GOLDEN RING of Russia- Travel Guide, Part 1

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WHAT IS IT: The so called "Golden Ring of Russia" is a symbolical ring connecting historical towns and cities torepparttar North-West of Moscow. They represent 1,000 years of rich Russian history written in stone and wood, from a 850-year old church in Rostov to a 19th-century log house inrepparttar 143856 Suzdal's open air museum. Each ofrepparttar 143857 "golden" towns once played an important role inrepparttar 143858 history of Russia and was conected in one way or another with famous historical figures such as Alexander Nevsky, Ivanrepparttar 143859 Terrible, Peterrepparttar 143860 Great and many others. If you would like to see true, patriarchal Russia, to experiencerepparttar 143861 grandeur of nature andrepparttar 143862 magnificence of ancient towns then a Golden Ring tour is well worth taking. It is one ofrepparttar 143863 most popular routes among Russian and foreign lovers of old Russian history and architecture.

WHAT TO SEE: The cities and towns ofrepparttar 143864 Golden Ring are listed here in alphabetical order:

Aleksandrov (founded in 1530, population 68,000) - The town is situated 100 km from Moscow onrepparttar 143865 crossway of ancient roads fromrepparttar 143866 largest historic centers of Russia - Vladimir and Suzdal, Rostov and Yaroslavl, Sergiev Posad and Pereyaslavl-Zalessky. In 1564- 1581repparttar 143867 town wasrepparttar 143868 residence of Ivanrepparttar 143869 Terrible. In Aleksandrovrepparttar 143870 tsar proclaimedrepparttar 143871 establishment of his select, terror-inspiring corps,repparttar 143872 Oprichniki and signedrepparttar 143873 harsh conditions ofrepparttar 143874 truce with Poland and Sweden after losingrepparttar 143875 long war with Livonia. From Aleksandrov Ivanrepparttar 143876 Terrible led his army of Oprichniki to strike atrepparttar 143877 big trade centres of Novgorod, Pskov, Klin and Tver. Hererepparttar 143878 cruel tsar killed his son in a rage and soon after that left Aleksandrov forever coming back to Moscow. The very first in Russia publishing house was established in Aleksandrov in 1576. One ofrepparttar 143879 leading textile manufacturing centres in Russia inrepparttar 143880 19th century.

Bogolubovo (founded in 990, population 4,000) - a tiny quiet town nearrepparttar 143881 city of Vladimir. The town was named afterrepparttar 143882 Russian prince Andrey Bogolubsky (God-loving) who builtrepparttar 143883 first fortified settlement here in 1165. It was a strategically important point overlookingrepparttar 143884 Kliazma River. Tourists can see remains ofrepparttar 143885 Andery Bogolubsky's residence including some residential chambers ofrepparttar 143886 12th century andrepparttar 143887 beautiful Church ofrepparttar 143888 Intercession ofrepparttar 143889 Virgin onrepparttar 143890 Nerl (1165) which is considered to be one ofrepparttar 143891 finest specimens of old Russian architecture.

Gorohovets (founded in 1239, population 30,000) - The town was founded under Vladimir prince Andrey Bogolubsky. The town is picturesquely settled onrepparttar 143892 high bank ofrepparttar 143893 Klyazma River. Played role as a fortified forepost until 1600-s. Reached its developmental pick inrepparttar 143894 17-th century as a local centre for blacksmithing, textile-making and making of leather and also as an agricultural trade centre for grains and flax.

Gus-Khrustalny (founded in 1756, population 80,000) - Over 200 years ago a merchant built hererepparttar 143895 first workshop of glass casting. Todayrepparttar 143896 town is one ofrepparttar 143897 district centers of Vladimir region, well-known in Russia and abroad asrepparttar 143898 national center of glassmaking. The name Gus-Krustalny can be literally translated as Chrystalline Goose. The old part ofrepparttar 143899 town is a workmen's settlement of 1900-s. with its own Church of St. Joachim of 1816.

