The region is home to a rich craft tradition that produces many of the items synonymous with Russia. Its intricately carved wooden houses and classical streets echo this; but as ever in Russia, times are a-changing, buildings are being renovated and new establishments are opening. Known locally as Nizhny, the city's proximity to Moscow makes it an ideal spot for Muscovites and tourists to get a glimpse of the “real” Russia, the one of colorful wooden houses, grey Volga skies and ancient Slavic fairy tales.
Nizhny smells of rivers because two big rivers – the Volga and the Oka – become one here. And if you stand at the point where the rivers meet, you’ll get swept up in a humid wind. In spring this wind smells of lilacs, in summer it smells of linden. The Kremlin complex has become the symbol of the city – it’s an example of Russian defensive architecture, built in the 16th century to protect residents, and thanks to it the city has been saved from numerous invasions. Today, it’s like a city within a city.