If you read any tourist guide book about visiting Moscow or Russia, you will come across The Golden Ring. The Golden Ring is a collection of historic cities north-east of Moscow. It is in these cities that you can see and experience old Russia. The jewel of these cities is without a doubt Suzdal. Visiting the Golden Ring city of Suzdal is possible in a day trip from Moscow but I think it makes more sense to stay a night here and to take your time exploring.
The Kremlin dates from the 10th century and is the oldest part of the city. Originally, like other Kremlin’s in Russia, is was a fortress and was used for religious and administration tasks in the city. The Kremlin became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
The Cathedral of the Nativity was originally built in 1102 and is a World Heritage Site. The Cathedral was destroyed and rebuilt in 1222. Later, stone walls where replaced with brick and an additional two domes added.
Museum of Wooden Architecture and Peasant Life
The museum features churches, homes and buildings showing how Russian people lived 300 years ago. The Church of the Transfiguration is a church from 1756 which was moved from the village of Kozlyatyev.
The Rizopolozhensky Monastery in the oldest of the 5 monasteries in the town, dating from 1207. The monastery was heavily damaged between 1923-31 and is currently undergoing much needed restoration work.
Spaso-Evfimiyev Monastery / The Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius
The monastery was founded in the 14th century. Inside the walls, you find the Assumption Church, a bell tower and the seven-domed Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour.
The Trading Arcades
The Trading Arcades of Suzdal were built between 1806-1811 on a square which became known as Torgovaya Ploschad (Trading Square). Originally they were filled by merchant stalls but now they are separate cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops. On the streets now, there are market stalls with people selling souvenirs, food and drinks.
Saint Antipius and Saint Lazarus churches
Saint Antipius church is from 1745 and Saint Lazarus, with 5 black domes, is from 1667.
The Resurrection Church is from 1720. The church is in the centre of the town and there are lots of market stalls in front of it where it seems you can buy anything! You can see the shadow of the Christmas tree on the side of the Church.
Walking the Streets
One fun thing to do is to just walk the streets. If you visit the city in winter, you can see sleighs and walk along the frozen river. If you love architecture, you will love just walking around Suzdal.
If you need a break from the big city chaos that is Moscow, or you are traveling further east in Russia, then I can fully recommend visiting the golden ring city of Suzdal. It was certainly a highlight of my time in Russia. What do you think of Suzdal? Would you like to go here? You can read more about Suzdal here and how to get to Suzdal.