Vladimir is one of the main cities of the Golden Ring. It is located 190 km northeast of Moscow and is the center of the Vladimir region.
The official date of foundation of the city of Vladimir is 1108, when Prince Vladimir Monomakh built a powerful fortress on a hill above the Klyazma. However, in the Ipatiev Chronicle there is a mention of the city of Vladimir, founded by Vladimir “Red Sun” in 990 during the baptism of the Suzdal land by him. The son of Vladimir Monomakh Yuri Dolgoruky built in Vladimir the princely court and the church of St. George the Victorious (1157). The city owes its rise and all subsequent glory to Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky. When, after a long struggle, Yuri Dolgoruky became the prince of Kyiv, he appointed his son Andrei a table in Vyshgorod. But Prince Andrei in 1155 secretly left Vyshgorod and fled to the Suzdal land. From the Vyshegorodsky convent, he stole the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, known for its miracles. In Vladimir, the horses carrying the icon stood up, and by no means could they be forced to move. During a dream, the Mother of God appeared to Prince Andrei with a charter in her hand and ordered not to take the icon to Rostov, but to place it in Vladimir. In 1158-1160. in Vladimir Assumption Cathedral was built of white hewn stone, and the stolen icon was placed in it. Since then, this icon began to bear the name of Vladimirskaya. At the site of the vision, a village was founded, named Bogolyubov. At the same time, the capital of the principality was moved from Rostov to Vladimir. The city began to develop rapidly. In 1238 , Vladimir suffered significantly – the city was devastated and burned. Vladimir lost his former power and significance. Only in 1299, when it became the residence of Russian metropolitans, did its political significance increase. However, this did not last long. In 1328, under Ivan Kalita, Metropolitan Peter moved from Vladimir to Moscow, and later to Moscow The Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God was also transported. Thus, Vladimir turned from the capital into an ordinary city of the Moscow state. In 1719, Vladimir became the center of the province, in 1778 – the center of the governorship, in 1796 – the capital of the Vladimir province. January 14, 1929 Vladimir is part of the newly formed Ivanovo industrial region. August 14, 1944 Vladimir becomes the center of the Vladimir region.
Today Vladimir is a recognized international tourist center. Numerous monuments of Russian white-stone architecture are interesting here.
According to computerminus, Golden Gate were built in 1164. This is a rare example of the military-defensive architecture of ancient Russia. They also served as the main entrance to the princely-boyar part of the city. From the north and south, bulky ramparts with deep ditches adjoined the gates. Today, the Golden Gate has survived in fragments and has undergone many changes. In 1785, the earth ramparts were demolished, the vault of the building was shifted and a new gate church was erected. Today the Golden Gate is a building with powerful white stone walls and a wide travel arch. The arch is surrounded by lateral pylons (massive low pillars), above which the combat platform has been partially preserved. In the Church of the Golden Gate there is a military-historical exposition, where you can see the diorama of the defense of Vladimir from the attack of Batu Khan and the exposition with weapons and military equipment from different times. On the battlefield of the Golden Gate is the Gallery of Vladimir Heroes.
Not far from the Golden Gate is the Trinity Church. This is one of the latest church buildings in Vladimir. It was erected at the beginning of the 20th century by the efforts of the Old Believer community. The church and the bell tower attached to it are made of red brick. Since 1974, the museum of decorative and applied arts “Crystal. Embroidery. Lacquer miniature” has been located in the Trinity Church. Here are the creations of glass masters from the city of Gus-Khrustalny and masters of artistic embroidery and lacquer miniatures from Mstera.
In architecture Vladimir stands out Assumption Cathedral. It stands on a hill dominating the city. After Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky moved the capital to Vladimir, it was necessary to build a temple that would become the spiritual center of the principality. Thus, in 1158-1160, the Assumption Cathedral appeared, which became the largest building in the ancient Russian capital. After a fire in 1185, it was rebuilt and subsequently reconstructed several times. Today, the Assumption Cathedral is a complex of buildings from different times. This is a majestic five-domed white-stone cathedral. Its facades are decorated with reliefs, and inside you can see fragments of frescoes of the 12th-13th centuries, as well as the remains of paintings by Andrei Rublev and Daniil Cherny. In the walls of the galleries of the Assumption Cathedral, many representatives of the Vladimir Grand Duke’s house and bishops were buried. The ensemble of the Assumption Cathedral also includes a bell tower and St. George’s chapel. The bell tower was built in 1810 and crowned with a gilded spire.
