Russia’s fifth city by population is Nizhny Novgorod. It was founded in the 13th century on the confluence of the River Oka and River Volga and a kremlin was established to protect Russia from the Tatars to the east. It was named after the ancient city of Novgorod with the addition of the prefix ‘Nizhny’ meaning ‘lower’ because of its position further down the River Volga - it is often today just referred to as Nizhny. The city later became the centre of a major principality as the princes of Suzdal made the city their new capital. The version of its kremlin rebuilt in the early 16th century is today one of the main highlights of the city. During the Soviet era the city was closed to foreigners and renamed Gorky - after the writer Maksim Gorky who was born here.