Velikiy Novgorod is situated on the banks of the picturesque river Volkhov, 190 kilometres to the south of St.Petersburg. The city was founded more than 11 centuries ago. Modern Novgorod is important as a tourist centre. The population is about 234.000. During World War II, the city suffered heavy damage after the Nazi bombings, but the historic buildings were subsequently restored. Among the places to see is the oldest stone building in Russia - St.Sophia Cathedral in the Novgorod Kremlin.