For the longest time ever my practical knowledge of Russia was formed by two cities: Moscow (the place where I/my parents/their parents were born) and Saint Petersburg – my ultimate romantic getaway place. I was also visiting my countryside house (30 minutes by train) and some nearby estates connected with famous Russian writers and poets. This autumn I finally decided to go a bit further and went on a trip following the route of so called Golden Ring which is a chain of ancient provincial towns northeast of Moscow.

First stop – Suzdal!

imageKamenka River, Church of the Epiphany, Ilyinsky meadow and some houses. There are less than 10 thousand people living in Suzdal, and the size of the city is only 15 square kilometers. Therefore, the concentration of beauty is impressive: there are 200 historical sights (50 churches, 5 monasteries and many museums) placed into tranquil countryside paysage

imageThe beautiful St Elijah Church, 1744imageimageMuseum Of Wooden Architecture & Peasant Life is representing a typical 18 century Russian village with its houses, churches, windmills and wells. All the buildings are original, they have been collected from all over the Vladimir region and brought here. Some of the buildings were made without using iron nails

суздальTransfiguration Church (1756) lost one of the crosses during a thunderstormimageimageimageWindmill, 18th centuryimage

imageOne of the dwelling houses outside…
image…and inside. The ladies’ place is detected!
imageimageimageimageCountryside view. It’s still forbidden to build houses over 2 floors in Suzdal, as it’s considered as an open-air history museum

There are 5 monasteries in Suzdal: Monastery of Saint Euthymius, Pokrovsky convent, Aleksandrovsky, Rizpolozhensky convent, Vasilievsky monastery. I have visited the stunning Monastery of Saint Euthymius:imageimage imageimageimageA lot of movies were shot here, Andrei Rublev by A. Tarkovsky is one of them

imageMain street of Suzdal


imageThe city is full of beautiful old buildings, and I really enjoyed watching all these bright little houses, which remind me of something from children’s fairy tales

Suzdal is a fairytale town, filled with churches, tiny houses and beautiful birch trees, a place full of ancient provincial charm. There are no shopping malls and modern museums, cinemas and fast food places in Suzdal, however the city is so made to be visited by tourists – there are lots of Russian restaurants, souvenir shops and beautiful (not budget) hotels. The ancient city is pierced with Lenin Street with a recognizable soviet monument, and in the evening Suzdal becomes surprisingly silent and dark which is very unusual for a big city person. I think it’s a perfect place to visit for two or three days so you can see all the monasteries and museums, and then quietly rest on the high bank of the Kamenka River with a nice cup of coffee (kvass/medovukha), observing the beautiful land of Suzdal.

As always I have put all the interesting places on the map just in case.


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