Russia’s Golden Ring

Russia’s Golden Ring

Russia’s Golden Ring (Золотое Кольцо) is a tourist route that passes through the ancient cities of North-Eastern Russia. These cities have preserved unique historical and cultural monuments and represent the centers of folk crafts. Today, the “Ring” remains one of the most popular routes for both foreign tourists and Russians themselves.

There are eight cities that form the Golden Ring: Yaroslavl (Ярославль), Kostroma (Кострома), Ivanovo (Иваново), Suzdal (Суздаль), Vladimir (Владимир), Sergiev Posad (Сергиев Посад), Pereslavl-Zalessky (Переславль-Залесский), and Rostov Veliky (Ростов Великий). In 2018, Uglich (Углич) has also joined the club.

Here is a brief summary of what to expect if you decide to taking a trip around the Golden Ring.

Yaroslavl

Founded in 1010, Yaroslavl is the oldest city on Volga river. The historical center of the city with 140 architectural monuments, has been one of 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Russia since 2005.

Kostroma

Kostroma was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1213, yet some historians belive it has been founded by Moscow Prince Yuri Dolgoruky in 1152, which makes it just five years younger than Moscow.

Kostroma is home to Ipatiev Chronicle, one of the oldest and most significant historical documents, which is stored in monastery’s library. It tells the history of Ancient Russia from the 9th to the end of the 13th century and covers almost 500 years.

Also, Kostroma is original home of Snegurochka (Снегурочка)!

Ivanovo

The first mention of the settlement dates back to 1608, so Ivanovo is one of the youngest city of the Golden Ring. It is also the capital of Russia’s textile. In one of the city’s museums you can see how weaving traditions have changed from the 17th century to the present.

Furthermore, Ivanovo is also called “The City of Brides” because for 1000 men there are about 1300 women. Having said that, the situation is largely exaggerated and is not as tragic as it seems.

Suzdal

The first record of Suzdal dates back to 1024. To this day the city remains the spiritual center of Old Russia. Over an area of 3.5 square miles one could find 5 monasteries, over 30 churches and 14 tower bells. There are more cultural artifacts per square metre than anywhere else in the world, with the possible exception of Old Jerusalem.

Vladimir

For two centuries, Vladimir was the nominal capital of North-Eastern Russia. It was here, in one of the cathedrals, where the great princes were crowned.

The main activity of the city is to go to museums. There are plenty of them here. In the Iron Museum you can find out more about old irons. In the Museum of Locomotives – ride on a railcar. In the house of King Berendey – practice painting on the wooden toys.

Sergiev Posad

This is the only city Moscow Oblast that is a part of the Golden Ring. Numerous architectural structures of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra were built by the best architects of the country in the 15th-19th centuries.

Pereslavl-Zalessky

In the city on the banks of Lake Pleshcheyevo you can find six monasteries and nine churches. Among them is the Cпасо-Преображенский Собор, in which, according to legend, Alexander Nevsky was baptized.

Rostov

Rostov is the jewel of the Golden Ring, uniting the oldest cities in Russia. The first mention of Rostov dates back to 862. Any street in the city leads to the center, where you will find a beautiful white stone Kremlin. The significant cultural potential of the city made it one of the major centers of tourism and pilgrimage.

Enjoy exploring!