Does winter still feel a long way off? Some romantically inclined travellers plan their amazing Russian winter trips well in advance. And it’s easy to find yourself in a seasonal fairy tale: visitthe Tver Region for some magic and unforgettable impressions.
Text: Ekaterina Krutova
Conveniently located between Moscow and St. Petersburg, the region attracts residents of both capitals who can enjoy a fabulous weekend getaway there.
But Tver and other towns in the region can also offer you longer staysin theircozy hotels and historic manors, with plenty of restaurants around. You won’t be bored!
Tver in full view
Not everyone will risk going up several hundred meters into the winter air, but those brave enough are sure to have a truly outstanding experience. Tver is in full view from here, spread out before your eyes.
Tver’s festive trident
It gets dark early in winter, and at five o’clock the city is all in lights.Along with city residents, you can admire the old town’s illumination on Sovetskaya, Volnyi Novgorod and Novotorzhskaya Streets.These are the streets that radiate out in three rays from Sovetskaya Square, forming the famous “festive trident”–the basis of Tver’s city planning. St. Petersburg has something similar, but you won’t find anything like it anywhere else in Russia. The construction of Tver began,toordinary plans, during the earliest days of the reign of Catherine the Great, but a terrible fire of May 12, 1763 destroyed 852 houses. The Empress was informed of the tragedy, and the restoration of the city became an affair of state importance. The so-called “unified facade” is characteristic for the Northern capital, when buildings are constructed next to each other, without gaps between them. It is Tver’s signature architecture.
Make sure to visit the village of Krasnoye in the Staritsky Region. This is one of the rarest Gothic Revival structures of the 18th century, and is built of brick using white Staritsky stone. Two centuries ago, the richest landowners of Staritsky were the Poltoratskys.The founder of the dynasty Mark Poltoratsky was Catherine the Great’s favourite singer, and she bestowed landin Tver Province upon him.Mark Poltoratsky’s wife, Agathocles, ran the house.She gave her husband a gift by building an exact copy of a church erected in St. Petersburg in 1770 at the place where, as legend has it, Catherine learned about the victory of the Russian Fleet at the Battle of Chesma.The cathedral’s amazing acoustics still astonish today.
Get back to enjoying nature in the recreational park in the village of Bolshoye Grishkino, in the Kalininsky district.You can choosefrom skiing runs of various levels of difficulty, skate at an open-air rink, or “fly” from a hill while snow tubing.Learn to ride a snowmobile, then proceedinto the untrodden expanses, either with an instructor or on your own.
Quick as the wind on sled dogs
The magic of nature, as well as friendly Alaskan and Siberian huskies, will turn your vacation into a fairy tale at the Chukavino Sled Dog Centre, one of just a few professional dog-sled racing centers in Russia. It breeds Siberian and Alaskan huskies and Samoyed laikas, with over 40 dogs at the kennel. Chukavino dogs are not only excellent athletes, they are also trusting and friendly, and they love children and are good at posing for pictures.
After you have enjoyed some wonderful selfies, continue your journey to Likhoslavlsky district, where “Marshmallow wonderland” awaits you in the village of Mikhailova Gora. It’s a famous tasty treat from the area, which the villagers cook using a special recipe, without artificial dyes or preservatives, but with a filling made out of forest berries, nuts, dried fruits and even ginger root. The produce of the small private factory has made it to the Top 100Goods of Russia! There is entertainment on hand for adults and children alike, including Baba Yaga, who happens to be kind and not at all scary in this fairy tale.
For more information, visit “Welcome Tver!” at welcometver.ru