The Golden Ring is formed by the chain of small ancient towns situated to the North-West of Moscow: Vladimir, Suzdal, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Yaroslavl, Rostov, Uglich, Kostroma, Sergiev Posad and others. It is the most popular tourist destination through the provinces of Russia. Depending on time you posses you сan undertake one-two day trips to the main directions – Sergiev Posad or Vladimir and Suzdal. In case you want thoroughly look round .ill the towns of Golden Ring (and there are more than 20 of the ml and in details see their sights it will take you two weeks.
Golden Ring it is not only unique architectural masterpieces, beautiful landscapes of the Central Russia, It represents a good opportunity to acquaint with unhurried and measured life of the Russian remote places unspoiled by the fuss and vanity of big cities. Only in small towns no one will be shocked if the transport in the main street will be stopped-by the herd of cows.
There are monuments of Russian history and culture of world importance situated all over the Golden Ring itinerary One of the most famous of them is the temple of protection on the Nerl river. The Golden Ring journey starts in Moscow. The busses go to the North along the ancient Yaroslavsky highway. Sergiev Posad famous owing to its Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra (from Greek "Lavra" means main, important monastery) is situated about 70 kilometers away from the capital, lt was founded in the XIV century by Sergius Radonezhsky who was canonized during his life. During a long period Sergiev Posad was the center of the spiritual life of the country a kind of the Russian Vatikan. There are situated the monastery, theological seminary, picture gallery dedicated to the Orthodox history of Russia.
The town of Alexandrov - the former Alexandrovsky village (settlement of the free non-serf peasants) was created in the XIII. Later it had occasion to become the actual capital of the Russian State; there was the residence of Ivan the Terrible situated in XVI century and during the period of 17 years he governed the country from there. The real master pieces of the old-Russian stone architecture were built on the territory of his Majesty court. The smiths of Alexandrov were famous for their skillful handicrafts.
The town of Myshkin stands on the Volga's high bank. It attracts attention by the unity of architectural look and especial harmony with nature There are several unique museums in Myshkin: the only world's "Mouse Museum", the Valenky Museum, the museum of Russian Vodka. Myshkin has managed to preserve a patriarchal atmosphere of the Russian province town.
Pereslavl Zalossky. One can become an impression that there an more ancient churches than hotels, cafe and shops The national Russian hero, celebrated military leader and outstanding diplomat Alexander Nevsky canonized posthumously was born there. The silent Pleshcheevo lake where the city is situated is considered as the cradle of the Russian fleet. Three centuries ago young Russian Tsar the future Peter (lie Great comprehended here the principles of the nautical science. The small sailing boat of the Russian Emperor was preserved miraculously till the present days and became the main exhibit of one of the museums.
There is the rarest Pereslavl herring so called ryapushka from the salmons in Pleshcheevo lake. This fish belongs to the sea relics and apparently got to the sweet water reservoir together with the glacial waters. Russian Tsars were fond of the delicious taste of Ryapushka and that is why this fish is called the Tsar's herring. Now Ryapushka is included in the heraldic emblem of Pereslavl-Zalessky. Rostov the Great is the oldest town in North-East of Russia. For the first time it was mentioned in the ancient chronicle in the year 862. It is situated by the lake which name - Nero - means "silty, marshly". At the bottom of the lake lies a very massive 20 meters sick stratum of silt. It is used for fertili2ing of the fields. There are impressive white-stone towers of Rostov kremlin reflected in the waters of Nero lake.
Suzdal - the most fairy-tale place of the Golden Ring greets its guests with melodic bell-chime. This museums town hardly underwent any changes during the last two and a half centuries. More than 200 architectural monuments of the past millennium are concentrated there: kremlin, merchant stalls rows, several monasteries and convents, innumerable quantity of temples and churches. And everywhere "medovukha" (honey drink) - old traditional Russian light alcoholic drink is sold.
At the end of the Golden Ring itinerary one gets to Vladimir - former capital of the Russian state. Now it is a big industrial city, but it is worth to visit it and first of all to see the frescos of the brilliant icon-painter Andrey Rublev in Dormition temple as also the majestic Golden Gates. The temple of protection on the Nerl river situated not far away from Vladimir is one the best masterpieces of the old Russian architecture. It never stops to impress the people with the fineness and grace of its forms. It was called the poem in stone, a white swan and the bride. This church does not symbolize grandeur and power or victory over an enemy. It just stands pure and light, delicate and inscrutable on a small hill in the middle of vast water-meadows. This is a poem of Russian nature, silent melancholy and lucid contemplation.
One can find the best dishes of the real Russian cuisine in the restaurants of the Golden Ring. The original Slavic meal includes a train of different dishes: baked fish and fish in aspic, piglet stuffed with boiled buckwheat, game, soups and pottages, fish-soup made of three types of fish, poultry and saffron - nobody can count all the courses. And the adornment of the table is a huge "kournik" (chicken-pie). It is a kind of pie made of pancakes stuffed with chicken, mushrooms and rice.
Almost along the whole Golden Ring itinerary there are existing settlements inhabited by the masters of traditional national handicrafts. Till the present days there are productions of articles from cut glass and crystal in Gus Chrustalny, of painted wooden boxes in Palekh, of painted salvers in Zhostovo, of large kerchiefs with bright ornaments in Pavlov Posad, of enamel and fine jewelry with enamelled patterns in Rostov. No traveler will stand temptation to bring home from a distant country one of the traditional Russian souvenirs.