Spaso-Preobrazhensky monastery dates back to the 13th century. It was destroyed by fire in 1501, and the monastery as you see it today was mostly built in the 16th century. For centuries it was one of the biggest monasteries in Russia and by 1764 it owned vast amounts of land and had some 14,000 serfs. Almost every Tsar in history visited the monastery and it was behind its formidable walls that Minin and Pozharsky prepared their citizen’s army before sailing down the Volga to help defeat the Poles.
At the centre of the monastery is the large fresco covered cathedral and a bell tower which you can climb up to get great views over the river. The various buildings and towers of the monastery host a series of exhibitions about the region and there are also various souvenir stalls and tea stands dotted around. The most interesting museums are the Treasures of Yaroslavl with its wealth of gold, silver and previous jewels and the collection of ancient Russian art and icons.
There’s also a museum of local history which deals with the history of Yaroslavl from the 13th Century and features numerous portraits and sketches, artifacts from local archaeological digs and most impressively a large 18th Century French carriage. A museum of local nature presents the flora and fauna found around the Volga and may entertain more specific interests, while the museum of Russian epic literature is even more niche.
La Hougue Bie is a Neolithic ritual site which was in use around 3500 BC. Hougue is a Jèrriais/Norman language word meaning a \'mound\' and comes from the Old Norse word haugr. The site consists of 18.6m long passage chamber covered by a 12.2m high mound. The site was first excavated in 1925 by the Société Jersiaise. Fragments of twenty vase supports were found along with the scattered remains of at least eight individuals. Gravegoods, mostly pottery, were also present. At some time in the past, the site had evidently been entered and ransacked.
In Western Europe, it is one of the largest and best preserved passage graves and the most impressive and best preserved monument of Armorican Passage Grave group. Although they are termed \'passage graves\', they were ceremonial sites, whose function was more similar to churches or cathedrals, where burials were incidental.