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The golden Ring of Russia.Cities of Russia's Golden Ring tour.

Sergiyev Posad, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, Rostov Velikiy, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Ivanovo, Suzdal and Vladimir.

Golden Ring of Russia

Famous Russia's kremlins, monasteries, cathedrals.

"The Golden Ring of Russia" is a name of one of most popular tourist routs in the Russian provinces. The tour includes visiting a group of ancient Russian cities northeast of Moscow, located in a ring-like fashion.

The cities of the golden ring are formerly ancient kingdoms which were the political, military and cultural heart of Russia as they fought again the Mongols protecting the way to the kingdom of Moscow. They also played a significant role in the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Golden Ring of Russia includes 16 cities with the eight main ones: Sergiyev Posad, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, Rostov Velikiy, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Ivanovo, Suzdal and Vladimir. Various travel guides may alter the list. Whatever the cities are includes in your tour, all of them are worth seeing because these places are the collection of unique Russian historical and architectural monuments and the treasure of Russian ancient cultural life. Survived ancient Russian kremlins, monasteries, cathedrals of the 12th–18th centuries and the spirit of the places let them be often referred to as “open air museums.”

Wooden church at Sergiyev Posad

Sergiyev Posad

Sergiyev Posad is usually the first stop on The Golden Ring tours. The city grew in the 15th century around Holy Trinity Lavra or Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra (Trinity-Sergius Monastery). This was one of the greatest of Russian monasteries, established by St. Sergius of Radonezh in the 14th century and is now listed in UNESCO World Heritage list. For a long time, Serghiyev Posad was considered the country's spiritual centre, or "the Russian Vatican." One may visit the friary, the seminary, and the art museum recounting the history of Russian Orthodoxy in the monastery complex.

From 1930 to 1991 the city was called Zagorsk in memory of the revolutionary Vladimir Zagorsky. Tourism associated with the Golden Ring plays role in the economy of the city with the population of around 110 citizens. It is also a small industrial and agricultural city.

Sergiyev Posad is often referred to as a capital of Russian toys manufacture. The beginning of wood carving crafts dates back to the 16th century. Since then the city has become famous for unique Sergiyev Posad wooden toys masterly produced by the local craftsmen. Today there is the toy factory, the only in Russian toy Institute and a unique toy museum.

Kostroma

Located at the confluence of the Volga and Kostroma Rivers, Kostroma city is another jewel in Russia's Golden Ring. The city was s founded by Yuri Dolgoruky in the 12th century. Like other towns of the Eastern Rus, Kostroma was sacked by the Mongols in 1238 Kostroma was twice ravaged by the Poles. The city’s heroic resistance makes a glorious page of heroic Russian history. Famous Russian patriot, Ivan Susanin is Kostroma symbol.

The town survived the devastating fire in the 15th century and was rebuilt. It was a centre of the events of national importance, a birthplace of the Romanov Dynasty, as in 1613, Mikhail Romanov became the Tzar of Russia in Ipatiev monastery in Kostroma. The monastery survives mostly intact, with its 16th-century walls, towers, belfry, and the 17th-century cathedral and is Kostroma’s brand.

Fire observation tower in Kostroma

Gostiniy dvor ensemble with Spasskaya church, Susanin square ensemble, Molochnaya gora street, General Borshchov’s House and other historical sites in the city center are the fine examples of Russian architecture of 18-19 centuries. Kostroma city is not only famous for its architecture. Exquisite lace, national arts and crafts, well-known Kostroma butter, thick woods and one of most beautiful Russian women are what the city is proud of.

Pereslavl-Zalessky aka Pereyaslavl-Zalessky

The city of Pereslavl-Zalessky is located halfway between Moscow and Yaroslavl on southeastern shore of the Lake Pleshcheyevo. Pereslavl means "that who adopted fame". The second part of the name - Zalessky - means "located behind the woods" as the city was isolated from Kiev and other southern towns by the forest.

Founded in 1152 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky as a fortress, the city had been devastated numerous times by the Mongols between the mid-13th century and the early 15th century. In 1611-1612, it suffered from the Polish invasion. The remaining rampart, surrounding historical center, is now one of the city’s attractions. In 1688–1693, Peter the Great built his famous "fun flotilla" on Lake Pleshcheyevo. It is now the subject of the display in museum–estate “The Little Boat of Peter the Great”. In 1708, Pereslavl-Zalessky became a part of Moscow Governorate.

