vladimir – владимир

Vladimir is one of the oldest Russian cities. It was founded in the early 12th century and soon after the city became a political, cultural and religious center of old Russia. Mongols devastated Vladimir twice in 1238 and 1293. The city recovered but gradually ceded superiority to Moscow. All sights of interest are concentrated in the city center. The Assumption Cathedral was built within three years (1158-1161) on the high bank of the Klyazma River.

Andrei Rublev - the famous Russian icon and fresco painter. His original Last Judgement frescoes painted in 1408 can still be seen in the Assumption Cathedral.

The 1197 smaller Saint Dmitry Cathedral stands close to the Assumption Cathedral.

Both cathedrals richly adorned with fine stone carving are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The stela between the two cathedrals was erected in 1958 to mark the 850th anniversary of Vladimir.

The view over the Klyazma River from the Assumption Cathedral.

The 1164 Golden Gate was part of the original city wall. The building combines a defensive tower and a triumphal arch. The Tower houses a small museum. Its centerpiece is a diorama of Vladimir being attacked by Mongols in 1238.

The 1916 Trinity Church.

The early 20th century water tower now houses a museum.

The 1778 Transfiguration Church.

Prince Vladimir Monomakh - the founder of Vladimir - ruled with cross and sword.

The drama theatre.

Lenin in Vladimir looks a bit skinny.

It is fun to walk the streets of Vladimir.

VLADIMIR oblast – ВЛАДИМИРская область

Between 1158 and 1165 Russian prince Andrey Bogolyubsky built a stone palace 11 km from Vladimir. Now the palace houses a monastery located right next to the Vladimir - Nizhny Novgorod highway in the town of Bogolyubovo.

Before Andrei was assassinated by hostile nobles in his Bogolyubovo palace he managed to build the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl River. The church is considered to be one of the most attractive of all Russian buildings due to its simple but perfect proportions. Andrei had the church built in the memory of his son who was killed in battle against the Bulgars. The defeated Bulgars had to deliver the white stone over the distance of nearly 700 km. (See Tatarstan Republic page for Volga Bulgaria). Completed around 1165 the church has not been touched by later generations. The walls are still decorated with 12th century carvings. It stands on a man made mound. In spring, the area is flooded, and the church appears to be floating on water.


Suzdal is properly illustrated in Golden Ring page (Suzdal).

yuriev-polsky – юрьев-польский

The town of Yuriev-Polsky is about halfway between Suzdal and Pereslavl-Zalessky where in a quiet provincial setting you can see the 12th century kremlin with ramparts, walls and churches. The town was founded in 1152 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky who had founded Moscow 5 years earlier. His stone statue stands near the kremlin.

The 1234 St. George Church has a façade completely covered in elaborate stone carvings.

An unrestored (as of 2009) roadside church in the village of Turtino not far from Suzdal on the way to Yuriev-Polsky.

kideksha – кидекша

Kideksha is a village 4 km east of Suzdal. It is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of two churches and a bell tower.

The 1152 Saint Boris & Gleb Church is a museum.

A tiny part of 12th century frescoes has survived.

Modern day frescoes.

The ancient masonry.

The 1780 Saint Stephan Church is an acting church.