Vladimir Travel Guide
Vladimir Travel Guide
The city of Vladimir, one of the gems of the Golden Ring, is located on the left bank of the Klyazma River, 180 km north-east of Moscow. It is famous for its architectural monuments, temples, monasteries and ancient buildings. Today, Vladimir is a modern city with a mixture of old and new architecture: the ancient churches adjoin concrete buildings, and the golden domes are reflected in the windows of fashionable cafes and shops.
The city was founded by Prince Vladimir in 990 and was first mentioned in documents in connection with the baptism of the local population. In 1108, Vladimir Monomakh began to build a fortress here. The son of Yuri Dolgoruky, Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky, made Vladimir the capital of the country, and in 1158-1165, an unprecedented construction programme took place here. With the strengthening of Moscow in the 14th century, Vladimir became a large Russian city.
The city of Vladimir is proud of its unique historical and architectural monuments from different historical eras. Many of them (for example, the Golden Gate from the 12th century) are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and come under the special care of the country. In the south-east corner of the old town, there is a Nativity Monastery with the same cathedral built in the middle of the 19th century. On a high hill, in the western part of the city, you can find the elegant Resurrection Church, a great example of Baroque architecture. When the Bolsheviks were in power, the population of the city reduced significantly. In 1929, Vladimir was annexed to the Ivanovo region, but its status as regional centre was restored in 1944. Today, the city is a developed and important strategic site and a major Russian tourist centre.
Where to Stay
Vladimir offers more than 200 hotels as well as hostels, apartments and villas. Most tourist accommodation is located near the Klyazma River. Most hotels are well-equipped and have billiards and a sauna. If you want to stay near the city’s major attractions such as the Golden Gate or Patriarchal Garden, have a look at the Monomakh Hotel, Samovar Hostel or U Zolotykh Vorot. If you want to stay not far from Vladimir’s passenger station, the Everest Hostel or Vladimir Hotel are the best options.
Bars and Restaurants
As Vladimir is a popular place among tourists from different countries, it offers a wide range of restaurants and cafes with European, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean and, of course, Russian national cuisine. Lovers of national Russian dishes will definitely like delicious pelmeni (dumplings), borshch and various other soups, hot meat dishes and vegetables, sbiten (a beverage made of honey), and other dishes and drinks. If you want to try home-made dumplings, visit Bistro Pelmen. Here you will find a wide selection of tasty dumplings cooked using original recipes. The Panorama restaurant located in the historical centre of Vladimir is in close proximity to Cathedral Square. It mixes European, Mediterranean and Japanese cuisine. To try local cuisine, check out Oblomov, Aleksandria or Blackwood, an English restaurant with Russian soul.
What to See
All the cities of the Golden Ring are famous for their temples, cathedrals and monasteries, and the city of Vladimir is no exception. You should definitely visit the Assumption Cathedral, the Nativity Monastery, Palaty Museum Complex, the Cathedral of St Dmitry, and the Trinity Church. Some of these buildings are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- The Golden Gate is a white-stone Old Russian architectural monument built in 1158-1164. It served as a defensive gate and fortress tower. Andrei Bogolubsky built five gates to protect the city from its enemies, but only the Golden Gate survives to the present day.
- The Assumption Cathedral is a complex of buildings constructed at different times, the first of which was built in 1158. It’s a fabulous piece of pre-Mongol architecture. The Assumption Cathedral contains the largest number of frescoes by the brilliant artist Andrei Rublyov. Here you will also find a baroque iconostasis and murals of peacocks.
- The construction of the Cathedral of Saint Dmitry began in 1193. One of its distinctive features is sculptural ornaments covering the walls of the building; this was unusual for Russian architecture. On each façade, there is an image of Tsar Solomon, and most walls show King David with birds and beasts. The image of Vladimir’s Prince Vsevolod III is at the top of the north wall.
- Old Vladimir Museum contains a wide collection of clocks and stopwatches. Here you will also find the observation deck, which offers splendid panoramic views of the city and the Klyazma River.
- At Sobornaya Square, you will find an obelisk which represents Vladimir’s past and present.
- The Nativity Monastery was built in 1192. During the Soviet period, the monastery was used for government offices, but in 1992 resumed its religious functions.
- People call the Old Believers’ Trinity Church the Red Church because the building is made of red brick. The church was built from 1913 to 1916. During the persecution of people observing old customs, it was closed and stopped functioning. Later, it was granted the status of an architectural monument of regional significance.
- If you want to see ancient crafts such as crystal pieces, embroidered cloth and a century-old matryoshka doll, visit the Crystal and Lacquer Miniatures Museum.
- Georgievskaya Street is a pedestrian street with souvenir shops, cafes, bronze statues and the former water tower.
- The Vladimir-Suzdal Museum is famous for its interesting bright exhibitions and expositions. The place attracts visitors from other Russian cities and different countries. It is a world-famous tourist centre, an object of cultural heritage of the people of the Russian Federation. This huge complex occupies a large area. It includes 56 architectural monuments.
- When in Vladimir, don’t miss the chance to visit the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl, which is about 2 km from Bogolyubovo. It’s a true gem of Russian architecture, a white-stone masterpiece reflected in the water of the Nerl River. It was built in the 12th century in honour of the son of Andrei Bogolyubsky. The church is charming in its simplicity and the harmony of its proportions. The stone carving on the façade depicts King David.
To get around the city, you can take a bus, a trolleybus, fixed-route taxi (marshrutka), minibuses and private taxis. You can also hire a car with a driver. The city’s transport network is quite extensive, so you can get from any district or neighbourhood to another at minimum cost. There is even a ring route, from which you can see the whole city. Vladimir railway station is not far from the centre, and many trains stop here. From Vladimir bus station, you can also visit other cities of the Golden Ring (Suzdal, Gus Khrustalny, etc).
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