Suzdal – the Golden Ring of Russia
Suzdal is an ancient city often visited during the trips along the Golden Ring, that was formed from a trade and craft settlement, and it was first mentioned back in 1024 because of numerous peasant uprisings.
According to one legend, Suzdal was founded by Asan, one of the three brothers born after the fall of the Tower of Babel, who retired to the deep woods of Russia and created the city of his likeness. The construction of Suzdal started from the Kremlin, and to this day the earth walls that were used to defend the ancient city have been preserved.
Travel routes along the Golden Ring invariably include acquaintance with Suzdal. A miniature copy of Suzdal can be seen in the new Yaroslavl museum “The Golden Ring” show-model – the authors of the project recreated the main attractions of the city.
Travel along the Golden Ring of Russia – the history of Suzdal
The journey from Moscow to Suzdal is only 190 km long, which makes it possible to go here with your family for a weekend. Bus connection with the capital is well-developed, but there is no direct train to Suzdal, therefore it is more convenient to travel on wheels.
Suzdal is a relatively small city with a lot of sights and you’ll find what to see in 1 day. In the 11th century, Suzdal was a part of the Kiev State, but during the reign of Vladimir Monomakh it became the capital of the Rostov-Suzdal Principality. Then the city was passed from father to son.
During the reign of Yuri Dolgorukiy, many temples were built and the political influence of the city increased. The period of decline began during the reign of his son, Andrei Bogolyubsky. In 1238, the city was plundered by the Tatar-Mongols, and in the following period it was vandalized during the internecine wars. In the 14th century, Suzdal became the center of the Suzdal-Nizhny Novgorod Principality, it was a period of active development of craftsmanship.
A trip to Suzdal is often combined with excursions to Vladimir, Gus-Khrustalny, and Murom. Reasonable prices for hotels, close proximity to the capital and centuries-old history attract both Russian and foreign tourists to Suzdal. Suzdal is one of the 8 main cities officially included in the Golden Ring of Russia, but the route is quite flexible and you can plan a customized travel.
What to see in Suzdal — the main attractions
Several landmarks are especially noticeable among the variety of architectural and historical sights of Suzdal – that is what you should see first of all.
- The wooden architectural complex of the Suzdal Kremlin was burned down in 1719. The Cathedral of the Nativity, St. Nicholas Church and the Bishops' Chambers have been preserved to the modern days.
- The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God is a 12th-century church, which was rebuilt twice due to the attack of the Tatar-Mongols and a fire. That’s why the parts of the church belong to different eras of architecture.
- The Savior Monastery of St. Euthymius is a male monastery founded in the 14th century as a defensive structure.
- The shopping arcades, the buildings of the 19th century, were designed for 100 merchant shops, which are now souvenir shops.
- The Museum of Wooden Architecture is located in the open air. Here, the objects of wooden architecture of the 17-19th centuries have been preserved. You can see churches built without nails, as well as houses of peasants and merchants.
- The Wax Museum, in which a part of the collection is dedicated to important people of the Russian history: tsars, writers, military leaders.
- The "Schurovo Ancient Settlement" is a part of the Golden Ring, where you should go with a child. This is a city-museum with buildings from the time of Prince Yuri Dolgorukiy. Of course, all the buildings have been reconstructed, but here you will be offered to ride a horse, shoot a bow, master a knight’s sword or bake bread in a real old Russian oven, which will undoubtedly plunge you into the atmosphere of a real ancient Slavic settlement.
- A modern Teddy Bear Museum will be of interest to preschool children. Here you will be greeted by 80 cute teddy bears made of vintage and modern materials.
A tour along the Golden Ring will take about 12 days, but car trips can be planned individually, and in such case you can split the trip into several parts, combining nearby cities into one travel.