In 1164, under Andrei Bogolyubsky, in honor of the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord , the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior was erected. It burned down in 1778 and a new one was built on the foundation of the burnt church, but this time of brick. Next to the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior, you can see a white-stone chapel, which was erected in memory of all the dead Christians.
Demetrius Cathedral was built under Vsevolod the Big Nest in 1194. It was erected in the princely court in honor of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica. This one-domed temple is small. Its outer walls are a real work of art – they are covered with sculptural decorations and 600 frescoes. King Solomon, various plants, mythical and real animals are depicted here. Inside the cathedral, the remains of murals from the 12th century have been preserved.
Of the buildings from the reign of Vsevolod the Big Nest , the Mother of God-Christmas Monastery is interesting. It was founded in 1191. At the beginning of the 14th century, the monastery was the residence of Russian metropolitans, and was also the main center of Russian chronicle writing. Today, the residence of the Vladimir-Suzdal bishop is located here.
Holy Dormition Knyaginin Monastery was also built under Vsevolod the Big Nest at the request of his wife Maria Sharapovna. She suffered from a serious illness, and when a monastery was built in 1200, she herself took the veil as a nun. Unlike other buildings of that time, it is made of brick. For some time (until Vladimir lost the status of the capital), the monastery served as the tomb of the princesses of the Vladimir grand ducal family. In subsequent years, it repeatedly changed its appearance – under Alexei Mikhailovich, a new iconostasis was painted, stone gates and a bell tower appeared here, in 1700 two bathhouses were taken away and poured into cannons, and in 1789 a church was erected next to it in the name of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God with chapels of John Chrysostom and the martyr Abraham. At the beginning of the 20th century, the monastery housed two churches, a hospital for sisters and a parochial school for girls. Later, the Holy Assumption Knyaginin Monastery was closed by the Soviet authorities. In 1992 it was reopened.
Of the later church buildings of the city, one can single out Michael the Archangel Church, built in the early 16th century in honor of the Archangel Michael (patron of the Russian army), Ascension Church, built in the 17th century on the site of the Great Nest of the Ascension Monastery created under Vsevolod, the Mother of God-Assumption Church (1644-1649), the Church of St. Nicholas of Galeisky and the Nikitskaya Church (1732) and the Prince Vladimir Church (1785) with three thrones – in the name of the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir, in the name of the righteous Simeon the God-Receiver and Anna the Prophetess and in the name of the holy martyrs Adrian and Natalia.
In the center of the city, in the depths of a picturesque park, you should definitely visit the Building of Government Offices. It was built in 1785-1790 for the provincial administration. Over the years, the first printing house in Vladimir, the district court and many other bureaucratic organizations were located here. The three-storey building of government offices is made in a classical style with a beautiful front entrance. Today, there are expositions of the Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Reserve – the gallery “Russian Art of the 18th – early 20th centuries” and the gallery “Modern Art. 20th Century”.
The house-museum of the Stoletov brothers is interesting because it shows the life of the late 19th century. It is located in a small outbuilding attached to the house of the famous Stoletov merchant family.
Bogolyubovo village is located 10 km northeast of Vladimir on the banks of the Nerl River. This is the former residence of Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky. Here, earth ramparts, ditches, the lower parts of the white stone fortifications and the remains of the castle are partially preserved. But the main attraction of the village is the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl. It was built in 1165 and became the first Church of the Intercession in Russia. The church stands on an artificial hill in the floodplain of the Nerl River. In order to prevent the church from collapsing during floods, the local craftsmen built a foundation that goes underground to a depth of 5 m. The outer walls of the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl are decorated with white stone carvings, of which Tsar David, sitting on the throne, is most noticeable.