Visit the old town of Vladimir, a part of the Golden Ring, a former capital of mighty Grand Duchy of Vladimir. The town features beautiful samples of old and unique Russian architecture that are a part of UNESCO World Heritage. Located only 3 hours away from Moscow, Vladimir is a perfect destination of a day trip or a starting point of the multiday Golden Ring tour.
- Region in Russia: Central Russia, Moscow Region, Golden Ring
- Topic: Sightseeing, Multiday trips
- Best Season: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
- Family & Kids: Yes
Vladimir – the Golden Ring Town
If you want to feel the atmosphere of old Russia with its traditions and customs, unique architecture, old fortresses and white churches, if you are eager to see all the monasteries and church that hold within themselves a history of the whole country, if you can’t wait to heat the bells ringing their old sincere and beautiful melody, then the towns of the Golden Ring are waiting for you.
As any town of the Golden Ring, Vladimir offers its visitors the beauty of old Russian architecture. Enter the old town through the Golden Gate of Vladimir and get surrounded by the cluster of exquisite churches, some of the oldest in Russia. Tour the impressive defensive fort constructed in 1108, visit the beautiful Assumption Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with frescoes by the greatest of Russian painters, Andrey Rublev.
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The History of Vladimir
Assumption Cathedral © DreemPics.com
The town of Vladimir, traditionally, is considered to be founded in 1108 by Vladimir Monomakh. However, in the late 1990s new data was discovered, and the city foundation date was moved to the year of 990 in which Vladimir the Great, the “father” of Russian Orthodoxy, founded the city. The city of Vladimir saw its golden age in the 12th century when it became the capital and the center of the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality under Andrey Bogolyubsky. Andrey built the city’s Golden Gates and the Dormition Cathedral as well as many other jewels of ancient Russian architecture. During that time, Vladimir enjoyed immense growth and prosperity, was politically influential, and the most important princes of Russia had a title of the Grand Prince of Vladimir till 14th century. The Golden Age of Vladimir saw the end in 1237 when the Mongol Invasion of Rus took place. After the Mongol, Vladimir never fully recovered, and in 14th century Moscow superseded Vladimir as the seat of the Grand Prince. From that time onwards Vladimir became a provincial city, although it always remained quite a big city with a significant amount of population.
Sightseeing highlights of Vladimir
Today, Vladimir is a part of the Golden Ring and a popular tourist destination. Three of its oldest monuments are a part of UNESCO World Heritage List, and are definitely one of the best samples of old and unique Russian architecture.
Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir
Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir, sometimes also translated as Dormition Cathdreal, was a mother church of medieval Russia in 13th and 14th centuries. The cathedral was built by Andrey Bogolyubsky (Andrew the Pious) and dedicated to the Dormition of Virgin Mary, the patron saint of these lands. The great cathedral, covering the area of 1178 m2, reflected the importance and influence of Vladimir, and for the following 350 years was the largest church in Russia. Elaborate carvings decorate the exterior walls of the cathedral, and the interior was first painted in 12th centuries and then recreated by the great Andrei Rublev and Daniil Chernyi in 1408. The importance of the cathedral, the greatest sample of ancient Russian architecture, cannot be undermined – rulers of Vladimir-Suzdal, the most prosperous Principality of 12-13th centuries, are buried here. The cathedral also served as an architectural example for cathedrals of the Moscow Kremlin. In 1810 a bell tower, combined Russian, Gothic and Neoclassical style, was built near the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir.
Cathedral of St. Demetrius in Vladimir
The classic example of Vladimir-Suzdal architectural school, and the masterpiece of old and unique Russian architecture, the cathedral of St. Demetrius was built in 1197 by Vsevolod the Big Nest. The cathedral represents the joint work of Russian and Byzantine masters and with its exteriors serves as a reminder that Russia is successor of Byzantine. The cathedral of St. Demetrius in Vladimir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for its marvelous white-stone carvings – more than 600 reliefs cover the cathedral and show saints and their lives, mythical and real animals. Most of the reliefs are saved in its original form which only adds the historical and cultural might of this charming single-domed cathedral – an architectural highlight and a tourist attraction of Vladimir.
The Golden Gate of Vladimir
The Golden Gate of Vladimir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an example of old Russian architecture and the only preserved ancient Russian city gate. Andrew the Pious ordered to build a tower over the city’s main gate and top it with a church dedicated to the Deposition of Virgin’s Robe that symbolized Virgin Mary’s protection of the city of Vladimir. The existence of the Golden Gate once again emphasized the importance and influence of Vladimir since the Golden Gates existed in the holiest cities of Orthodox Christianity – in Jurasalem, Constantinople and Kiev. The Golden Gate was covered with golden plaques and impressed every visitor of the city.
St. Demetrius Cathedral © Fotowallpapers.ru
The Golden Gate of Vladimir © DreemPics.com
Vladimir – Location Map & Contact Information
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Vladimir, Vladimir Oblast, Russia
How to get there – ARRIVAL INFORMATION
Vladimir – 187km East from Moscow by M7 highway