Vladimir – a reminder of times gone by

Moscow hasn’t always been Russia’s capital city. In fact, in the 13th-15th centuries, it was Vladimir that held this prestigious title.

The white stone churches of Vladimir are a reminder of times gone by. Today, it’s one of the most important cities in the Golden Ring. Here you’ll find rare churches from the 12th century with their UNESCO protection. Most tourists visit primarily to see them, but the centre of the city with its colourful low-rise buildings from the 18th to the early 20th century is also well worth a look.

The Cathedral of the Assumption is one of the city’s three pre-Mongolian gems. Within its white stone walls were crowned the Vladimir and Moscow princes. Inside you’ll find unique frescos by the famous Russian painter Andrei Rublev.

Then there’s the stunning image of the Demetrius Cathedral, whose walls are covered with enigmatic reliefs depicting saints mingled with mythical animals and plants. The Golden Gates, constructed in 1164, exude metropolitan pride and power. At one time, they served as both the main entrance into the city, and its fortifications. Now it's a museum with a military-historical exhibition.

Many museums in Vladimir are worth a look because of the buildings in which they are housed. In a former water tower is the 'Old Vladimir’ museum dedicated to city life in the late 19th-early 20th century. After visiting the three levels of the exhibition, you can climb to the observation deck and enjoy the impressive panorama of the city. The museum of crystal and varnished miniatures is located in a former church. For Vladimir, this is nothing unusual: the building of another former church houses a planetarium.

In Vladimir, you’re sure to find something to match your taste. At the colourful Gingerbread Museum, not only can you try this traditional Russian delicacy; you can have a go at painting it yourself. The Gzheli Museum, Spoon Museum and Borodin Forge Museum provide an introduction to traditional crafts. The exhibition of the Working Chambers is always a hit with children: here, you can even experience 19th-century punishments! And if you feel the urge to get out in the fresh air, you can simply walk along Bolshaya Moskovskaya Ulitsa, where the lights of restaurants beckon you in, and feel how the heart of the ancient city still beats today.

Vladimir is a great place to visit the real Russia of days gone by. For all your travel and accommodation needs, call us today on 0207 985 1234.