Golden Ring

Welcome to the Golden Ring, the territory of Russian medieval game of thrones. This famous travel route includes eight main cities encircling Moscow. These are Vladimir, Suzdal, Rostov the Great, Pereslavl Zalessky, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Sergiev Posad and Ivanovo. Many of them were founded long before before the Mongol invasion in the 13th century and existed as independent duchies struggling with one another. Here you can see some masterpieces of the pre-Mongol old Russian architecture.

The historical centers of Vladimir and Suzdal are included in the UNESCO Heritage List due to their unique white stone temples and fortifications built in the 12th and 13th centuries. The main attractions of Vladimir are the Golden Gate, the Dormition Cathedral with unique frescos of Andrei Rublev and the Cathedral of St Demetrius with exteriors decorated by unique stone carving.

The UNESCO objects of Suzdal are the Kremlin with the white stone Nativity Cathedral and the Monastery of Our Saviour and St Euthymius. Be sure to take pictures of the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl located on the meadow near Vladimir. This small and elegant temple is considered the true symbol of Russia.

Rostov the Great (don’t confuse it with Rostov on Don) is famous for its well preserved Kremlin and Pereslavl Zalessky will amaze you with its refine Transfiguration Cathedral preserved with minimal changes from the 12th century.

Yaroslavl and Kostroma are located on the banks of the great river Volga. Yaroslavl is one of the oldest Russian cities founded in the 11th century. Its historical center full of beautiful churches and monasteries is also included in the UNESCO Heritage List. The main attraction of Kostroma is the 14th century Ipatievsky Monastery whose history is tightly connected with the beginning of the Romanoff dynasty.

The historical center of Sergiev Posad became the spiritual heart of Russia due to the Trinity Lavra of St Sergius (UNESCO). This is the biggest and best known male monastery in Russia.

The last destination of the Golden Ring is Ivanovo. This city is different from the other seven. Ivanovo is quite modern and famous by its industrial architecture and constructivism monuments.

The Golden Ring travel route is the best option for tourists arriving in one of the airports of Moscow or in Saint-Petersburg. It takes you at least five full days to see all its cities and monuments.

If you are travelling during summer months you can book one of numerous cruises along the Volga and concentrate on exploring Kostroma and Yaroslavl.

You can also add other interesting destinations to your itinerary. For example you can stay one night in the city of Tver which was the capital of the independent medieval duchy pretended to be the alternative center of Russian lands gathering. Or visit the charming Volga town of Uglich where a heart-breaking historical drama took place initiation the cascade of events leading to the fall of the Rurik dynasty.
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