Lake Ilmen immediately brings to mind the heroes of Russian epic poems and fairy tales. But the stories told by our remote ancestors were in fact rooted in historical fact.
On the shores of Lake Ilmen, there stands the village of Korostyn, famous for its unspoiled Russian beauty and historical landmarks.
The first authentic information about this village dates back to 1471, when the Korostyn Peace Treaty was signed, ending the 2nd Moscow-Novgorod War and formalising the Novgorod Republic’s loss of independence. Many years have passed since. A wooden cross was erected at the encampment of Moscow Tsar Ivan III, who was able to put a stop to the feud in the Russian state.
The village is now part of the Novgorod Region’s Shimsky District. It has a school, a post office and a grocery store. The names of the streets reflect the village’s laid-back way of life: Vishnevaya (Cherry) Street, Ozyornaya (Lake) Street, Zelyonaya (Green) Street, Sadovaya (Garden) Street. One of these streets is home to the town’s main landmark: the En Route Palace, built in 1825-1827 by the founder of the Russian Empire Style, architect Vasily Stasov.
En Route Palace
The Classical palace is an architectural gem and one of the main landmarks in Korostyn. Located on the village’s main street, the cosy palace was used by Russian tsars for short stopovers en route from Staraya Russa to Novgorod. The ground floor is built of stone, while the floor above is wooden, decorated with Doric columns. The extraordinary lightness and elegance of the building are captivating. During Soviet times, the palace hosted a dormitory. In the late 1980s, renovations began at the palace but were disrupted by the collapse of the Soviet Union. In just the past few years the palace finally received a new lease of life, with renovations carried out as part of the Preservation and Use of Russian Cultural Heritage programme. In September 2019, the Museum and Cultural Centre of the Novgorod Land Arts and Culture Museum opened at the palace, with exhibits on the history of the village, the unique geological landmark the Ilmen Klint, and works by Novgorod artists.