The current borders of the Yaroslavskaya Oblast were created in 1936. The oblast is located in the central economic region of Russia, surrounded by the Tverskaya, Moskovskaya, Ivanovskaya, Vladimirskaya, Kostromskaya and Vologodskaya Oblasts. This geographic location affords the oblast the advantages of a close proximity to Moscow and St.-Petersburg. Additionally, the center of the oblast - the city of Yaroslavl - is an intersection of major highways, railroads and waterways.
The territory of the Yaroslavskaya Oblast is situated in the centre of Russia, in the core of foundation of Russian statehood and culture. Yaroslavl was founded as a fortress-town at the beginning of the 11th century by the Prince of Kiev Yaroslavl the Wise. According to the legend he subdued the pagans by killing the sacred bear. The legend of this fight was reflected in the coat-of-arms of the city.
Since 1218 Yaroslavl is the capital of the Yaroslavl principality. In 1612 the city is the place of forming irregular army of Minin and Pozharsky and also is the temporary capital of the Russian State.
The 17th century is the golden age in the history of Yaroslavl. This is the time of intensive economic growth, of culture flourishing in all its spheres with the foundation of Yaroslavl school of architecture and painting. At the end of the 17th beginning of the 18th centuries Yaroslavl is the second city in Russia after Moscow.
In 1750 there was lifted the curtain of the First Russian Professional Drama Theatre. The names of the outstanding people who lived in Yaroslavl are forever put into the annals of the world history. These are the names of the founder of the First Russian Theatre Fyodor Volkov, the Russian poet Nicholay Nekrasov, the first woman-cosmonaut Velentina Tereshcova.
214 of the settlements of the region are referred to as historically valuable, i.e. they have accumulated the most precious historical and cultural heritage. Except Yaroslavl itself, where the Volga and history are everywhere, these are the following cities: Rostov - the cradle of the Christianity and the oldest city in the centre of Russia, it is over 1100 years old, Pereslavl Zalessky where Peter the Great started the construction of Russian fleet, Uglich where the mysterious and dramatic events of the 16th century caused the change of the Ruricovich dynasty into the Romanov dynasty. Myshkin - a small merchant museum - town of the 19th century and a lot of others.
There are over 5000 monuments of history and culture, including those three recommended by UNESCO for tourists: the Rostov Kremlin, the cathedrals of John the Baptist and Elijah the Prophet. Most of the monuments are the masterpieces of the golden age of Yaroslavl architecture of the 12th - 17th centuries. The oldest of the architectural monuments is the Transfiguration Cathedral, that dates back to the year of 1152 in Pereslavl Zalessky.
Yaroslavl can deservedly be considered the cultural capital of the Golden Ring of Russia. There are 4 theatres in the city and the Governor's Symphony Orchestra. There are also arranged the international festivals and various exhibitions: "The Jazz Over the Volga" festival, the Sobinov Festival of Opera Music, the All-Russian Nekrasov Poetry Holiday of chorus and bell music called "Transfiguration", various international exhibitions.
The art of different folk and ethnographic groups attracts a lot of tourists and is popular not only in Russia, but all over the world. The Rostov enamel is a real pearl of Yaroslavl traditional handicraft art, though the region is famous for the production of linen, exported to Europe years ago, for embroidery and icon painting, for issue of jewelry, wooden and clay articles.
One gets brilliant opportunity to enjoy beautiful scenery of the Volga river and the Rybinsk Lake and to get rest in Pereslavl National Park, which is the first one in Russia where natural and cultural heritage is being protected.
The purity of the waters allows one to enjoy swimming and that of the forests to go mushroom and berry picking.
Yaroslavl region is one of the top 3 regions in the country, and the city itself is the biggest after Moscow by its economic and intellectual potential. The trade turnover of the regional industrial enterprises is about 1 billion dollars per year.
There exists a special infrastructure for the investors, businessmen and guests of the city. It includes a developed bank system, a number of consulting organizations, financial mediators and insurers, hotel and tourist service.
There are 7 state higher institutions in the Yaroslavl region with 22.9 thousand students studying in them (that is without the branches of major Moscow Institutions). Over 300 thousand people have special secondary and higher education. More than 25 thousand people work in the regional Health Care System; the major part of them is concentrated in Yaroslavl.