A Journey to Vladimir Region
One of the magazines of the beginning of the 20th century wrote: “The best thing which a car can give its owner is, of course, not its daily using as the means of conveyance for different business and holiday trips, but a big tourism, real country trips…” It is the truth and it’s impossible to disagree with these words.
My family and I drove along the road Moscow – Vladimir – Suzdal’ for many times. There are a lot of beautiful places and it doesn’t depend on the season and the weather.
After leaving Moscow we pass by Balashiha, towns and settlements of textile-workers. A famous industrialist S. Morosov owned some textile factories at Bogoradsk (in our days it is called Noginsk), Gluhovo Village and Orehovo-Zuevo. And who doesn’t like marvelous kerchiefs from Pavlovsky Posad! This town is famous for the first power-station in the world, which works on turf; it was named in honour to the soviet electrician R. Klasson.
The Kirzhach River is a brilliant place for having a rest and swimming in summer.
Pokrov is famous not only for its suburban forests and lakes. The place of death of the first cosmonaut in the world Y. Gagarin is located not far from this town (25 km) near Novosiolovo Village.
The surroundings of Peksha Village (formerly Gorodok Village) are depicted on the pictures of I. Levitan such as “Vladimirka”, “Lesisty Bereg” (it means “A Wooded Bank”) and “Sumerki” (it means “Twilight”).
Lakinsk is famous for mushrooms, cotton centre (formerly a factory of the merchant Bazhanov) and Suvorov’s grove – the part of the park in Undol’s country estate, which belonged to V. Suvorov (the father of the famous commander) in the 18th century. On the left from Lakinsk, at a distance of 12 km, Orehovo Village is situated. It is known as a place where the father of Russian aviation N. Zhukovsky spent his youth and where he came every summer when he became adult. Nowadays, there is a museum in the country estate house of the Zhukovskies.
Vladimir was founded by Vladimir Monomah in 1108. At first, it was a powerful stronghold on the Klyaz’ma River, then, in 1157, under Andrei Bogolubsky, it became the capital of Vladimir Province and only by the middle of the 14th it yielded the role of Russian political centre to Moscow.
After passing by the Gold Gate with the Triumphal Arch you can see the Cathedral of Assumption (1158–1160) on the right, which is famous for its fresco fragments made in the 12–13th centuries and fresco made by Rublyov and D. Chiorny in 1408. Dmitrievsky Cathedral (1194–1197) is located behind it. It was named by Vsevolod III in honour to his son Dmitry. Then you will see the Nativity Monastery. It is made of white stone – soft limestone, which gave the masters an opportunity to create fantastic forms and marvelous stone carving.
These cathedrals saw many human sorrows and consoled unfortunate and suffering people as they could. They remained standing in spite of fires, earthquakes and invasion of the Tatars. They help us today to feel that we are the descendants of strong, courageous and talented people, who defended these lands, adorned them and gave us an opportunity to admire the results of their many years’ work.
You can also see the St. Nicholas Church in Galei made in “Narishkin” style (1732–1735), the St. Nikita Church made in baroque (1762–1765).
Bogolubovo Village is located on the high hills above the Klyaz’ma River. This ancient town-castle was found in 1158. It was the residence of Prince Andrei Bogolubsky where he killed by the boyars later.
The first mention of Suzdal’ we can find in the chronicles of 1024, but there is an opinion that it existed in heathen times. The town was burnt down several times and was revived again. Its destiny is not simple. Each cathedral, each church there has its own destiny, too. Pokrovsky Cathedral (1510–1514), Monastery of the Saviour-St. Euphimi (the 16–17th centuries), Cathedral of the Deposition of the Robe (the 16–19th centuries)… It will take much time to enumerate all of them. There are remains of tsaritsa Anna (the 5th wife of Ivan IV), tsaritsa Alexandra (the widow of his killed son) and Ekaterina Shuiskaya (the daughter of Maluta Skuratov) in the Pokrovsky Monastery.
From my point of view, it is not necessary to join the groups of tourists if you want to listen to different stories of these wonderful lands. It would be better to arrange about excursion with a man, who loves native places and knows much about them. However, everyone has his own opinion.
As to lodging for the night, you can use the hotels of Suzdal’ and Vladimir in cold seasons; in summer your stop on the bank of the Nerl’ River on the way from Vladimir to Suzdal’ will adorn your memories with a scent of strawberry, raspberry, pine, water-lilies, mushrooms and herbs and a pleasure from peace and silence, which are disturbed only by birds’ singing, grasshoppers’ chirring and water splashes.