contents: facts - history - main sights - transportation - communication - accommodation
FACTS. Ivanovo is a big industrial city halfway between Vladimir and Kostroma. There are 480 000 inhabitants, and most of them are occupied in the city's major textile industry.
HISTORY OF IVANOVO. A big village Ivanovo on Uvod river was first mentioned in Russian chronicles in 1561. The inhabitants were fishing, hunting and trading, but their main occupation was making the cloths. In 1741 the first real cloth manufacture in the village was built by a peasant who made fortune on selling home-made cloths. That's when the glory of Ivanovo started: the village started to sell its cloths and fabrics even as far as England. The city of Ivanovo was founded in 1871.
Ivanovo is still one of the main textile centers of Russia, a big industrial and polluted city. Russians half-jokingly call this place 'the city of brides', because there are more women than men working at the city's textile productions.
THE MAIN SIGHTS
Ivanovo is a grey and gloomy city, with relics of the Soviet times on every step. It'll be enough to pass it through by bus going between Vladimir and Kostroma, just keep your eyes wide open: the central noisy and dirty street with grey residential buildings and a big red church in the middle of all the mess; the faded impressive mosaics to glory the Soviet heroes, left here from the 70s; a dirty and noisy bus station with an old man playing accordeon to cheer his fellow babushkas.
One of the main streets of the city is F. Engelsa street where you can find a supermarket, a currency exchange, an internet access, and a railway station in the end of the street.
Another important street is Lenina street, where there are many restaurants, cafes, and a hotel.
In case you're stuck in Ivanovo and feel sad that the trip that was teaching you so much about architecture and history was abruptly paused in this town, you should visit Palekh (І?‘Њ›) village, one of the centers of Russian icon-painting, 60 kilometers east of Ivanovo to the direction of Nizhny Novgorod. Palekh has been inhabited since the ancient times: in the 8th century there were Finn-Ugor tribes' settlements here. Later they were assimilated with the Slavs, who came from the south territories.
From the 18th century Palekh was famous for the skillfully painted icons, fretworks and embroideries made by its inhabitants.
You can get to Palekh from Ivanovo's bus station.
TRANSPORTATION. The train station (phone: 37-25-09) and bus station (phone: 23-41-54) are quite far from each other.
There's a train #661 to Moscow arriving at Yaroslavsky railway station.
There are around seven daily buses to Kostroma departing from the main bus station (they also stop next to the railway station on the way). The times of the departure from the main bus station: 7.05, 7.55, 10.30, 11.55, 14.40, 16.20, 18.10. A trip to Kostroma will take 2.5-3 hours and will cost 60 roubles ($2 US).
There are around four buses a day to Vladimir, starting around 10.30 and finishing around 16.00. A 2.5 - 3 hour ride will cost around $2.
COMMUNICATION. The phone code of Ivanovo is 0932. Inside Ivanovo you should just dial a local 6-digit number, without any codes.
The main post, phone and telegraph office is located on Lenina (ЬЊ’Џ’?) street, #13. Opened daily from 8 until 19, except sundays.
The mobile phones of 'MTS' company are working in the whole Ivanovo region, a minute costs around $0.5 for local calls, and $0.8 for calls to Moscow. If you have roaming with the two companies, you can use your cellphone in Ivanovo.
WHERE TO STAY IN IVANOVO. In case you like Ivanovo so much that you even decide to stay there, or (sorry) you're just stuck in the town, here's the list of a few hotels in the alphabetical order:
Address: 64, Lenina (ЬЊ’Џ’?) ul. Phone: (0932) 37-25-47
Address: 9, Naberezhnaya (?‡Њ¶Њѕ’?§) ul. Phone: (0932) 37-64-36