Travel to the Scenic Town of Suzdal

The scenic town of Suzdal in the Vladimir Oblast, Russia, is situated on the beautiful Kamenka River. Suzdal forms part of the Golden Ring – a ring of ancient towns positioned northeast of Moscow. The current estimated population of Suzdal is 13,000 with the 2002 Census giving a population figure of 11,357. Suzdal has served as the capital of several Russian principalities during its long history dating back to 1024 A.D.

Suzdal in Russia, with its monasteries and numerous churches, is considered to be a prominent religious center. Next to each of the many monasteries there small stalls with Russian souvenirs to appeal to tourists. The town has many superb examples of historical Russian architecture and retains the sense of a small village, with streams and meadows nearby. It is not uncommon to find chickens and livestock on the streets and grassy lanes of Suzdal, adding to the old-world charm of the town. Suzdal is an important tourist destination and with the combination of the ancient architecture and the pastoral surroundings, artists are attracted to the area to capture this beauty on canvas.

The Kremlin is the historical core of Suzdal. When the Kremlin was first built it was surrounded by earth dams, wooden walls with towers and trenches filled with water, all in an effort to protect the town. Parts of these trenches still remain. On the eastern side of the Kremlin you can visit an exhibition, housed at a bell-tower built in 1635, which is dedicated to the history of Suzdal.

The Rozhdestvenskiy Cathedral is considered to be the oldest cathedral in Suzdal. It was originally built in the early 13th century, but it was robbed by Tartars and suffered partial destruction in the 15th century. Restoration of the cathedral took place in the early part of the 16th century. The cathedral, as it stands now, has the bottom constructed of original white stone, with the restored portion made of brick. The stunning blue domes scattered with golden stars were added to the cathedral in 1750. Nikolskaya wooden church is situated on the western side of the cathedral. This church was brought to Suzdal in the 18th century from another part of the Vladimir region.

Walking through the streets of Suzdal will take you past early 19th century trading arcades, as well as a number of smaller churches, each with their own unique beauty. The main street, Lenina, takes you past the Rizopolozhensky monastery which dates back to 1207, with the three-domed Rizopolozhensky Cathedral, built in the 1520s, inside the monastery walls.

Along the banks of the Kamenka river you will find the deserted Alexandrovsky convent dating back to 1240 with a bell tower built in 1695. The scenery along the Kamenka is breath-taking and it is well worth walking along there. Another attraction in Suzdal is the Open Russian Festival of Animated Film which takes place annually in March.

Currently there is development taking place on the outskirts of the city, with high-rise concrete buildings being erected. Hopefully this development will not encroach on the ancient part of the city, as this is what really attracts the tourists upon whom many inhabitants of Suzdal rely for their income.

If you are planning a trip to Russia, be sure to include a visit to the scenic town of Suzdal – you will be glad you did.


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