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.
The Arch of Constantine is situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. Dedicated in 315, it is the largest Roman triumphal arch. The arch spans the Via triumphalis, the way taken by the emperors when they entered the city in triumph.
Though dedicated to Constantine, much of the decorative material incorporated earlier work from the time of the emperors Trajan (98-117), Hadrian (117-138) and Marcus Aurelius (161-180), and is thus a collage. The last of the existing triumphal arches in Rome, it is also the only one to make extensive use of spolia, reusing several major reliefs from 2nd century imperial monuments, which give a striking and famous stylistic contrast to the sculpture newly created for the arch.
The arch is 21 m high, 25.9 m wide and 7.4 m deep. Above the archways is placed the attic, composed of brickwork reveted (faced) with marble. A staircase within the arch is entered from a door at some height from the ground, on the west side, facing the Palatine Hill. The general design with a main part structured by detached columns and an attic with the main inscription above is modelled after the example of the Arch of Septimius Severus on the Roman Forum.