Kholuy (founded 1650, population 1,000) - The village of Kholui did not begin producing lacquered miniatures untilrepparttar 143900 1930s, and though iconography had been an important trade inrepparttar 143901 region in previous centuries, Kholui was never bound to any particular artistic tradition. Rather, Kholui miniatures share some traits with both Palekh and Mstera art, yet maintain a distinctive lyrical quality of their own. As in Palekh and Mstera, Kholui artists use egg tempera paints. Kholui paintings tend to be brighter than Mstera's, though like Mstera,repparttar 143902 pigments used are opaque andrepparttar 143903 background is usually fully painted. Sometimes, as with Palekh miniatures, Kholui miniatures will include some fine gold and/or silver ornamentation withinrepparttar 143904 painting, and Kholui artists can create fantastic border ornaments on par with those of Palekh. Since 1960-s products of Kholuy's 200 artists have been widely represented and promoted internationally.

Kostroma (founded in 1213, population 300,000) - Inrepparttar 143905 past Kostroma was known as "the flax capital ofrepparttar 143906 north"; it supplied Europe withrepparttar 143907 world's finest sail-cloth. The city has been also called asrepparttar 143908 "cradle ofrepparttar 143909 Romanov dynasty". Mikhail Romanov,repparttar 143910 first ofrepparttar 143911 Romanov dynasty, leftrepparttar 143912 Ipatievsky Monastery for Moscow in 1613 to become tsar of Russia. Duringrepparttar 143913 Polish intervention inrepparttar 143914 turbulent years ofrepparttar 143915 early seventeenth century Kostroma was a significant stronghold forrepparttar 143916 resistance movement. The city is spreaded onrepparttar 143917 left bank ofrepparttar 143918 Volga river. Nowadays Kostroma is an important industrial center (textile, metal works), a capital city ofrepparttar 143919 Kostroma province.

Mstera (founded in 1628, population 6,000) -repparttar 143920 town takes its name fromrepparttar 143921 little Msterka River, which flows through it merging withrepparttar 143922 Kliyazma. It is in Vladimir Region, but not far fromrepparttar 143923 border with Ivanovo Region, south of Palekh and Kholui, in breathtakingly beautiful countryside -repparttar 143924 one that formsrepparttar 143925 backdrop to its paintings. Mstera was a respected center of icon production untilrepparttar 143926 trade was banned afterrepparttar 143927 Revolution of 1917. Since then its artists has been creating world-famous masterpieces inrepparttar 143928 form of lacquered miniatures. In keeping withrepparttar 143929 traditions of iconography, egg tempera paints are still used. The landscape is of central importance torepparttar 143930 painting with people and objects integrated torepparttar 143931 setting. Mstera paintings are frequently larger than those fromrepparttar 143932 other schools but some fine miniatures are also produced and because of their rarity are highly prized. Typical themes include exquisite floral designs with lacy gold ornamentation,repparttar 143933 traditional fairy tales, traditional activities and events such as a winter festival, and sometimes portraiture.

GOLDEN RING of Russia - Travel Guide, Part 2

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Sergiev Posad (founded in 1345, population 115,000) -repparttar spiritual center of Russia, residence ofrepparttar 143855 Patriarch ofrepparttar 143856 Russian Orthodox Church, whererepparttar 143857 remains ofrepparttar 143858 first national saint, Sergei Radonezh, rests. Inrepparttar 143859 heart of Sergiev Posad is a well-preserved splendid architectural ensemble of over 50 historical buildings, as well as magnificent art collections including old Russian painting andrepparttar 143860 treasures inrepparttar 143861 vaults ofrepparttar 143862 former Trinity Monastery.

Suzdal (founded in 1024, population 12,000) - this little quiet town is a real gem, one ofrepparttar 143863 most beautiful inrepparttar 143864 Golden Ring collection of citeis and towns. Inrepparttar 143865 11th century Suzdal becamerepparttar 143866 very first forepost of Christianity inrepparttar 143867 North-Eastern Russia and significantly affectedrepparttar 143868 religious life in Russia untilrepparttar 143869 end of 19 century. The town was destroyed by Mongols in 1238. Later Suzdal becamerepparttar 143870 capital city of Russian prince Yury Dolgoruky who is considered to berepparttar 143871 founder of Moscow. The second destruction ofrepparttar 143872 town came withrepparttar 143873 Polish invasion inrepparttar 143874 17th century. Here you can find over 100 church and secular buildings dating fromrepparttar 143875 mid-12th torepparttar 143876 mid-19th century crowded into a area of 9 square km.

