the grand duchy in the neighbors of Moscow
The old Russian city of Vladimir is located in the vicinity of Moscow, the history of which is more than a thousand years old. Once it was the capital of a great principality, military battles took place in its vicinity, famous writers and icon painters lived, conducted traditional crafts and arts, passed rich trade routes, made the history of Russia. Today the thousand-year-old Vladimir and the surrounding towns - Kirzhach, Yuryev-Polsky, Suzdal, Gorokhovets, Murom and many others - are waiting for you to tell all the secrets and legends of Russian history!
Top 10 interesting places to visit:
Sights map of the Vladimir region
Assumption Cathedral and Kremlin in Vladimir
Monasteries and temples of Suzdal
Yuryev Kremlin in Yuryev-Polsky
Bald Mount and the embankment in Gorokhovets
Vvedensky Island Monastery in Pokrov
Observation deck "Venets" in Vyazniki
Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery in Murom
The spring of Ilya Muromets in Karacharovo
Crystal Museum in Gus-Khrustalny
Dyukinsky nature reserve
Detailed map of all places in the region can be seen on the website of the national tourism portal RUSSIA.TRAVEL
Travel in the Vladimir region
A journey through the ancient Russian region cannot be started without a brief introduction to the history of this region, which is closely intertwined with the life and fate of Russia. Tens of thousands of years ago, various northern tribes (Meschera, Muroma, Merya) already lived here, which were then replaced by the Kiev Russians under the leadership of the Kiev prince Vladimir Svyatoslavovich. Since the 10th century, the Slavic colonization of the region began, the cities of Murom and Suzdal arose, and the territory of the modern Vladimir region became part of Kievan Rus. The active prosperity of the region was largely due to the close proximity to the Volga trade route (this is how the merchant settlements Gorokhovets, Murom and Kovrov appeared), as well as the spread of the Christian faith in the local lands, the center of which was the city of Suzdal. Already at the end of the 10th century, the local lands numbered several tens of thousands of settlers, and the Grand Duke of Kiev Vladimir Monomakh was building a residence here in his honor.
In 1152, prince Yuri Dolgoruky, the son of Vladimir Monomakh, erected a large fortress near Vladimir to protect the land against the Poles and Lithuanians, which has survived to this day and was named after its founder and local nature - Yuryev-Polsky - literally meaning "the city of Yuri on Opole (field)". The white-stone St. George Cathedral was erected on the territory of the fortress, which has survived to this day. In 1234, the grandson of Vladimir Monomakh, Andrei Bogolyubsky, transferred the capital of the Rostov-Suzdal principality to Vladimir, thanks to which the city received an incredible impetus to development. One of the masterpieces of ancient Russian architecture, the Assumption Cathedral, is being built in the city, and the princely residences of Kideksha and Bogolyubovo are being built in the vicinity; in the latter, to this day, the famous monastery and the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl rise, which is included in the list of the cultural heritage of Russia. Successful military operations against neighboring principalities, as well as active trade, helped the city flourish and become one of the centers of Russian culture in the 11th-13th centuries.
And then the Tatar-Mongols came. In January 1238, on the territory of the Vladimir region, the battle of the Ryazan legendary voivode Evpatiy Kolovrat with the Mongols took place. A little later, the city of Vladimir was captured by the hordes of Khan Batu and burned down, followed by a battle on the Siti River, during which Vladimir prince Yuri Vsevolodovich died. After some time, the local princes managed to get a label to reign and protect the Golden Horde, but the local population did not accept the yoke and in 1262 raised an anti-Tatar uprising. The famous Alexander Nevsky tried to strengthen the power of the Vladimir principality, but ultimately Vladimir lost part of his lands - this is how the Moscow and Tver princedoms arose. As a result, in 1362, the Moscow prince Dmitry Donskoy annexed the Vladimir principality to his possessions, and the former capital became an ordinary city of the Moscow state, with which it has kept a close connection to this day.
Few people know that in the 16th century the small district town of Alexandrov became the center of the internal government of the Russian state. When Tsar Ivan the Terrible visited the Aleksandrovskaya Sloboda in 1565, truly great events began to take place here: the city became the center of the oprichnina, here the tsar and his family were during the plague in Moscow, the first printing house in Russia was transported here from Moscow, and in 1571 here the royal review of brides took place, during which two thousand beauties came from all over Russia, and Ivan the Terrible chose another wife for himself. Unfortunately, during the Time of Troubles, both Aleksandrov and neighboring Suzdal were devastated by the Lithuanians and since then have remained district towns of the Vladimir land.
