Suzdal HistorySuzdal was settled even before Yuri Dolgoruky established other towns in the region, though this early prince exercised his influence and made the city the capital of the region until it fell from political importance and under the auspices Moscow.
Over the course of centuries, Suzdal was plundered by invading forces, which underscores the importance of its still-extant kremlin. Other forces, such as fire and economic stagnation, affected Suzdal’s development. However, some of these forces, such as the absence of a railway, helped Suzdal to maintain its historic authenticity. Even when it was losing population to prospects in other towns, Suzdal was able to preserve many of its historic edifices and culture.
Sights in SuzdalSuzdal has almost no limit to its sights for visitors. It may be worth staying overnight to really absorb the feel of this time-capsule city and get to know its famous landmarks.
- Suzdal Kremlin: All that remain of the kremlin’s walls are mounds of earth, but it’s not hard to imagine the fortifications that once surrounded the city. Inside the kremlin is a world of architectural treasures, from the 13th-century Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral to the late 18th-century wooden St. Nicholas Church. Also visit the Archbishop’s Chambers and the bell tower. This architectural complex is a part of the monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal, a Russian World Heritage site.
- Trade Square: The early 19th-century trading arcade is surrounded by a cluster of churches, some of which can be entered by visitors, such as the Emperor Constantine Church from the start of the 18th century.
- Monastery of the Deposition: This monastery was founded in the 13th century, though the extant structures date from much later. Check out the Deposition Cathedral, the bell tower, and the red-and-white entry gate with its conical turrets.
- Monastery of St. Euthymius: The largest monastery in Suzdal, St. Euthymius was fortified with strong walls, which have withstood the passage of time, as a part of the city’s defensive system. Here you’ll see more churches, a monastery prison, a bell tower that may grace you with its music, and the tomb of a Russian military hero.
- Intercession Convent: This working convent holds the mysteries of the women sent here to be gotten out of the way. Like the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow, the Intercession Convent acted as a sort of prison for royal females. The first wife of Vasili III, predecessor of Ivan the Terrible, was banished to this convent for failure to produce an heir to the royal Russian throne--only to bear a son she protected from danger by staging his funeral.
- Alexandrovksy Convent: This convent has a more gentle legend than the Intercession Convent. It’s said that the Alexandrovsky Convent was founded by Alexander Nevsky to provide sanctuary for aristocratic widows whose husbands died at the hands of invaders.
- Museum of Wooden Architecture: Like Kizhi Island, the Museum of Wooden Architecture in Suzdal preserves historic wooden structures inherent to the culture of the region and peasant life and artifacts that might otherwise be lost to progress. The Transfiguration Church dates from 1756 and is one of this museum’s treasures.
Hotels in SuzdalSuzdal is large enough that you won’t have any problems finding a hotel suitable for your stay. Rooms can be had at either the Intercession Convent or the Monastery of the Deposition, either which might complete your experience of Suzdal.
- Suzdal Hotels: Compare Prices