Uglich HistoryUglich dates back to the 10th century and came under the jurisdiction of the Moscow princes a couple of centuries later. In the 15th century, the first stone structures began to be built, some of which have been rebuilt or are still standing.
Uglich is probably most famous for its connection to Ivan the Terrible, whose son Dmitri was exiled to the town when still a young boy and murdered there. The death of Ivan the Terrible’s heir caused political instability in medieval Russia, and several so-called False Dimitris began to appear in an attempt to ascend the throne. In a time before television and DNA testing, it was easy for people to believe that Dmitri was not actually dead and that their leader’s son had survived through God’s will or the almost-divine power that was sometimes credited to Russian royalty. Uglich eventually became a place of pilgrimage to honor the slain heir.
Uglich SightsThough Uglich has changed drastically since the time of the Russian tsars, with industrial plants and factories popping up around the ancient core, structures of old demolished, and its medieval borders expanded, it retains a few sights for visitors:
- Uglich Kremlin: Like other old cities in Russia, Uglich has its very own kremlin, a fortress that served defensive purposes against the constant threat of attack from invading forces. Explore the kremlin to visit churches and the Prince’s Palace. The Uglich Kremlin is being considered for inclusion in Russia’s World Heritage sites by UNESCO.
- Prince’s Palace: The Prince’s Palace, which dates from the late 15th century, is now a monument to Ivan the Terrible’s son Dmitri, who lived here for a period in his short life. Learn about the murder and how it took place by taking a stroll through the exhibit dedicated to the historical event that shook medieval Russia so fiercely.
- Church of St. Dmitri on the Blood: This church from the 17th century was built on the site where young Dmitri’s body was found. This picturesque Russian church contains a bell that was rung to announce the death of Ivan the Terrible’s heir, the clapper of which was torn out, flogged, and exiled to Siberia as a way for Boris Godunov to punish the unfound murderers (some suspected he was responsible for Dmitri’s death).
- Museums: Uglich is home to several museums, including the Vodka Museum; the Museum of City Life that tells about how people in Uglich lived in the past; the Museum of Bells that explains the bell ringers’ profession; the Museum of Prison Art; and a Puppet Museum. Individual exhibitions related to Uglich and its culture can also be visited. Another interesting museum tells the story of the Chaika watch factory, which enjoyed 60 years of watchmaking in Uglich.
Hotels in UglichUglich doesn’t have much in the way of hotels, but if you do need to stay overnight, the Uspenskaya and the Volgskaya are both in the city center.
- Uglich Hotels: Compare Prices
Getting to UglichIf you aren’t on a river tour, you might have to access Uglich by land. Buses run regularly from Yaroslavl, the larger city in the region. Buses run less frequently from Rostov Veliky.
- View About.com’s Cruise Guide’s Uglich photos