Located among the Valdai Hills in the Novgorod Region is a city of the same name. The city of Valdai dates from at least the 15th century and grew in importance thanks to its location on a trade route to Novgorod. Today this small provincial city is famous for two things. Firstly its location in beautiful nature next to majestic Lake Valdaiskoe and to the Valdaysky National Park. Secondly just outside the city on an island in Lake Valdaiskoe is the Valdaisky Iversky Monastery, which was founded in 1653 by Patriarch Nikon.