By the way about Suzdal. Although its history began in the distant X century, from the founding of the Vladimir principality, its real flourishing came in the time of Ivan the Terrible, when the city became the largest center of Russian monasticism. Of the 11 monasteries of Grozny's time, by the beginning of the 19th century, five monastic complexes were preserved, but several more new ones were built in the middle of the 17th century, as a result, the city received a large architectural heritage, which, due to the absence of heavy industry, has managed to be preserved to this day. As a result, already in the late Soviet period, Suzdal became a city-museum, where many tourist sites were built, historical and architectural monuments were restored, and a circular tourist route "The Golden Ring of Russia" was invented. Thanks to this, already in 1992, UNESCO included the white-stone monuments of Suzdal in the list of World Heritage Sites, and today anyone can admire this beauty.
But the beauty of the Vladimir land is not only in churches and historical objects, but also in natural attractions. Picturesque field landscapes, observation views of the landscapes of the Klyazma River and even rocky gorges - all this can be found in the vicinity of Vladimir. For example, you can go to the Dyukinsky nature reserve, which was created on the site of a former mining enterprise to preserve the unique pine forest. Seeing real rocks on flat terrain surrounded by coniferous forest is a special pleasure. You can go for a walk along the hilly valleys in the vicinity of Suzdal and Bogolyubovo, or you can enjoy panoramic views of the Klyazma River in Vyazniki and Gorokhovets - whatever your heart desires!
Vladimir lands have long been famous for their crafts and folk art, many of which have survived to this day. In the settlement of Kolchugino, there is a plant for the production of copper cupronickel, in Mstera people create amazingly beautiful paintings on household items, in Pavlovsky Posad locals create warm scarves and shawls, and in Gus-Khrustalny there is one of two unique factories for the production of crystal products. When traveling around the region, be sure to visit these places and take along souvenirs as a keepsake of your trip.
When you go to the Vladimir region, be sure to visit two ancient cities - Gorokhovets and Murom. The first was founded as a border fortress and was destroyed to the ground more than once. Being located not far from the Volga, it managed to flourish thanks to the merchants and preserve its ancient architectural appearance to this day. Murom is famous not only for the fact that it is one of the oldest cities in Russia (founded in the days of Rurik), but also for the legend of the Russian hero Ilya Muromets, who more than once served faithfully to the Kiev princes to protect the borders of the great country. In the middle of the 16th century, the troops of Ivan the Terrible gathered in Murom to take part in the campaigns against Kazan. The construction of the first stone temples in the city dates back to this time. Already in the 17th century, Murom became an important craft center: skilled craftsmen in leather dressing, shoemakers, blacksmiths, jewelers, tailors and other craftsmen worked here. Murom gunsmiths were known far beyond the borders of Russia. Today the city is decorated with well-kept churches and monasteries, a large embankment and cozy streets. Not far from the city is the village of Karacharovo, according to legend, the birthplace of Ilya Muromets, where today you can bow to the memorial cross, drink water from the spring and see the relics of the hero in the local church.
Of course, the most beautiful city in the region is the capital city of Vladimir, the patrimony of the princes of Rostov-Suzdal and the capital of the Vladimir principality. The city owes its prosperity to prince Andrei Bogolyubsky, who in 1157 moved the capital of the principality here. In Vladimir, as the new capital of North-Eastern Russia, the Assumption Cathedral was erected, and the Golden Gate, which has survived to this day, became the central point of defense of the city and at the same time a symbol of the capital's status. Subsequently, the city expanded greatly, was surrounded by a fortress wall with battle towers (now not preserved), princely residences were built in the vicinity. However, the hard times of the XIII century led the city to decline, from which it could not recover and was eventually annexed to the Moscow principality during the time of Dmitry Donskoy. With the growth of the Moscow state, Vladimir passes into the category of an ordinary provincial city. Although in the title of Russian princes and tsars, to emphasize the continuity of power, he is placed in second place after Moscow, starting with the Grand Duke of Moscow and Vladimir Ivan III. So, before the construction of the Assumption Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin, all Moscow princes "were married to the great Vladimir reign" in the main temple of Russia - the Assumption Cathedral of the city It is definitely worth admiring its grandiose view and frescoes, which were created back in 1408 by the project of Andrei Rublev and Daniil Cherny, during a trip here.
Vladimir is a very compact and therefore cozy city. Here it is worth strolling along Bolshaya Moskovskaya and Georgievskaya streets, look into the Patriarch Garden and Cathedral Square, taste local culinary masterpieces and visit the Historical Museum, which tells everything about the ancient and Soviet past of the region (including the famous destroyed Khrapovitsky estate in Muromtsevo, whose interior items are preserved in the museum and are waiting to be returned to their homeland when it is restored). If possible, be sure to climb to the roof of the Old Vladimir Museum in the former water tower, which offers a wide panorama of the city and its environs. Take a look at the shop-museum of Mstera lacquer miniatures, small museums of the Soviet heritage, and in good weather I recommend going to one of the sandy beaches of the Klyazma River. Vladimir is definitely worth spending a couple of days there.