Vladimir is a town closeby Suzdal and mostly excursions to Suzdal will include also a short stop in Vladimir, a town with 300.000 inhabitants, about 40 km south of Suzdal.
Solotyje Worota / the Golden Gate is one of the most interesting sights - see my main photograph. Another great sight is the cathedral (my 2nd, 4th and 5th photo) Unfortunately it is usually closed for visitors, except during church-service.
Read more about this interesting place on my page about Vladimir.
Demetrius cathedral is another very interesting sight of Vladimir, it is dating back to the year 1194. At first you will see the interesting stone-reliefs at the facade, that is quite unique in russian church-architecture. Inside the cathedral is rather simple with just a few remaining frescos and a giant golden cross at the altar. That church is a museum today showing also a few more exhibits, that I will show on my page about Vladimir.
Rispoloschenskij monastyr has the german name Gewandniederlegungs-Kloster and it dates back to the 13th century. In 1688 the so-called "Holy gate" was added - see my 2nd photograph , it has 2 gates of different sizes and 2 towers, decorated by red and white tiles.
During communiste times an electric powerplant was built inside the church and part of the ceilings and the golden onion-domes were destroyed that way. That seems to be partly restored nowadays, but the whole area is still closed for the tourists.
The belfry - the tower on my main photograph - is the highest tower in Suzdal, situated directely at Uliza Lenina, the main road through Suzdal.
For this lovely church I could not find any name in my guidebooks, although most of the churches are listed there on a large map. I liked it a lot anyway, because of its beautiful setting in the quiet landscape, far away from the tourist-stream, in a distance of about 500 meters from the former Kremlin-area.
Alexander-monastery / Alexandrowskij monastyr dates back to the year 1240, as a tourist you cannot see its interior, but it looks great also from the distance and from outside. You will see this monastery in a distance, when walking to Pokrowski-monastery !
There was a time, when Suzdal consisted of 400 houses and 49 churches, many of them had been destroyed, but still today the you will see a lot more churches in Suzdal than in most other villages of Russia. A good place to see the village in a good panorama is from Pokrowskaja uliza, the street taking you from the Pokrowski-monastery to the museum of the wooden houses.
I am glad that our tourbus made a short photostop there !
You will find Peter & Paul church opposite of the entrance-gate of the Pokrowskij-monastery. Unfortunately you cannot see its interior, but it looks great also from outside, including the ordinary church and a smaller winterchurch, where just a small oven gave enough heat during the churchservices oo the strong wintertimes.
Uspenskaja Trapesnaja Zerkow / Mariä- Entschlafens- Refektoriumskirche dates back to the year 1525 and used to be one of the first stone-churches in Suzdal. You will pass by this church in Kremlowskaja Uliza, when walking from the old Kremlin of Suzdal to the ancient shopping arcades.
Suzdal did burn down several times in history, before the inhabitants decided to build new houses and churches only by stones. So the old fire-tower became of special importance : On top of the tower there used to be a person watching out for fire and he would ring the bell in case of a fire. In the house below there were the equipments and carriages of the firebrigades and obviously they still are in use today.
Kremlowskaja Uliza is the small street that you will walk, when leaving the cathedral-grounds through the back-entrance-gate, that you will see on my main photograph. There you will see various interesting wooden houses and lovely entrance-gates like on my other photographs here ! You will also pass by 4 other churches and the ancient shopping-arcades.
Suzdal is well-known for the wonderful intricate wooden decorations that the locals put on the facade of their houses. As most of the older houses are very old, you can see the work of several generations. Many people pride themselves of the nice frames, and fences, etc, and can be seen repainting or mending them.
So when in Suzdal, it's better to look out for something with real local flavour like the house in the photo here rather than tour the endless churches which are essentailly not very different.
While the vast majority of the true historic structures in the city exist in official historic zones, there are many many other buildings that would be of interest to the non-Russian due to their unusual (for the average westerner) design.
The house pictured here is just another average residence to those who live here.
Therefore, if you have time, it is good to just wander the city a little and see what is there.
Last time we were in Suzdal on 9th of September 2003 - the last days when one could see the Favourable Opposition of Mars. The red planet was so bright as it could only be seen from away of big cities.
It was like an orange star, but on photo it appeares to be really red and rounded planet.