There are many old churches and monuments of history and architecture. Near Suzdal there is the village of Kideshka, the former residence of Prince Yury Dolgoruky.
Suzdal was the capital city of the first prince of the Rostov-Suzdal Principality – Yury Dolgoruky. It is a town of museums. There are about 200 monuments of history and architecture. The emblem of Suzdal is the snow-white gold crowned “Phoenix Bird” of Russian fairy tales. There are five monasteries in Suzdal.
The History of Suzdal
The history of the city dates back to 1024. Originally Suzdal was built as a fortress. The fortress - the Suzdal Kremlin - was the core of the city. In the 11th century Suzdal became the capital of the Rostov-Suzdal principality. Yuri Dolgoruky, the founder of Moscow, became the first Prince of Suzdal.
One of the dominating architectural ensembles in the city is Suzdal Kremlin which was built in the 10th century and it has been almost totally preserved since those days. The Kremlin has its own jewel- the Cathedral of the Nativiy dating back to the early 16th century. A structure of perfect symmetry it is instantly recognizable by its five blue star-spangled onion domes. The interior is decorated with frescoes dating from the early 13th century to the 1630s- a dazzling sequence of blues and golds.
The Kremlin’s ensemble also includes the Bishops’s Chambers. In ancient times these stone buildings were used as residential and utility buildings. Today they house an exhibition dedicated to the history of the region.
Beyond the stalls of the ancient market place still lively today are the Church of the Resurrection and the Church of the Virgin of Kazan both dating from the 1730. The custom of twin churches was common in the region: a small, cozier building for winter worship and a larger, more colorful church for summer.
There are remarkable monasteries in Suzdal. The Alexandrovsky Monastery was founded in the 13th сcentury by Alexander Nevsky and was called the Great Lavra. There one can see the Ascension Cathedral which was built by Natalia Naryshkina, mother of Peter the Great.
The St Basil Monastery dating back to the 17th century: one can see nowadays only part of the wall, a small cathedral, the refectory.
The convent of the Deposition of the Robe, where one can see the Holy Gates and a 16th century cathedral.
The pearl of Suzdal is the 14th century Monastery of the Holy Savior and St. Euthymius, the largest monastery in Suzdal about 600 years old. It is surrounded by brick walls nearly 6m thick interspersed with equally formidable watch towers.
Catherine II used the monastery as a state prison. Emelyan Pugachov’s followers were imprisoned here, the Decembrist F. Shakhovskoy died in the monastery prison.
The Convent of the Intercession used to be a prison for women. One of the prisoners was Yevdokia Lopukhina, Peter the Great’s first wife. Their son Prince Alexey was executed with his supporters there.
What you will see on the Tour
- The Suzdal Kremlin with its Dormition Cathedral
- The Spaso-Yevfimiev Monastery, the biggest monastery in Suzdal. It was founded in 1352 by Prince Boris Konstantinovich as a fortification from the beginning. In 1992 the monastery was added to the UNESCO World Heritage as part of the White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal.
- The Suzdal Museum of Wooden Architecture in the open air represents authentic buildings of the XVII – XVIII centuries: wooden churches, merchant houses, windmills, barns, bath houses and peasant huts. Museum staff recreated their interior decoration to the smallest detail.
- The Shchurovo Gorodichtche is a reconstruction of a settlement of the ancient Slavs. In 2008, it became the set for the film by Pavel Lungin “The Tsar”. Today, in the interactive museum, visitors are introduced to the life of the inhabitants of ancient Suzdal. If you fancy yourself a medieval warrior, you can try spears, swords, longbows and other similar weapons.