Kostroma is a historic city and the administrative center of Kostroma Oblast, Russia. A part of the Golden Ring of Russian towns, it is located at the confluence of the Volga and Kostroma Rivers.
Built in 1559-1565, the five-domed Epiphany Cathedral was the first stone edifice in the city; its medieval frescoes perished during a fire several years ago. The minster houses the city's most precious relic, a 10th-century Byzantine icon called Our Lady of St. Theodore. It was with this icon that Mikhail Romanov was blessed by his mother when he left for Moscow to claim the Russian throne. They say that just before the Revolution of 1917, the icon blackened so badly that the image was hardly visible; it was interpreted as a bad sign for the Romanov dynasty.
The Ipatyevsky monastery survives mostly intact, with its 16th-century walls, towers, belfry, and the 17th-century cathedral.
Apart from the monasteries, most of the city churches were either
rebuilt or demolished during the Soviet years. The only city church that
survives from the 17th-century
"golden age" is the Resurrection church on the Lowlands (Russian:
церковь Воскресения на Дебре).
As the story goes, the church was
commissioned by one merchant who ordered in England
ten barrels of dye but received ten barrels of gold instead. He
resolved that the unearned gold was the devil's gift and decided to
spend it on building a church, beautiful within and without. Two other
17th-century temples, of rather conventional architecture, may be seen
on the opposite side of the Volga.
Among the vestiges of the Godunov rule, a fine tent-like church in the urban-type settlement of Krasnoye-na-Volge (formerly an estate of Boris Godunov's brother) may be recommended.