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GOLDEN RING

 

 

 

Golden Ring

 

The Golden Ring of Russia could be defined as a group of small cities running through ancient Russian towns which have preserved their unique historical and cultural heritage. It is one of the most popular and visited routes in the Russian provinces. These ancient towns, which had also played a significant role in the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church, preserved the memory of the most important and significant events in the Russian history. The towns have been called "open air museums" and feature unique monuments of the Russian architecture of the 12th –18th centuries, including kremlins, monasteries, cathedrals, and churches. The Golden Ring has got its name because all of the towns build a symbolic circle in which each town is remarkable for its rich history and attractions, and together they constitute the treasury of the Russian culture, a visual encyclopedia of ancient architecture. 


The Golden Ring of Russia is composed of 8 small main ancient towns around Moscow: Vladimir - Suzdal - Ivanovo - Kostroma - Yaroslavl - Rostov Veliky - Peresslavl Zalessky - Sergiev Possad. The capital of the Golden Ring is Vladimir because it is where the tour starts.

 

Golden Ring, VladimirFor more than 250 years Vladimir had been playing a very important role in the history of Russia, when it used to be the capital of the ancient Russian State. Up to 1432, Grand Princes of Russia had been crowned in the Vladimir Cathedral of the Assumption of Holly Mother of God. Vladimir is most famous for its three 12th century monuments: the five-domed Assumption Cathedral with magnificent frescoes of Andrey Rublev, the warrior-like cathedral of St. Demetrius notable for its unique carvings and the Golden Gate, which used to be a tower over the city's main gate. Two of its Russian Orthodox cathedrals, a monastery, and connected buildings have been designated as among the White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site The great Assumption Cathedral has preserved world famous frescoes of Andrey Rublev. 

Golden Ring, SuzdalSuzdal seems to be one of the most famous towns of the Golden Ring. "An open air museum" is the most exact description of this ancient Russian town that has about two hundred ancient monuments of religious architecture. They occupy nine square kilometers. One of the most interesting monuments is the Kremlin, which is surrounded by ancient ramparts. There is a Monastery of the Savior and St.Euthimius, a Convent of the Intercession, a Museum of Wooden Architecture and Rural Life, 18th century Possad churches etc. This place is very quiet for there are no train stations or industries. Gazing at its blue river, wooden houses, picturesque meadows you may feel that the time has stopped here. Today the town is an outstanding architectural museum, containing more examples of period architecture than any other Russian town, and its original architectural topography has been retained. The town population is 12,000. 

Golden Ring, KostromaKostroma. Founded in 1152 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruki, Kostroma city is situated on the left bank of the River Volga. The town's pride is St. Ipaty Monastery, famous for being patronised by the Romanov Dynasty. Here in 1613 young Mikhail Romanov was blessed to become the Tsar of Russia. Kostroma is famous for its wonderful architectural monuments. Kostroma is one of the best places in Russia to see well-preserved old wooden buildings, richly decorated and carved: in the open-air museum of the 16th to 18th centuries, among different wooden objects visitors can see wind mills, wooden houses of peasants, Russian bath houses, and wooden churches. Its picturesque suburbs have long been a source of inspiration for many Russian artists.

Golden Ring, Rostov the GreatRostov Veliky (the Great) was first mentioned in the 9th century. In the 12th century Rostov expanded to equal Kiev and Novgorod in size and importance. It was made the seat of the Metropolitan (Head of the Russian Orthodox Church) in 1587 and served as an important commercial center in the 16th-19th centuries. There are 323 monuments of architecture nowadays in Rostov, but the most significant is the Kremlin.  Built in the 17th century it is considered the finest Kremlin outside Moscow. Clusters of domes rising above the walls will really wake up imagination. Also Rostov-the-Great is famous for its bell ringing and architectural monuments of the 16th century.

Golden Ring, Pereslavl-ZalesskyPereslavl-Zalessky is coeval with Moscow (was founded in 1152), and now is one of the most interesting centers of Yaroslavl region. Not only architectural masterpieces give grounds to include Pereslavl in the Golden Ring of ancient Russian towns. Many events in the Russian history took place around and inside this tow. The town is located on the bank of the Pleshcheevo Lake. In 1688–1693, Peter the Great built his famous "fun flotilla" on the lake for his own amusement. The Botik (a small boat) museum chronicles the history of the first Russian fleet and keeps one of the original model boats. The pearl of its architecture is the Cathedral of Transfiguration of the Saviour, the oldest monument in Central Russia.

Golden Ring, YaroslavlYaroslavl, founded in 1010 by Yaroslav the Wise (future Grand Prince of Kiev), is a large and pleasantly quiet old town, and yet much more metropolitan than other towns of the Golden Ring. Yaroslavl has developed rapidly because of its favorable location along the Volga trade route. During the 17th century Yaroslavl became a port of entry into Russia, and the city advanced to the third place after Moscow and Kazan as a center of trade. Yaroslavl has some of the most magnificent monasteries and churches in Russia, boasting some of the country’s most beautiful frescoes and architectural “Yaroslavl type” churches (red brick and bright tiled exteriors). Of special interest is the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, founded in 12th century, and the majestic Church of Elijah the Prophet. 

Golden Ring, Sergiev PosadSergiev Posad is the pearl of the Golden Ring, the center of the Russian Orthodox church, the "Russian Vatican". It is a town around the Holy Trinity-St.Sergius Lavra, a town rich in history. Sergiev Posad was named after Saint Sergey, known as Sergey Radonezhsky, who was born in Radonezh, a town situated next to Zagorsk. In the 14th century he founded a monastery there and it became one of the biggest and most magnificent monasteries in Russia. Nowadays the monastery is called Lavra ("the main and most important monastery"). One of the main sights of the town is St. Trinity Cathedral.

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