GOLDEN RING of Russia- Travel Guide, Part 1

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Murom (founded 862, population 145,000) - one ofrepparttar oldest Russian cites stretched alongrepparttar 143856 left bank ofrepparttar 143857 Oka river. The town's name originates from "muroma", one ofrepparttar 143858 Finno-Ugric tribes lived here 15 centuries ago. Every Russian knowsrepparttar 143859 name Ilya Muromets. He was a mythical epic hero defending people of Russia and later became a synonym of superior physical and spiritual power and integrity, dedicated torepparttar 143860 protection ofrepparttar 143861 Homeland. There is a monument to Ilya Muromets built on a river bank ofrepparttar 143862 Oka river in Murom. The town survived three Mongol invasions. Inrepparttar 143863 17th century Murom became an important centre of various crafts - building, painting, sawing. There are three working monasteries in Murom.

Palekh (founded 1600, population 6,000) -repparttar 143864 village is situated about 400km (250 miles) from Moscow inrepparttar 143865 Ivanovo region. Inrepparttar 143866 15th century it was one ofrepparttar 143867 first centers of icon drawing trade. Afterrepparttar 143868 1917 communist coup, whenrepparttar 143869 icon business went down, Palekh masters tried to decorate wooden toys, dishes, porcelain and glass. Butrepparttar 143870 most interesting way turned out to be painting black-lacquered boxes made of papier-mache. These daysrepparttar 143871 name of Palekh is nearly synonymous withrepparttar 143872 art of Russian lacquer. Palekh artists are generally regarded asrepparttar 143873 most highly trained ofrepparttar 143874 Russian miniature painters. Famous for highly detailed miniatures with elaborate ornamentation,repparttar 143875 village of Palekh has a long artistic tradition. Like their icon painting forebears, today's Palekh artists use egg tempera paints and paint inrepparttar 143876 Byzantine style. Favored themes arerepparttar 143877 Russian fairy tales,repparttar 143878 famous Russian troika (three horse sleigh), and scenes of life inrepparttar 143879 countryside. The art of Palekh miniatures expressesrepparttar 143880 true national character. Many examples of Palekh art have received recognition at international exhibitions and have become world-known.

Pereslavl-Zalesskiy (founded in 1152, population 45,000) - one ofrepparttar 143881 oldest Russian towns,repparttar 143882 birthplace ofrepparttar 143883 famous Russian prince Alexander Nevsky, who defeated an army of German knights in 1242. Zalessky means "behindrepparttar 143884 woods". That is where, behindrepparttar 143885 dense forests, ancient Slavic tribes retreated seeking refuge from hostile nomads coming fromrepparttar 143886 South-East. The town is situated onrepparttar 143887 shores ofrepparttar 143888 huge Pleshcheyevo lake. The town is also connected withrepparttar 143889 name ofrepparttar 143890 famed Russian tsar-reformer Peterrepparttar 143891 Great who in 1680-s practiced his skills in ship-building making over 100 boats and sail vessels, who entertained himself with first Russian navy exercises onrepparttar 143892 Pleshcheyevo lake.

Ples (founded in 1410, population 4,000) - this quet little historical town is located onrepparttar 143893 bank ofrepparttar 143894 mighty and beautiful Volga river. Duringrepparttar 143895 reign of Ivanrepparttar 143896 Terrible Ples was one ofrepparttar 143897 largest river firsh suppliers torepparttar 143898 kings' court. Inrepparttar 143899 18-19th centuriesrepparttar 143900 town became known as a popular resort and was often called "Russian Switzerland" forrepparttar 143901 beauty of its scenery. Numerous Russian artists includingrepparttar 143902 famous master of landscapes Levitan used to come here to work.

Rostov Veliky (Rostovrepparttar 143903 Great, founded in 862, population 40,000) - another pearl of ancient Russian culture. In old Russia only two towns were called veliky (great). One was Novgorod,repparttar 143904 famous trade centre ofrepparttar 143905 Russia's north,repparttar 143906 other Rostov. The Principality of Rostov-Suzdal-Vladimir was one ofrepparttar 143907 strongest political divisions of Kievan Rus. It controlled allrepparttar 143908 major rivers in northeast Rus includingrepparttar 143909 Moskva, Oka, Kliazma, and Volga. Inrepparttar 143910 12th century Rostov grew to equal Kiev and Novgorod in size and importance. It was maderepparttar 143911 seat of an Orthodox Metropolitan (Head of Russian Church) in 1587, and served as an important commercial center inrepparttar 143912 16-19th centuries, one ofrepparttar 143913 wealthiest inrepparttar 143914 country, so it could afford to hirerepparttar 143915 very best builders, decorators and stone-cutters. Modern Rostov is a sleepy old town with some magnificent buildings next torepparttar 143916 shallow Nero lake.

