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Golden Ring 3

golden ring – золотое кольцо

The Golden Ring is a traditional tourist route which comprises a chain of old Russian towns located northeast of Moscow. All of them once played an important role in shaping early Russian history. Each town is easily accessible and has a well developed tourist infrastructure: hotels, restaurants, parking, etc. There is no clearly defined list of towns which comprise the Golden Ring. Big cities like Kostroma, Yaroslavl and Vladimir have dedicated pages in this website. Here I intend to post images of two smaller towns, namely Sergiev Posad (in Soviet times Zagorsk) and Murom.  All Gold Ring towns are very photogenic due to high concentration of old churches and monasteries.

sergiev posad – сергиев посад

Sergiev Posad located about 80 km north from Moscow is perhaps the major link of the Golden Ring. The local Trinity Monastery was founded in 1340 by St. Sergius of Radonezh patron saint of all Russia. Today the monastery is one of the most important and active in Russia. It is the spiritual center of Russian Orthodoxy which has a sizable population of monks.

The monastery looks majestic from a distance.


The entry to the monastery is through the Gate Tower.

The passage is decorated with frescoes depicting St. Sergius exploits.


Saint Sergius is blessing arriving worshipers before they reach the gate.

The 1423 Trinity Cathedral is the centerpiece of the monastery. It houses the tomb of St. Sergius.

A memorial service for Saint Sergius goes non-stop 24 hours a day, every day. Worshipers stand in a long line to kiss the casket. The interior was decorated by the talented medieval painter Andrei Rublyov (see also Vladimir Oblast page).


The 1585 Assumption Cathedral. As a story goes the cathedral was built with money donated by Ivan the Terrible. Ivan in a fit of fury killed his son. Later in a fit of remorse he sponsored the construction of the Assumption Cathedral to pray away his sins.

The brownish Chapel-at-the-Well was built over a spring that allegedly produces holy medicinal water. The last two meters of tubing is made of pure silver. Therefore, water contains ions of silver which can have positive effect on digestive system. The plumbing extends to the pavilion in the middle where worshipers fill their vessels with wonder working water. To the right is the 1477 Holy Spirit Church.

The 1692 Refectory Church.


The 18th century bell tower took 30 years to build.

The 1699 Nativity of John the Baptist Church.

Since the 14th century, pilgrims have been flocking the monastery to pay homage to St. Sergius.

Bless you!


The monastery never lacks for tourists.


The Russian Courtyard Hotel is right across the monastery.

murom – муром

The town of Murom is located in Vladimir Oblast about 130 km south-east of Vladimir. It is a very old town first mentioned in chronicles in 862. The town is known to every Russian kid as the birthplace of the most celebrated East Slavic epic hero and character of many fairy tales - Iliya Muromets. The statue of Iliya welcomes travelers entering the town on the southern end.

Murom is littered with monasteries and 16-18th century churches. The Saviour Transfiguration Monastery is one of the oldest in Russia. It was founded in 1096. The elegant Transfiguration Cathedral was built in 1552.

Next to the Transfiguration Cathedral is the 1691 Intercession Church.

The monastery boasts an exquisite landscape design.

The monastery is never short of visitors.

The Chapel-on-the-Bones displays skulls of previous monastic population.


The 1643 Trinity Convent.



The 1553 Annunciation Friary.

The Trinity Convent and the Annunciation Friary are separated by a narrow road.

The early 18th century Wet Nicholas Church stands right on the bank of the Oka River. The name indicates its closeness to the water.

The 1729 Ascension Church in the center of Murom.

Murom is a provincial town.


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