Suzdal is a small town in Vladimir
region and is located 210 kilometers north east of Moscow.
There are 13 000 people living in Suzdal now.
A picturesque green town, where you can at the same time feel the
russian country life and enjoy walks around fairy tale dome convents.
Inside Suzdal the atmosphere is as if nothing had changed since
the nineteenth century, goats, chicken and cows graze freely next
to the kremlin and monasteries, and on the grassy lanes.
The hilly green town, that looks more like a village, is very seducing,
walking around is a pleasure, the monasteries offer dreaming views…
But of course as for the rest of Russia there are stricking contrasts:
you would await a village bakery, and village made cheese, but the
soviet system still remains and, for example, the only bread you'll
find is made by the factory for Vladimir's area and is only sold
in food shops. Also the small picturesque village seems to live
in the ancient way only in the center: the outskirts are built with
high concrete buildings.
The peaceful and inviting appearance of the town center certainely
remained because of its touristic vocation: next to each monastery
you'll see stalls with russian souvenirs for tourists, accomodation
and most of the restaurants are quite expensive for such a small
But even seeing the place as it is,
it's very nice to enjoy the green and calm place, to walk around
its beautiful monastaries, or the Kamenska river. You can eat for
cheap where the locals go, and camp for free anywhere you feel like
next many monasteries or the Kremlin.
Suzdal is, perhaps, one of the most interesting and rewarding stop
along the Golden Ring, as it'll give you the feeling of the countryside
(especially, after the busy Moscow), there you can enjoy the ancient
Russian architecture, and marvelous views.
HISTORY OF SUZDAL. People were living
in Suzdal area already in the beginning of the 9th century, they
were doing crafts and cultivating their land. The settlement had
trade relationship with the northern countries (Germany) and with
the Central Asia.
In historical chronicles of ancient Rus' (????) Suzdal was first
mentioned in 1024, when Yaroslav Mudry, the Kiev prince, came there
to suppress the riot.
Since the beginning of the 11th centrury, Suzdal was the capital
of Rostov-Suzdal principality, which had the territory from the
river Volga on the east to Smolensk on the west (Moscow was also
part of this principality). Suzdal, as the capital of such a strong
and powerful pricipality was becoming more and more important.
When Andrey Bogolyubsky became the prince, he moved the capital
of his principality from Suzdal to Vladimir, but Suzdal still was
an important town, and there were many monasteries, fortifications,
and churches being built at that time.
During the Tartar Yoke, Suzdal was partially
demolished and ransacked by Tartars. Because of the vulnerable location,
close to the settlements of the enemy, Suzdal was loosing its strong
position and Moscow was gaining importance. So in the beginning
of the 16th century, Suzdal became part of Moscow principality.
In the 18-19th centuries Suzdal became an important religious center
of Russia, still keeping its positions as the center of crafts and
WHAT TO DO IN SUZDAL. Walking around, getting lost, entering in
the kremlins and monasteries, crossing the stream on wooden bridges,
exploring the country side, lying in the grass, eating bliny (russian
pancakes), looking what's inside the churches, horse riding, breathing