One of the oldest survived masterpieces by Russian masters white-stone Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour (1157), The ensembles of four monasteries - the St.Theodor Monastery, the Monastery of St.Nikita, the Trinity-St.Daniil Monastery, and the Goritsky Monastery of Dormition located in Pereslavl-Zalessky are the part of Russian cultural heritage. Pereslavl-Zalessky hosts International Land Art Symposium and annual Song festival. Museum-Preserve of Pereslavl-Zalessky (in Goritsky monastery), Museum of Flat Irons, Museum of Kettles, Museum of Steam Engines and Mask Museum are must see sites. The population of Pereslavl-Zalessky is only about 40 thousand people, however around 300 thousand tourist come there annually.

Spaso-Jakovlev Monastery in Rostov the Great

Rostov the Great

Known since the 9th century Rostov is one of the oldest city of Russia and one of most interesting stops of the Golden Ring tour. While the official name of the town is Rostov, it is better known to Russians as Rostov Veliky, i. e. Rostov the Great.

Rostov is located on the shores of Lake Nero in Yaroslavl Oblast. It was capital city of one of the most prominent Russian principalities before joining Moscow in the 15th century and later became a religious center for people arriving from Moscow.

The Rostov Kremlin, which is one of the most impressive monuments of the Golden Ring, was built in the 17th century as the Metropolitan's residence and is now a museum exhibiting the icons of the 15-17th centuries, and the famous Rostov enamels.

Rostov main sights include Assumption Cathedral, erected, the mid-16th Century with its largest and most famous in Russia bells, Savior Church-na-Senyak, the Church of St. Gregory, and the churches of St. John the Apostle and of the Resurrection of Christ, Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery.

Orthodox Church, Suzdal photo

Apart from its history, Rostov is renowned for its enamels, Russian national art craft. Local craftsmen are producing these treasures to our day preserving the unique technique of enameling that is over two centuries old. Rostov is famous for its Maslennitsa festival, festival of ancient culture and fairs.

Yaroslavl

Yaroslavl is the biggest city of Golden Ring, the administrative center of Yaroslavl Oblast. Even though it is now a modern city that an important transport junction and river port, Yaroslavl managed to preserve the ancient spirit and architecture.

Yaroslavl was founded as a fortress by Prince Yaroslav the Wise in 1010. The favorable location along the Volga trade route made Yaroslav the capital of the independent feudal Yaroslavl principality which later, in the 15th century merged with the Moscow state.

The historical part of the city that has 140 individual federally-protected architectural monuments, left almost intact after the WWII. In 2005 it was inscribed onto the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The visitors would admire white-stone Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery, Church of the Apparition of Christ rises, The Demidovsky Pillar, a memorial to Pavel Grigoryevich Demidov - founder of the Yaroslavl Demidov School of Higher Sciences, the church of St. Nicholas Nadein and Elijah the Prophet with some of the Golden Ring's most impressive frescoes.

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Yaroslavl is a home for the oldest jazz festival in Russia that takes place once in 2 years and international festival of choral and bell chime music "Transfiguration". Yaroslavl is also one of the cities that will host 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Dmitrievsky Cathedral of city of Vladimir

Suzdal

Standing along the banks of the Kamenka River, Suzdal used to be the capital of several Russian principalities. It later lost its political importance became a religious hub with numerous monasteries churches making it now an important tourist center, featuring many fine examples of old Russian architecture. The town has almost 200 architectural monuments of the last millennium and a plenty of craft shops of traditional handiwork. The main sights are the Suzdal Kremlin, Wooden Church of Saint Nicholas, Convent of the Intercession, St John the Baptist Church, Transfiguration Cathedral and others. Suzdal hosts largest Russian Animation Festival, jazz and choral festivals.

Vladimir

Vladimir was one of the medieval capitals of Russia and is now the best-preserved city of other cities of the Golden Ring. It was founded in the 11th century by the Russian Prince Vladimir Monomakh. The city enjoyed the prosperity and growth during the reign of Prince Andrey Bogolubsky in the 12th century and was the center of architecture, icon-painting and crafts. The monuments of medieval architecture, preserved in Vladimr were inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage List. They are five-domed Assumption Cathedral, painted by the great Andrei Rublev and Daniil Chyorny, Dmitrievsky Cathedral, The Golden Gate, that used to be the tower of the city's gate.

Ivanovo

Ivanovo has traditionally been called the textile capital of Russia. Since most textile workers are women, it has also been known as the "City of Brides". It has become the second unofficial name of Ivanovo. It was founded on the 16th century as a peasants and a craftsmen settlement. Because of its textile manufacturing industry, Ivanovo earned the sobriquet of the "Russian Manchester" during the 19th century. It is home to Ivanovo Severny, which is one of the largest military airlift bases in Russia. The city attractions include wooden Assumption Church and Shudrov Tent, a preserved example of industrial design, Art Museum with old Russian icons and Palekh miniature paintings on exhibit.

More cities of Russian Golden Ring

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