Ples Travel Guide

  • The only map I found!
    The only map I found!
    by yumyum
  • View from cathedral hill towards trading square.
    View from cathedral hill towards trading...
    by yumyum
  • Trinity winter church
    Trinity winter church
    by yumyum

Ples Things to Do

  • Levitan monument

    Issak Ilyich Levitan (1860-1900) is one of the most famous Russian landscape painters. His pictures are world famous and he often painted ie the Assumption cathedral in Ples. In his short life he produced about one thousand paintings, pastels and drawings. He was born in the small Lithuanian town of Kibarty. Levitan was educated in the Moscow...

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  • Church wall

    This 19th century church wall you can see on Cathedral hill. Entering the former fortress from the rampart you will see it.

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  • Volga river

    Many tourists come here by river cruise. The river looks very peaceful and sometimes you can see cargo barges travelling on it. There are cruises from Moscow and ships from Yaroslavl (3 hrs) and Kostroma (1 hr).

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  • Yacht club

    I was very surprised to the a yacht club here. I cannot really understand what it is for since I didn’t see any yachts on Volga river.

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  • Wooden houses

    Ples is actually rather village-like. Some parts of consist entirely of wooden houses, so very rural. I suppose a lot of them are actually datchas for vacation purposes.

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  • Izba folk museum – workshops

    Later the boss of the house shows you the different workshops in the garden, how they made clothes, kitchen utensils, jewellery etc. And yes, there is a toilet to use, of course, a basic wooden drop job all according to simple Russian country life.

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  • Izba folk museum – living quarters

    Now, this was real good fun. First you enter the living quarter ie wooden house where the house woman welcomes you with a small snack and tea. They explain the simple Russian land life to you (well, in Russian) show you how things were done and some members of the group were asked to participate by dressing up and trying out things.

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  • I. I. Levitan Memorial House-Museum

    On the ground floor of this museum there are a few genuine works of Levitan and other artists. Upstairs are the reconstructed rooms where Levitan spent his summers in 1888 and 1889. There is a small entry fee. Don’t count on using the toilet here. They deny having one. I insisted that they had to have one (in Russian) for the employees and was...

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  • Trinity winter church

    The heated winter church is from 1828. It has 5 domes and a tall bell tower. Inside there are fragments of frescos.

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  • St. Barbara church

    Built in 1821, it is located at the east end of town. You can see it in the background. Walk past the museums to get there.

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  • Cathedral hill

    This used to be the Kremlin area. It is the best viewpoint to have a look over town and the Volga river. This is the oldest part of town. There is a well-preserved fortified rampart from 1410 with a ditch outside. The rampart is now a road.

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  • Prince Vasily I

    This is a statue of Prince Vasily the First who founded this town. It was designed by the sculptor Aleshin. It is located in the former Kremlin in front of the former Provincial Administration offices from the 18th century.

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  • Assumption cathedral

    This simple cathedral is a landmark when approaching the town on the Volga river. It dates back to 1699.

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  • Resurrection Church

    This church was built in 1817 to commemorate the victory over Napoleon. You find this church just by the trading square.

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  • Trading square

    The trading rows are from mid 19th century. Today you find a few shops there still. One does sell ice cream. Nearby is also a jewellery job. The Russians were very keen on the jewellery shops as apparently the area around Ples is famous for it and factories can be found there.

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Ples Transportation

  • By ferry

    You can take a ferry from the embankment by the yacht club to the other side of the Volga. I have no idea how often it runs and how much it costs. It is for people only (no cars).

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  • By bus

    There is a simple bus station in Ples. We had to wait there for our local guide who made a mix up with the time and I must say that not much was happening there at all. But we had the chance to explore the area a bit.

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Ples Shopping

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    by yumyum Written Feb 21, 2007

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    There are a few souvenir stalls on the streets and shops. One of the obvious things to buy is obviously a small painting. But beware if you want to buy a bigger one, that you may get in trouble with customs when leaving the country as paintings need a document from a special office that checked that it is not too old and therefore must stay in the country or that you have paid the relevant taxes. My tiny winter painting of a Ples street scene by N. Sharykin (2004) for 300 roubles (about 9 Euro) was no problem. In the souvenir shop there are fixed prices.

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Ples Local Customs

  • Fresh water

    Wooden houses usually don’t have a sewage system and no running water – not even cold one. Inhabitants need to go to fetch their water from a comunal water pump which means hand pumping.

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  • Wood chopping

    Since there are lots of wooden houses which old fashioned stoves and ovens around. People need to chop wood for winter in order to heat them.

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Ples Warnings and Dangers

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    by yumyum Written Feb 21, 2007

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    In Ples you will have a hard time to find a proper restaurant and even more so to find a toilet. Easy for a man to go behind a tree but for the ladies inconvenient. So make sure you ask your guide if you have one or ask "Gdje tualet?". You can buy snacks or drinks and ice cream in the store in the trading row on trading square or I saw some sort of smallish café near the yacht club.

    near the bus station - very rural

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Ples What to Pack

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    by yumyum Written Feb 21, 2007

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    Miscellaneous: If you travel Golden Ring cities I recommend you get yourself a guide book. I bought mine in Moscow in Dom Knigi on Novi Arbat in September 04 for 53 roubles. It was a bargain in English printed in Russia for the Russian market.

    my guide book

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Ples Off The Beaten Path

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    by yumyum Written Feb 21, 2007

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    I don't know the name of this church but we found it on our drive from Volgorechensk to Ples. I think it may have been in Privolzhsk. Anyway, it was in a small town where we were looking for a famous local jewellery factory. We found the factory but the shop was closed, I guess we were too early.

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Ples Favorites

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  • Wild flowers

    Having been there in June, some wildflowers were in bloom and it was so pretty. They were on the Cathedral hill near the lookout over Ples and the Volga river.Have you ever noticed that there is always a wind blowing when you try to take a picture of a flower?!

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  • Birch trees

    Also on Cathedral hill there was a birch forest which was simply heaven. The white and black bark with the green leaves and small paths and the rays of sunshine, it was like a dream. I wish I could have stayed much longer and without tour group. For me it was one of those rare moments in life! I had a similar experience only once before in 1987 in...

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