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Suzdal Travel Guide

The City of Suzdal

Suzdal is the city in the Vladimir region, on the river Kamenka, 26 kilometers from Vladimir. It was once the capital of several Russian principalities and has many examples of early Russian architecture. It is probably the most interesting of the Golden Ring cities.

Suzdal was first mentioned in the chronicles due to an uprising there in 1024, but was only a small settlement until the mid-11th century. Suzdal is a holy city, is in itself an entire museum, its thronging monuments, towers and domes enable the visitor to follow the history of Russian architecture from the 12th to the 19th centuries. Russian craftsmen built this city very cosy and convenient to live in. Suzdal stands along the banks of the Kamenka River which was navigable 300-400 years ago.

The City of Suzdal

Suzdal major industry is tourism, captivates visitors by the treasures of its ancient culture. The Archbishop's Palace houses a number of expositions. Its Golden Gates is a genuine masterpiece of early Russian art. Suzdal is special not just for its lovely old monasteries, convents and churches but also because they haven’t been strangled by the 20th century noise and pollution.

Suzdal is uniquely calm among other Russian tourist cities, it remains a peaceful rural place, on low eminences above the winding Kamenka River, housing mostly comprised of one-storey wooden houses (izbas). The Intercession Convent, Church of SS. Boris and Gleb Saviour, Monastery of St. Euthymius, Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral are listed by UNESCO as world Heritage Sites.

Kremlin represents a strange mixture of church and lay architecture. It was a princely residence and an archiepiscopal seat. Nowadays, the Cathedral of the Nativity of our Lady dominates the panorama of the Suzdal Kremlin. Spasso Efimievsky monastery dates from the 16th century. Its walls, over a kilometre long, and 12 towers create a fortress and indeed for centuries it served as a sort or the Russian Bastille, the prison for free thinkers.

Today Suzdal is more an overgrown medieval village then a town. You will have a great chance of seeing the country side and enjoy the authentic Russian experience.

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