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Destinations > Central Russia

Vladimir & Suzdal

Both cities are widely known as the main places to visit in the Golden Ring journey

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History, Orthodox Religion

and Ancient Architecture

Vladimir and Suzdal are the gems of the Golden Ring. They are widely known as the main and the most attractive places to visit on the route. Tourists usually visit these cities to enjoy large museum exhibitions, colorful pedestrian streets, amazing churches, delightful scenery, and masterpieces of ancient Russian architecture. Eight ancient architectural objects of Vladimir and Suzdal are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

short city information

LOCAL TIME
UTC+3
CLIMATE
Temperate
POPULATION
357 thousand people
HOW TO GET
3 hours 30 min by bus / 1 hour 40 min by train from Moscow
HIGHLIGHT
White-stone churches and monasteries of the 10th-12th centuries

types of tourism

A lady with binocular sightseeing

Excursion

Gilded onion domes with crosses of an orthodox church

Orthodox

Winter

A tree, fields, hills, sun, different natural zones: mountains, tundra, taiga steppes, mixed forests

Nature

A cute girl riding a toy horse, amusement ride

Family

Small thick pancakes prepared on kefir and decorated with fruits

Culinary

Vladimir

The Powerful Center ofMedieval Russia

The first town, from which travellers usually start exploring the Golden Ring, is Vladimir. Founded in the 10th century Vladimir was formerly a powerful center of the North-Eastern Rus’ and even Moscow was one of its suburbs at those times. Vladimir and Moscow are located about 180 km away from each other. The Golden Gates is the initial point of the old Vladimir; it is the remarkable architectural monument and symbol of ancient defensive structure. Near the Golden Gates Museum, “Old Vladimir” is located. It was the first museum in the country, placed inside the former water tower. The exhibition of the museum is devoted to local residents` life between the 19th-20th centuries, and an observation deck upstairs opens a beautiful city view. One more museum, which attracts a lot of tourists, is Crystal Glass and Lacquer Museum, located inside the former Trinity Old Believer Church.
A white building looking like a tower with a golden dome on the top and an icon on the facade.

Cathedral Hill

Look at 12th centuryChurches

Among the major sights of Vladimir is the Cathedral Hill with the Dormition Cathedral and the Cathedral of Saint Demetrius. Cathedral of Saint Demetrius is a beautiful white-stone Byzantine Church of the 12th century with the breath-taking interior. Dormition Cathedral is famous for its ancient frescoes of the magnificent Russian icon painter Andrey Rublev and relics of Great Martyrs. In Medieval Times in the cathedral, the Grand Dukes were crowned and buried.

Suzdal

Kremlin & other landmarks

Another main touristic object of the town is the Kremlin, the former fortress, constructed in the 10th century and located in the heart of Suzdal. It is the most ancient construction of the town, which keeps its extensive history. Among the most outstanding white-stone facilities of the Suzdal Kremlin are the Nativity Cathedral, Episcopal Palace, and St. Nicholas Church. 

The town is also widely known for its Museum of Wooden Architecture, where the best wooden construction techniques (built without any nails) of the 18th-19th centuries are submitted. The local historians managed to reconstruct the household of the Russian peasants and merchants of the Medieval times.

The Orthodox Church with gilded and green domes and the red-and-white monastery bell tower against a background of the blue sky.
Wall paintings in the Orthodox church in the fresco technique.

Suzdal

The Beauty of Monastery withAmazing Church Bells

The town of Suzdal is recognized as an open-air museum; travellers can check it by walking around the town. This rather small town is widely known for an incredible number of churches (more than 40), convents, and monasteries, each of them is an outstanding monument of the past, with authentic medieval ramparts and towers. The majestic Monastery of Saint Euthymius rises above its rural landscape and is famous for amazing church bells. The impressive walls of the monastery are rather long and quite high. The Monastery includes 6 temples; the main ones are the magnificent Transfiguration Cathedral, the Annunciation Church, the Assumption Church, and others.

Kideksha

Explore More

4 km away from Suzdal, in Kideksha tourists can visit the Church of Boris and Gleb. The Church appeared in 1152 and is considered to be the first white-stone construction ever built in this area. It is a simple, cubic, single-domed massive church, looking like a fortress. Simplicity, however, makes the temple especially attractive and stately. The interior decoration is preserved in fragments till nowadays. Tourists can enjoy amazing images of saints amidst trees, flowers, and birds in the paradise garden, which differ much from the canonical system of painting. Nowadays this church is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Photo by https://flickr.com/photos/loriszec

Bogolyubovo

Explore More

Not far from Vladimir in Bogolyubovo Village (also a part of the Golden Ring journey) tourists may find a shining example of Russian medieval construction – the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl with a flying-up shape and breath-taking view, and Bogolyubovo Monastery, which keeps the first icon of the Virgin Maria, painted in ancient Russia, and the former Royal Palace. Tourists can feel there how deeply ancient architects understood the harmony of architecture and nature.
A little white church on a bank of the river.
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A white Orthodox cathedral with bright blue domes and a bell tower against the background of a gently blue sky.

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