Kostroma is one of the most beautiful cities in Russia. As old as Moscow, it was founded in 1152 by Yuri Dolgorukiy and, like many cities, suffered attacks during the Tartar invasion. But the local population undertook the heroic effort to successfully reconstruct the city, refurbishing much of its former glory.
Kostroma is located north of Moscow with an inland location perfect for retreat during times of war. The grand dukes of Moscow used it for this purpose in 1382, 1408, and 1433. In the 17th century Kostroma also became an important merchant city. It developed master builders, icon painters, tanners, and canvas makers.
Kostroma has many historical monuments and monasteries. The Ipatievsky-Troitzkiy Monastery is one of the most popular, founded in 1330 by the Tartar Prince Chet. He and the famous Russian patriot, Ivan Susanin, are buried in the monastery. The Ipatievsky Monastery holds the famous Green Tower and Troitzky Cathedral, and housed the first czar in the Romanov line. It was here that an emissary from Moscow offered him the Russian crown in 1612.
Ivan Susanin became a symbol of the city's resistance to foreign invaders. During a six month siege of Kostroma by the Poles, Ivan, a local peasant, approached the Poles and offered to show them a hidden path that would enable them to attack the Russians from behind. Ivan led a large group of Poles deep into the woods and neither Ivan, nor the Poles, ever found their way out.