Tutaev (founded in 1283, population 45,000) - is an old little town sprawling on both banks ofrepparttar 143877 Volga river. Tutaev (formerly known as Romanovo-Borisoglebsk) is divided byrepparttar 143878 Volga river into two parts. The former town Romanov is located onrepparttar 143879 left high bank ofrepparttar 143880 river,repparttar 143881 former town Borisoglebsk is onrepparttar 143882 right sloping one. Romanov was called afterrepparttar 143883 Russian prince Roman of Uglich who wasrepparttar 143884 founder of this town, Borisoglebsk got its name in connection withrepparttar 143885 Church of St. Boris and St. Gleb erected there inrepparttar 143886 15th century. The towns were united underrepparttar 143887 new name Romanovo-Borisoglebsk in 1822. In 1918repparttar 143888 town's name was changed to Tutaev in honour ofrepparttar 143889 Red Army hero who was killed duringrepparttar 143890 Civil war .

Uglich (founded in 937, population 38,000) -repparttar 143891 town was built on a major trade route. In its history Uglich has survived destruction byrepparttar 143892 Mongols and lived throughrepparttar 143893 devastation of fires and plagues. Uglich is famous for Russia's darkest secret -repparttar 143894 death of young Prince Dimitri, son of Ivanrepparttar 143895 Terrible who is often called Tsarevich (a heir torepparttar 143896 throne) Dmitry. The Tsarevich, a sickly boy, wasrepparttar 143897 last ofrepparttar 143898 Rurik dynasty. While playing with a knife inrepparttar 143899 yard he stabbed himself by accident or was stabbed by an assassin allegedly sent by Boris Godunov, his competitor forrepparttar 143900 throne. The center ofrepparttar 143901 town also is a historical and architectural landmark. The streets are wide, with various churches standing side by side alongrepparttar 143902 road. These churches vary in size and have domes and belfries of different shapes and designs, all of which add torepparttar 143903 charm of this small town. Uglich is known in Russia for simple-designed and reliable watches. The local factory, which makes beautiful women's watches decorated with special "Finift" paintings on porcelain which are incorporated intorepparttar 143904 bands ofrepparttar 143905 watches.

Vladimir (founded in 1108, population 400,000) - one ofrepparttar 143906 oldest Russian cities, was founded byrepparttar 143907 Russian Prince Vladimir Monomakh onrepparttar 143908 banks ofrepparttar 143909 Kliazma river. The city really blossomed inrepparttar 143910 12th century duringrepparttar 143911 reign of Prince Andrey Bogolubsky, who strengthened its defences, welcomed architects, icon-painters, jewellers from other countries, built new palaces and churches so magnificent that travelers compaired them withrepparttar 143912 ones inrepparttar 143913 "mother of all Russian cities"- Kiev. Untilrepparttar 143914 middle of 14th centuryrepparttar 143915 city had been an administrative, cultural and religious center for North-Eastern Russia. Duringrepparttar 143916 Mongol invasion inrepparttar 143917 13th century Vladimir was beseiged, looted and almost totally destroyed. Presentlyrepparttar 143918 city is a capital ofrepparttar 143919 Vladimir province.

Yaroslavl (founded in 1010, population 600,000 ) - asrepparttar 143920 legend goes it was founded byrepparttar 143921 famous Russian prince Yaroslavrepparttar 143922 Wise as a fortified settlement onrepparttar 143923 Volga river. After a huge fire of 1658 that turned most ofrepparttar 143924 city into ruins, Jaroslavl was rebuilt in stone and reachedrepparttar 143925 peak of its architectural development with palaces and churches richly decorated with beautiful frescoes and ornaments thus earningrepparttar 143926 title "Florence of Russia". The first Russian professional theater was established here by Volkov in 1750. Sincerepparttar 143927 18th century Jaroslavl has been an important industrial center. Today it is a quiet metropolitan city, one of Russia's largest regional centres, a capital ofrepparttar 143928 Jaroslav province and one ofrepparttar 143929 most beautiful cities of old Russia.

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