This Golden Ring tour covers 2 ancient Russian towns. You will learn about the towns’ history, traditions, architecture and the people who lived and worked there. Although this is only a small section of the Golden Ring, it is probably the most beautiful part. Suzdal is full of old churches, wooden houses and the sounds of bird songs and the ringing of church bells. Sergiev Posad dates back to the XIV century and is one of the oldest and most important towns along the Golden Ring.
At 8.00 AM, our driver and representative will pick you up to depart for Sergiev Posad by car or mini-van.
It is located in about 2 hours from Moscow by car. Arrival in Sergiev Posad. Considered by some to be the Russian Vatican, Sergiev Posad is the temporary residence of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Our tour starts with the Trinity St. Sergius Monastery (Lavra), built in the first half of the 1340s by the son of Rostov Boyar, Sergius of Radonezh, who remains one the most venerated saints in Russia. The monastery includes more than fifty edifices constructed by Moscow, Pskov and Yaroslavl craftsmen. In 1993 it was entered into the UNESCO World Heritage list. The History and Art museum within the walls of the monastery contains a rich collection of old Russian paintings and various works of art dating from the 14th thru 17th centuries. The collection includes over 120,000 items: ancient icons, medieval manuscripts and old printed books, icon and ornamental embroideries, church utensils, articles of gold and silver, paintings, engravings, folk and contemporary art. Sergiev Posad is also famous for being home to the world’s first matryoshka doll.
Lunch at the local restaurant (included).
After lunch you will be taken to the town of Suzdal, often called the Russian Mecca. Suzdal is amazingly tranquil and beautiful with its numerous churches, wooden houses, bird songs and the ringing of bells throughout the day.
Suzdal dates back to 1024. In its early history it was the capital of several principalities and later on became an important religious center. The town is full of churches and at one point in its history had 40 churches for approximately 400 families. Today the town only has a population of around 10,000 and has retained its country village feel with many of the roads remaining unpaved and livestock roaming the streets. The atmosphere is extremely pleasant due to its rustic, country feel combined with its medieval monuments. In short, Suzdal is an extremely special place and we are sure that you will enjoy your time there.
A sightseeing tour will take you to the oldest part of the Kremlin, the heart of Suzdal. Specialists believe the Kremlin dates back to the X century and first appeared in the chronicles in 1024. On its territory you will admire the Cathedral of the Nativity, dating back to the beginning of the XIII century, the largest relic of which is the Golden Gates. The next stop will be to the Archbishops´ Chambers, a large architectural masterpiece that took several centuries to be built. It houses a unique collection of historical and archaeological objects, including the Cross-Vaulted Chamber.
After this you will proceed either to the Spaso-Yevfimievsky Monastery of Our Savior or the open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture. This museim recreates the life and traditions of the people of Suzdal in the XVIII-XIX century. The ensemble includes churches, log houses and other structures.