Sights of the Vladimir region: antiquity and modernity
The sights of the Vladimir region are an obligatory route for all who want to touch the origins of the history of Russia, marvel and be filled with the magnificence and harmony of the old Russian architecture, admire the beauty and freedom of Russian nature.
It is impossible to list all the interesting places located on the territory of the Vladimir region. Here, whatever the town, there is a collection of unique sights, “ancient legends of the deep”. In the Vladimir region there are several cities of the most popular tourist route “Golden Ring” — Vladimir, Suzdal, Yuryev-Polsky, Alexandrov. Other cities in the region are well known — Murom, Gus-Khrustalny, Kovrov, Pokrov, Petushki.
The Vladimir region is located in the center of the European part of Russia and borders on the Moscow, Yaroslavl, Ivanovo, Ryazan and Nizhny Novgorod regions. About 1.5 million people live in the region.
History of the Vladimir region
On the territory of the modern Vladimir region, a person has been living for a very long time — since the late Paleolithic (about 25 thousand years BC). Once these places were inhabited by Finno-Ugric tribes.
In the X century began the settlement of these lands by the Slavs, who founded the first cities — Suzdal and Moore. In subsequent centuries, the territory of the modern Vladimir region was part of:
- in the XI century — Rostov-Suzdal principality;
- in the XII — XIV centuries — Vladimir-Suzdal principality. Under Grand Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky and his brother, the lands of the principality developed rapidly: new cities appeared with amazing, original architecture; new territories joined. In the XIII century, the principality was devastated and besieged by a tribute to the Tatar-Mongols. At the end of the thirteenth century, the Moscow and Tver principalities stood out from it;
- from 1362 — as part of the Moscow principality, and then the Russian state;
- from 1796 to 1929 — Vladimir Province of the Russian Empire;
- from 1929 to 1944 — the Ivanovo region;
- since 1944 — Vladimir region.
Places of interest of the Vladimir region
The flourishing and unprecedented development of the territories of the modern Vladimir region falls on the pre-Mongol period of the history of Russia, therefore all the main sights of these places belong to the 12th — early 13th centuries.
The brightest architectural monuments, remarkable museums of these places are included in the largest museum complex of the Vladimir Region — the Vladimir-Suzdal Historical, Art and Architectural Museum-Reserve.
It includes more than 50 architectural monuments located in Vladimir and other cities of the region.
To visit all the sights of the Vladimir region, one cannot do without a car. Where to go first? Of course, in Vladimir — one of the oldest cities in Russia, a major tourist center.
The city of Vladimir was founded by the Grand Prince of Kiev Vladimir Monomakh at the beginning of the XII century and for several centuries was the capital of one of the most significant ancient Russian principalities, Vladimir-Suzdal.
The city is famous for its architectural monuments of the Vladimir-Suzdal school. Some of them — the white-stone Assumption and Dmitrievsky Cathedrals, the Golden Gate — are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The main attraction of the city is the magnificent Assumption Cathedral (mid-XII century) with preserved frescoes by Andrei Rublev. Another important shrine of Vladimir is the most beautiful Dmitrievsky Cathedral with magnificent facades with rich decor and exquisite carvings (the end of the XII century).
The architectural masterpiece of ancient Russian architecture are the Golden Gate (mid-XII century) — the majestic and harmonious triumphal arch, strict and solemn proportions.
It is impossible to list all the temples and other sights of Vladimir. Only monuments of the XVIII — XIX centuries in the city are about 300.
From the museums of Vladimir must visit:
- Historical Museum, housed in an elegant brick building in the pseudo-Russian style. Among its exhibits is the famous “Sungir horse” — a touching children’s toy from the Upper Paleolithic;
- The Museum of Crystal and Lacquer Miniatures, located in the building of the Old Believer Trinity Church (early 20th century). The originality and intricacy of the museum’s exposition is striking — the “crystal river of time”, introducing the works of Gus-Khrustalny masters;
- The Spoon Museum is a private museum dedicated to the history of this familiar but necessary cutlery.
In one of the oldest cities in the Vladimir region, Suzdal, first of all it’s worth seeing the Suzdal Kremlin. This is the most ancient part of the city and a wonderful architectural ensemble, including:
- The Virgin Nativity Cathedral (early 13th century) is a white-stone church with facades richly decorated with fancy ornaments and images of animals;
- The Bishops’ Chambers (XV — XVIII centuries) — ancient residential and household buildings;
- The wooden St. Nicholas Church (XVIII century) is a simple but harmonious and proportionate structure.
Many tourists are attracted to Suzdal “Shchurovo Mound” — the only interactive museum in the region that allows visitors to engage in the daily life of the Eastern Slavs. Here you can not only look at the reconstruction of residential and farm buildings, but also shoot with a bow, bake bread, and milk a goat.
Murom is one of the oldest cities in Russia and the birthplace of the legendary hero Ilya of Murom. The names of St. Peter and Fevronia, the heavenly patrons of marriage, are also associated with the city.
Among the interesting places to visit in Murom, the following should be noted:
- The Savior Transfiguration Monastery is one of the oldest Orthodox monasteries located on the territory of Russia (X-XI centuries). The main attraction — the magnificent Savior Cathedral (mid-XVI century) — one of the best architectural monuments of the city. In the Intercession Church of the monastery there is an ark with the relics of St. Ilya of Murom;
- Nikolo-Naberezhnaya Church — a beautiful temple on the steep bank of the Oka (XVI century);
- Resurrection female monastery, built, according to legend, on the site of the palace of St. Peter and Fevronia. The architectural ensemble of the monastery began to take shape in the XVI century. Below the monastery beats the source, bearing the names of the Orthodox patrons of marriage.
On the territory of the Vladimir region there are two glorious places, for several centuries now proud of their masters. It is a city with a sonorous name Gus-Crystal and small town Mstera.
The city of Gus-Khrustalny emerged in the 17th century, and already in the middle of the 18th century, the first glass manufactory appeared in these places, which initiated the production of art glass and crystal in the region.
Now the Gusev Crystal Factory is the largest enterprise producing these products in Russia.
In the village of Mstera, a Russian folk craft appeared, an excellent example of decorative and applied art — the famous Mstera lacquer miniature. In addition, Mstera is the center of traditional Russian embroidery: white stitch embroidery, Vladimir’s seams and Russian smooth surface.
Church of the Intercession on the Nerl
Separate words deserve an exquisite temple of the Intercession on the Nerl. This snow-white small temple is located on a secluded meadow on the Nerl River and looks into it with tender sadness. The temple was erected by Andrei Bogolyubsky in honor of his beloved son Izyaslav, who died during a campaign in the Itil Bulgaria. The architecture of this amazingly harmonious and elegant temple creates a feeling of bright sadness and love. The church fits perfectly into the landscape, which enhances the sense of acceptance of the world, unity with it. The Church of the Intercession on the Nerl is a recognized masterpiece of ancient Russian architecture, one of the symbols of the Vladimir region.