novgorod revolt, in the midst of the massacre, a dove sat down on the dome and turned into petrified with fear. But the dove itself was sent by the Virgin Mary, and now, while this bird is looking after the city, no danger is terrible to Novgorod.
There is also a legend about how during the painting of the dome, on which the Savior was to be depicted with an outstretched hand, the hand of Jesus Christ was clenched into a fist. The mural was copied several times, until the artist had a dream in which Christ said that he purposely squeezed his hand to hold Novgorod there.
One of the most significant icons that is stored in the Sofia Cathedral is the icon of the Mother of God “The Sign”. According to legend, she defended the city from the invasion of Suzdal. This event has played such a large role in the life of the city that it is still celebrated as an honored church holiday.
Now you understand why the St. Sophia Cathedral is obligatory to visit in Veliky Novgorod. Believe me, he will charm you as soon as you see him, and when you enter inside, he will completely conquer with his bright, warm atmosphere.