For more information, descriptions of main points of interest in every town ofrepparttar 143917 Golden Ring, some photographs and useful links about Russian history please visit us: - one of leading online discount travel agencies, a source of useful travel information

GOLDEN RING of Russia - Travel Guide, Part 2

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Yuriev-Polsky (founded in 1152, population 20,000) - was founded byrepparttar Prince Yury Dolgoruky (who also founded Moscow in 1147) and named after himself. The second word "Polsky" means "amongrepparttar 143855 fields" as it is situated inrepparttar 143856 heart of fertile and flat Suzdal land. These beautiful landscapes inspiredrepparttar 143857 great painters and writers such as Repin, Tyutchev, Odoevsky, Soloukhin. Local textile centre sincerepparttar 143858 18th century.

HOW TO GET THERE: By plane to Moscow. From Moscow you can travelrepparttar 143859 cities and towns ofrepparttar 143860 Golden Ring either by a tour bus or by a river cruise ship. The last option limitsrepparttar 143861 number of towns that you can visit as they have to be situated close torepparttar 143862 Volga river. We recommend you to take a bus tour for 3 to 10 days depending on your stamina and level of interest in Russian history. A typical 3-4-day tour from Moscow covers up to 7 cities and towns ofrepparttar 143863 Golden Ring. You travel duringrepparttar 143864 day time in a comfortable bus with a well-trained English-speaking guide and spend nights at hotels with Western-class service (usually- 3 star). The Golden Ring tour can be perfectly combined with 2-3 day program in Moscow. Almost every major travel agency in Moscow sells Golden Ring tours and it is much cheaper to buy them onrepparttar 143865 spot in Russia then to purchase a tour included into a vacation package from Europe or overseas. Communication is not a problem, these days all personnel in respectable agencies in Russia speak English.

WHEN TO GO: The best season to travel to Russia is summer, from June to August,repparttar 143866 warmest time ofrepparttar 143867 year there. Rains are usual during summers, do not forget to pack your umbrella. Weather can be unpredictably cold, even inrepparttar 143868 European part of Russia, so take some warm clothing. You can check next week weather forecast for Moscow here.

TRAVEL TIPS: A passport and a Russian visa are required to travel in or transit through Russia. To learn more about how to obtain Russian visa please visit Russian Embassy website. Without a visa, travelers cannot register at hotels and may be required to leaverepparttar 143869 country immediately viarepparttar 143870 route by which they entered, atrepparttar 143871 cost ofrepparttar 143872 traveler. Russian customs officers strictly follow document regulations so travelers are advised to have all papers in order. It is also recommended that additional copies of passport and visa be kept in a safe place in case of loss or theft. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash/dollar payment for health services at Western rates so supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage is very useful. Travelers should be certain that all immunizations are up-to-date, especially for diphtheria and typhoid. Quality of tap water varies from city to city but normally is quite poor. Only boiled or bottled water should be drunk throughout Russia. Crime against foreigners in Russia continues to be a problem, especially in major cities. Pick pocketing, assaults, and robberies occur. Foreigners who have been drinking alcohol are especially vulnerable to assault and robbery in or around night clubs or bars, or on their way home. Robberies may occur in taxis shared with strangers. Be aware that public washrooms are difficult to find, and usually you have to pay there. To use a public phone you will need a token or local card. International calls can not be made from street phones. Your mobile phone will work in Moscow and Saint Petersburg but seldom in regional cities. Taxi fee must be discussed with a driver before a journey. Inrepparttar 143873 major cities you can rent a car if you do not mind fairly rugged road conditions, a few hassles finding petrol, getting lost now and then and paying high rent price. Public transport in Russia is quite good, cheap and easy to use though sometimes overcrowded. Restaurants seldom have a menu in English. Tipping is expected but not mandatory. Signs in English are common onrepparttar 143874 streets of Moscow and other big cities. In large cities it is not hard to find a passerby who can answer your questions in Engish. Electricity throughout Russia is 220 volt/50 hz. The plug isrepparttar 143875 two-pin thin European standard.

We wish you a safe and nice trip!

For more information, descriptions of main points of interest in every town ofrepparttar 143876 Golden Ring, some photographs and useful links about Russian history please visit us: - one of leading online discount travel agencies, a source of useful travel information.

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