A N. W. Government Of European Russia, bordering on Olonetz, Vologda, Yaroslav, Tver, Pskov, and St. Petersburg; area, 46,312 sq. m.; pop. in 1867, 1,016,414. The principal rivers are the Msta, which enters the government from Tver, flows N. W. and S. W., and falls into Lake Hmen; the Lovat and Polist, which fall into the same lake; the Volkhov, flowing from that lake into Lake Ladoga; and the Sheksna and Mologa, tributaries of the Volga. There are three large lakes: the Bielo Ozero (white lake) in the northeast, about 25 m. long and 20 m. broad; Lake Ilmen in the southwest, about 30 m. long and 16 m. broad; and Lake Voshe in the northeast, about 15 in. long and 10 m. broad. In the southwest the Valdai hills enter from the province of Pskov, and stretch N. E. They are a limestone range, nowhere more than 1,200 ft. high. The surface of Novgorod is covered with granite bowlders, though there is no granite in situ within the province, nor in any of those adjoining. The country is in general flat, a considerable portion being covered with lakes and marshes. The soil of the N. portion is for the most part swampy and of a poor quality, but in the south it is good and productive. The climate is cold, and the winter lasts from November to May. There are large forests of pine, fir, beech, birch, alder, and elm.
The principal crops are rye, barley, oats, flax, and hemp. The forests afford shelter to large numbers of wild animals, and the lakes and rivers are well stocked with fish. Iron, coal, and salt are found; and limestone, sandstone, and gypsum are very abundant, II. A town, also known as Novgorod Veliki (Great), capital of the government, on the Volkhov, near the point where it issues from Lake Hmen, 103 m. S. S. E. of St. Petersburg; pop. in 1867, 16,722. It is divided into two parts by the Volkhov, which is crossed by a fine wooden bridge supported on granite pillars. The town is generally ill built. It contains a large number of churches, including the cathedral of St. Sophia in the Kremlin, built after the model of St. Sophia in Constantinople, and several monasteries. The manufactures consist of sail cloth, leather, tobacco, candles, and vinegar. There is a trade in flax, corn, and hemp, carried on chiefly with St. Petersburg. - Novgorod was founded about 500 by the Slavs. About 862 Rurik here laid the foundation of the Russian monarchy, the 1000th anniversary of which was celebrated in 1862, and a magnificent monument was erected in commemoration of it.
The seat of government was afterward removed to Kiev, and in the 12th century Novgorod became an independent republic under a hereditary magistrate of limited power. Its territory extended as far as Siberia on the east and Livonia on the west. It had an extensive trade; one of the earliest factories of the Hanseatic league was established at Novgorod, and its fairs were resorted to by traders from all the neighboring countries. In the 15th century the population was 400,000; but in 1477 its independence and prosperity were destroyed by Ivan III.