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Express to Russia » Guide to Russia » Moscow Guide » Outside Moscow – The Golden Ring

Outside Moscow – The Golden Ring

The Golden Ring unites a special group of ancient Russian towns and cities not far from Moscow. The towns are arranged in a circular pattern around the capital, forming a ring. These towns, including Sergiev Posad (the center of Russian Orthodoxy), Rostov, Vladimir, Suzdal, Pereslavl Zalassky, Kostroma, and Ivanovo were built between the 11th and 17th centuries. The Golden Ring area provides an excellent opportunity to view typical old Russian towns that are still surrounded by ancient Kremlins (walled fortresses), churches and monasteries. Today, these towns are often known as open air museums, and unique monuments of Russian architecture are kept and compiled there, reminding visitors of the dramatic events and colorful personalities that make up Russian history. Outside Suzdal and Kostroma are 2 interesting open-air architectural museums - entire wooden villages built to typify old Russian life. All the towns of the Golden Ring have been well restored, and many of the buildings are now museums tracing the history of the area that was the center of the Rus during their Golden Age, an age which lasted over four centuries.

Alexandrov | Александров

Halfway between Troitse-Sergieva Lavra and Pereslavl-Zalessky there was a settlement known as Great Sloboda or Old Sloboda. At the beginning of the sixteenth century a new settlement appeared next to the ... » Continue reading

Vladimir | Владимир

The area around Vladimir City has been a site of human inhabitation for approximately 25,000 years. Traditionally, the founding of Vladimir has been acknowledged as 1108 when Vladimir Monomakh inherited the region as ... » Continue reading

Gus-Hrustalny | Гусь-Хрустальный

The history of this city began in the middle of the eigteenth century. In 1756 the merchant Akim Maltzov founded a crystal factory ( ‘hrustalny’ means crystal) and development of Russian glass-making began ... » Continue reading

Ivanovo | Иваново

In 1971 Ivanovo celebrated its 100th anniversary, even though it was first mentioned in chronicles long ago. In 1561 Russian tsar Ivan Grozny (Ivan the Terrible) gave this village (at those times it was a village) as a gift to his ... » Continue reading

Kalyazin | Калязин

Kalyazin is one of the oldest cities of the Tverskaya region, and is situated on the bank of river Volga. It was first mentioned in the XII century. In 1134 Yury Dolgoruky founded a city-fortress Knyazin in the river Nert. Later, on ... » Continue reading

Kostroma | Кострома

The city was founded by Ury Dolgoruky during his trip to Kazan, so it is almost as old as Moscow. This is how the area of the city was described in the chronicles:”…there were dark woods, primeval forests. There ran fearsome ... » Continue reading

Pereslavl-Zalessky | Переславль-Залесский

Near Plesheev Lake, only 100 kilometers away from Moscow, is the old city Pereslavl-Zalessky. It was founded in 1152 by duke Yury Dolgoruky. The name of the city can be translated from old Russian as “(the city ... » Continue reading

Ples | Плес

Ples was founded in 1410 by Prince Vasily the First as a fortress on the Volga, protecting Moscow and Volga towns. The history of the town, however, started long before this: according to legend, the ancient town Chuvil ... » Continue reading

Rostov Veliky
Rostov Veliky | Ростов Великий

Rostov Veliky is one of the most ancient Russian towns, having been mentioned from 862. It was one of the centers of Kievan Rus. From the tenth to the middle of the twelfth century Rostov, along with ... » Continue reading

Rybinsk | Рыбинск

Rybinsk is one of the Ring’s better-known towns, and to this day maintains its old-fashioned merchant feel. The first mention of a settlement in the territory of contemporary Rybinsk dates from the ninth century ... » Continue reading

Sergiev Posad
Sergiev Posad | Сергиев Посад

Sergiev Posad was named in honour of Sergei, founder of the largest monastery in Russia. In 1919 the town was renamed Sergiev, but in 1930 it was changed again into Zagorsk, to ... » Continue reading

Suzdal | Суздаль

Suzdal appeared in the pages of Russian chronicles in 1024 and defined a whole period in the development of the Russian nation and culture. From the ninth century it was the capital of the Rostov-Suzdal kingdom, and was a ... » Continue reading

Uglich | Углич

Uglich is an ancient Volga town. Local manuscripts inform us that the town was founded in 937 by Yan Pleskovich, a relative of princess Olga ... » Continue reading

Uryev-Polsky | Юрьев-Польский

Travelling 68 kilometers from Vladimir and having passed old russian villages Novoalexandrovo, Olihovo, Kutukovo, Old Yard, Obrashiha you’ll get to Uryev-Polsky. The city is only 5 years younger then Moscow and was founded by ... » Continue reading

Yaroslavl | Ярославль

Yaroslavl is situated on the river Volga on the place of the settlement known as Medvegy Ugol (Bear Corner). The legend says that Duke Yaroslav Mudry occupied this settlement and carved an image of a ... » Continue reading

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