The Golden Ring of Russia
Northeast of Moscow you find the most popular tourist route in the Russian provinces, known as the Golden Ring. This is a chain of historic old towns popular with tourists, that once used to form the country’s political and cultural heart, the region Zalesye. If you draw a line between them on a map they make up a ring. Whilst St Petersburg and Moscow might be the country’s main attractions, it is worth paying a visit to at least a couple of the cities along the route to see some of the most picturesque parts of Russia.
Excursions in the Province
What makes the cities along the Golden Ring so special, is that they all have architectural masterpieces as well as unspoilt beauty. Kremlins, churches, cathedrals and monasteries are just some of the 12th to 18th century buildings you can see in these “open air museum” cities.
The main points along the route is said to be Vladimir and Suzdal. Had it not been for the Mongol invasion, Russia’s capital might actually have been Vladimir, which it still was during the 12th and 14th centuries. Even though it has become quite industrialised today, it is still worth visiting to see the impressive Golden Gate, amongst other attractions. Suzdal is a smaller city and has maintained an old world look and feel. With over 200 architectural monuments, thousands of tourists visit every year. From Yaroslavl it is a little under three hours to drive to the city, so if you plan a daytrip, start your day early.
Yaroslavl’s Golden Gems
Yaroslavl is one of the original eight cities that are associated with the Golden Ring. Located on the north-east side of the ring it is the largest city in the chain. In 2005, Yaroslavl’s historic city centre
was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was the well-kept architectural buildings that met the criteria for inclusion. The city was one of the first Christian cities by the Volga river, and actually also the de facto capital of the Russian State in the early 17th century. A renowned piece of architecture from this period is the Church of St Elias, one of Yaroslavl’s many churches
When staying at the Park Inn by Radisson Yaroslavl Hotel you will find accommodation near Yaroslavl’s city centre
, making it easy to explore the city’s attractions.